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home : latest news : local February 5, 2016

1/31/2013 8:21:00 AM
Miller signs on:
Yavapai Downs racetrack sale won't be official until next week
Gary Miller inspects Yavapai Downs’ buildings and grounds Dec. 10, 2012.
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg
Gary Miller inspects Yavapai Downs’ buildings and grounds Dec. 10, 2012.
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg

Joanna Dodder Nellans
Special to the Tribune

The potential new owner of Yavapai Downs has done his part, signing on Wednesday to the $5.5 million deal to purchase the horse racetrack, but the closing has been delayed for as long as a week.

A bankruptcy judge had ordered the sale to close by Wednesday, but bankruptcy Trustee Brian Mullen said Wednesday that the deadline been delayed until Thursday, Feb. 7.

"My understanding is that there are still some details being worked out," Mullen said. "We have continued the closing date to Feb. 7."

Potential buyer Gary Miller said he still hopes to reopen the track on Memorial Day Weekend.

"I signed all the (sale closing) documents I've been asked to sign," Miller said Wednesday.

Miller submitted an application for a Yavapai Downs racing permit to the Arizona Department of Racing on Jan. 15. That same day, he resigned as president of the Arizona Horseman's Benevolent & Protective Association.

The Yavapai County Farm & Agriculture Association's board of directors abruptly decided to shutter the track in May 2011. The board said the track didn't have enough money to open, and by July 13 of 2011 it filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of the track to Miller for $5.5 million.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development arm held a $14.7 million loan on the facilities, mostly for its construction in 1999-2001, and now the federal agency plans to transfer $5.5 million of that loan to Miller if he buys the track.

Related Stories:
• Racetrack opening pushed back again
• Yavapai Downs back on track with new owner
• Miller files Yavapai Downs racing permit application
• Yavapai Downs bankruptcy suit languishing in court
• Prospective new owner faces daunting task at Yavapai Downs

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