Turf Paradise Will Not Continue Live Racing or Simulcasting Beginning October 1, 2023
It is an end of an era.
The owner of Turf Paradise, Jerry Simms, announced on Monday that after 23 years of operating the Turf Paradise race track, he is retiring to spend more time with his family. As a result, there will be no more live racing or simulcasting at the Phoenix-based 19th Avenue and Bell Road race track, beginning October 1, 2023.
Turf Paradise also maintains 37 Off Track Betting sites throughout Arizona, which televise live simulcasts from other race tracks across America for the purpose of wagering. In order for the OTB sites to operate, live racing is required. Since Turf Paradise will not be running a live race meet and the contract with the Arizona Horsemen Benevolent and Protective Association (AZHBPA) terminates September 30 of this year, the OTBs will have to close effective October 1.
Turf Paradise opened on January 7, 1956. Traditionally the track opened for the 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 to 130 live race days through the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.
Allegedly California-based CT Realty was under contract to purchase the race track and the 252-acre site for redevelopment earlier this year, unfortunately the deal fell through.
Turf Paradise is still for sale.