End of an era: Phoenix’s Turf Paradise announces end of live horse racing, simulcasting

Sep 19, 2023, 4:15 AM | Updated: 7:01 am

(Facebook Photo/Turf Paradise)...

(Facebook Photo/Turf Paradise)

(Facebook Photo/Turf Paradise)

PHOENIX — The owner of Turf Paradise announced Monday that live horse racing and simulcasting is ending at the venerable Phoenix track.

Turf Paradise first opened on Jan. 7, 1956.

Jerry Simms said in a press release he is retiring after operating Turf Paradise for 23 years to spend more time with family.

Live racing or simulcasting at the track at 19th Avenue and Bell Road will cease on Oct. 1.

Turf Paradise maintains 37 Off Track Betting (OTB) sites throughout Arizona that televise the track’s live races and simulcasts from other tracks nationwide for wagering. The OTBs will close on Oct. 1 because live racing is required for them to operate.

The track’s contract with the Arizona Horsemen Benevolent and Protective Association terminates at the end of September.

Turf Paradise traditionally has opened its live meet in November in conjunction with the simulcast of the two-day Breeders’ Cup Championship on the first weekend of November. The meet then extended 130 live race days through the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.

According to ABC15, California-based CT Realty was under contract to purchase the race track and its 252-acre site for redevelopment earlier this year, but the deal fell through.

Turf Paradise is still for sale, the TV station reported.

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End of an era: Phoenix’s Turf Paradise announces end of live horse racing, simulcasting