Turf Paradise: A Phoenix Tradition for Horse Racing Fans

If you are looking for a place to enjoy some exciting horse racing action in Arizona, you might want to check out Turf Paradise. Turf Paradise is a racetrack located in the Deer Valley section of Phoenix, and it has been hosting thoroughbred and quarter horse racing since 1956. In this blog post, we will give you some information about Turf Paradise, its history, its features, and its events.

History of Turf Paradise

Turf Paradise was founded by Walter Cluer, a successful businessman who bought 1,400 acres of barren desert land in 1954 and turned it into a lush oasis for horse racing. Cluer was a visionary who saw the potential of horse racing in Arizona, and he invested millions of dollars to build a state-of-the-art facility that could accommodate both horses and spectators. He also introduced innovations such as the first electric starting gate and the first photo finish camera in the state.

Turf Paradise opened its doors on January 7, 1956, with a crowd of 11,000 people and a seven-race card. The track soon became a popular destination for horsemen and fans alike, attracting some of the best horses and jockeys in the country. Turf Paradise also hosted some memorable races, such as the 1960 Phoenix Gold Cup, which featured a match race between two champions: Crozier and Terrang.

In 2000, Turf Paradise was purchased by Jerry Simms, a local entrepreneur who has continued to improve and expand the facility. Simms has added new amenities such as a clubhouse, a turf club, and a sports bar. He has also increased the purses and the quality of the racing program. Under his ownership, Turf Paradise has become one of the leading racetracks in the Southwest.

Features of Turf Paradise

Turf Paradise has a one-mile dirt main track and a seven-eighths mile turf course. It also has a backstretch with over 2,000 stalls for horses and a training track. Turf Paradise can accommodate up to 7,000 spectators in its grandstand and clubhouse areas. It also offers simulcast racing from other tracks across the country seven days a week.

Turf Paradise has something for everyone, whether you are a casual fan or a serious bettor. You can enjoy the thrill of live racing from November to May, with an average of eight races per day. You can also place your bets at one of the many self-service terminals or with one of the friendly mutuel clerks. You can also watch and wager on races from other tracks at one of the 37 off-track betting sites throughout Arizona that are operated by Turf Paradise.

If you are looking for some entertainment and dining options, Turf Paradise has you covered. You can relax and enjoy the view from the Turf Club, which offers a full-service bar and restaurant with table service. You can also have some fun at the Clubhouse Sports Bar, which features over 50 TVs, pool tables, dart boards, and video games. Or you can grab a bite at one of the concession stands that offer a variety of snacks and beverages.

Turf Paradise also hosts special events throughout the year, such as the Arizona Derby Day, the Cactus Flower Festival, and the Fan Appreciation Day. These events feature live music, giveaways, contests, and family-friendly activities. Turf Paradise is also available for private parties and corporate events, with catering and banquet services available.


Turf Paradise is more than just a racetrack. It is a Phoenix tradition that has been providing quality horse racing and entertainment for over six decades. Whether you are a horse lover or just looking for some fun, you will find something to enjoy at Turf Paradise. So come and experience the excitement of Turf Paradise today!

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