Turf Paradise Horseracing

Turf Paradise is a thoroughbred and quarter horseracing facility in Phoenix, Arizona with two tracks.

Its live racing season has been quite flexible of late, starting either in September or January and closing in May. Turf Paradise hosts several important stakes events each year including the Phoenix Gold Cup, Sun City Handicap, Tempe Handicap, Scottsdale Handicap, Cactus Flower Handicap, and the Grand Canyon Handicap.

Turf Paradise Facts

  • Main Track: One mile, oval
  • Turf Course: 7 furlongs
  • Distance from last turn to finish line: 990 feet

History of Turf Paradise

1954 - Phoenix businessman Walter Cluer, purchased 1,400 acres of barren desert at what is now Bell Road and 19th Avenue. His vision was to build a first-class racetrack in Phoenix.

1956 - On January 7, Turf Paradise opened its doors. The people of Phoenix filled every seat in a warm welcome to the advent of pari-mutuel racing to Arizona. Cluer remained as head of the track for nearly 25 years.

1980 - Herb Owens took over ownership and Turf Paradise was renovated. The Clubhouse was enlarged and a Turf Club was added. A seven-furlong infield turf course with a one mile and one-eighth chute was also added.

1989 - Robert Walker became Turf Paradise's third owner. He was a prime mover in bringing off-track betting to Arizona.

1994 - Turf Paradise was purchased in a stock acquisition by California-based Hollywood Park, under the chairmanship of R.D. Hubbard.

2000 - On June 16, Jerry Simms became Turf Paradise's new owner when he purchased the track for $53 million. He immediately set out on a $5 million renovation plan that included complete makeovers of the Clubhouse and Turf Clubs. He also renovated the main track and turf course.

2003 - An equine swimming pool was built in the stable area of the racetrack. The pool was designed to provide therapy for the thoroughbreds stabled on the backside.

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