Report: Racing To Resume at Turf Paradise in January


Racing is set to resume at Turf Paradise in suburban Phoenix in late January 2024, according to a post on X from the track which displays a message from the Arizona HBPA bulletin board.

The message read: “There was an emergency HBPA meeting tonight. A race meet will take place. Race dates are Jan. 29 through May 4. Horsemen can arrive in their stalls Dec. 18 with the track opening for training on the 26th. All is based on the approval of the commission. Stall applications will go out asap after dates have been requested. If anything further develops, we will post an update.”

The communique was signed by HBPA President Lloyd Yother and consultant Leroy Gessmann.

AXIOS Phoenix was first to report the news that Turf Paradise was to be sold for redevelopment last April, at which time the continuation of racing at the track was possible as a 'placeholder' for a short period of time. In August, track officials announced that racing would not resume in November as the deal to sell the property appeared on its way towards closing. At that point, Gessmann told stakeholders that should the deal be concluded by mid-December, a race meet could take place beginning in January.

On Sept. 18, the initially announced sale was pronounced dead, but 10 days later, owner Jerry Simms revealed that a new buyer had suddenly emerged. It was also announced that Turf Paradise would cease operations and would be closing the 37 off-track-betting facilities operated by the track as of Oct. 1, leaving horsepeople in a state of flux.

The post from Turf Paradise indicated it would have more to say on the issue, but no further details emerged during the course of the day Thursday.

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