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November 13, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Muckleshoot Tribe buys Emerald Downs

Horses fly out of the starting gate in front of the grandstand as they begin the mile-long Muckleshoot Tribal Purse on  July 6. (Lindsey Wasson / Seattle Times)

Horses fly out of the starting gate in front of the grandstand as they begin the mile-long Muckleshoot Tribal Purse on July 6. (Lindsey Wasson / Seattle Times)

The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe is buying Emerald Downs, the tribe announced in a news release Thursday.

The purchase of the Auburn horse-racing track from Northwest Racing Associates and its president, Ron Crockett, will be completed within 90 days. The price was not announced.

Ron Crockett, president of Emerald Downs

Ron Crockett, president of Emerald Downs

The Muckleshoots have owned the land under Emerald Downs since 2002 and have invested more than $11 million in purse enhancements at the track to stimulate the racing industry.

“The Tribe’s long-standing support of the state’s thoroughbred racing industry continues with this transaction,” Muckleshoot Tribal Council Chairwoman  Virginia Cross said in the news release. “It is the Tribe’s goal to keep the thoroughbred horse-racing industry as a viable part of our state’s economy. Emerald Downs sits in the center of the tribe’s historical homeland and this transaction makes it an important part of our economic development program.”

Crockett will remain on as a consultant to help the tribe with the transition to the new ownership,  and the current management team will remain in place for now, the tribe said in its news release.

Emerald Downs, near Kent, seen from the air on Thursday. (Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Emerald Downs, in Auburn, seen from the air  Thursday. (Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Comments | More in General news, Sports | Topics: Emerald Downs, Muckleshoots

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