During the final days of Longacres racetrack’s nearly 60-year run, there were concerns in Washington that the horse-racing industry was in danger of collapsing.
Shortly thereafter, Emerald Downs stepped in.
With the Auburn track celebrating its 20th opening day on April 9, Emerald Downs founder Ron Crockett joined KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson to discuss how the years have gone as fast as any thoroughbred.
“Time is going by so fast that I really don’t believe 20, but looking back on it, what a great 20,” he said.
Crockett sold the racetrack to the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe last March but still works in a consulting role. He says Emerald Downs is surviving, if not thriving, with a strong fanbase and a jump in the number of horses — from 760 last year to 921.
With the Muckleshoot tribe owning the 157-acre property, Crockett doesn’t see Emerald Downs going anywhere anytime soon.
“It’s a forever (business) at this point in time,” he said. “I see no reason why not. The industry will be just fine in this state.”