Arizona

Arizona Senate Committees Advance Horse Racing Bill

The Arizona Senate moved a gaming bill through two committees--one unanimously--and it now awaits an assignment date for a vote by the full Senate. Senate Bill 1794 passed the Appropriations and Rules committees, with wide support. The bill authorizes historic horse racing, providing up to $140 million in new state tax revenues, as well as support for the state's horse racing industry. "This long-overdue modernization effort will help the many local businesses that support the horse racing industry and also provide much-needed revenue to the state," said Save Arizona Horse...

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Arizona Racing Legislation Introduced

Legislation has been introduced in Arizona to modernize gaming at tracks and OTBs in the Grand Canyon State. Senate Bill 1794, introduced by Sen. David Gowan, would authorize historic horse racing [HHR] and stands to generate up to $140 million in new tax revenues. The bill is set to be heard in a Senate committee on Tuesday. Since 2004, according to savearizonahorseracing.com, Arizona has seen pari-mutuel handles drop by $55 million a year and purses drop by $5 million a year as live racing attendance has dropped 45%. During the...

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Turf Paradise To Re-Open Turf Course Jan. 25

The grass course at Turf Paradise, which management closed after conducting only three races over it the first two days of the meet Jan. 4 and 5, is now scheduled for a Jan. 25 reopening after having restoration work performed on its root system. Turf Paradise general manager Vincent Francia detailed the maintenance work and plans for the reopening of the seven-furlong infield course during the Jan. 14 Arizona Racing Commission meeting. "What happened with the turf course was nobody's fault," Francia claimed. "When we closed on March 14 [in...

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Wootton Bassett To Stand For €100,000

Wootton Bassett (GB), one of four new sires on the Coolmore roster for 2021, will stand for €100,000 off a glittering season on the track that saw him sire two new Group 1 winners and 10 stakes winners. Coolmore announced its purchase of Wootton Bassett in June from Haras d'Etreham, where the son of Iffraaj had stood since retiring to stud in 2012. After standing for as low as €4,000 in his third season, Wootton Bassett had been priced at €40,000 the past two seasons. Just a week after the...

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G2SW Arizona Retired to Castlehyde Stud

Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier's Arizona (Ire) (No Nay Never--Lady Ederle, by English Channel), winner of the G2 Coventry S. in only his third career start, has been retired from racing and will stand under the Coolmore banner at Castlehyde Stud for the 2021 season. A fee for Arizona will be announced at a later date. "Arizona is a very good-looking and good-moving son of No Nay Never who really fills the eye," said Castlehyde Manager Paddy Fleming. "He's got a very current, fast pedigree too, so...

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Turf Paradise to AZHBPA: Let's Race, But First Return Money

Turf Paradise is proposing to host a live meet next year that will run Jan. 2 through May 1, according to a letter from Turf Paradise general manager, Vince Francia, to the Arizona horsemen dated Thursday. Turf Paradise had previously announced that it had cancelled its 2020-2021 race meet due to health fears associated with operating a live meet during a global pandemic. For the proposed meet to go ahead, however, Turf Paradise management listed in the letter a number of caveats, namely that $2.1 million of disputed purse account...

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Arizona Horsemen Secure Some Disputed Purse Funds

At the six-month mark of the shutdown of live racing in Arizona that is the result of both the pandemic and a prolonged fight over off-track betting (OTB) privileges, the Arizona Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (AZHBPA) has reportedly secured some of the disputed money from the horsemen's account that had been controlled by Turf Paradise and placed it into a trust to pay purses if and when racing resumes elsewhere. This news was shared in the form of a widely circulated email that made the rounds on social media...

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Federal Court Upholds Arizona Simulcast Signal Equality Law

A bid by The Stronach Group (TSG)'s simulcast signal brokerage company to keep the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) from enforcing a law requiring companies that provide off-track- betting signals to sell them to anyone in the state who wants to buy them got stymied by a federal appeals court ruling Aug. 20. A three-judge panel for the Ninth Circuit United States Court of Appeals affirmed an earlier district court's denial of a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit challenging whether a relatively new state statute or the federal Interstate Horseracing...

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Turf Paradise Reschedules Opening Day

Turf Paradise has rescheduled its opening day to Friday, Nov. 27. Originally the 133-day live meet had been scheduled to run from Oct. 17-May 1, 2021. The new schedule will run from Nov. 27-May 1, for 110 live race days. "We are hoping that by opening later the Coronavirus situation will settle down in Arizona," said track general manager Vincent Francia. "Regardless we will have health protocols in place when the meet opens." Francia added, "We are working with AZHBPA president Bob Hutton as to a date when the horses...

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QIPCO 2000 Guineas: where did they come from?

From a $6,000 yearling to millionaires' row, the line-up for the first British Classic of the season features some smart homebreds along with sales graduates for almost every pocket. Al Suhail (GB) Dubawi (Ire) - Shirocco Star (GB) (Shirocco {Ger}) Last seen finishing runner-up over course and distance to fellow Guineas contender Military March in the G3 Autumn S. last October, this Meon Valley Stud-bred colt was a 1.1 million gns purchase at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. His dam was runner-up in both the Oaks and...

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Turf Paradise Closes Doors For Summer Under Cloud of Uncertainty

This week saw the final horses stabled at Turf Paradise leave the premises as the facility closes its doors for the summer beneath an array of question marks dangling over the industry in the state. For one, the horses weren't the only Turf Paradise residents to vacate the facility this week. At the beginning of May, track management sent the Arizona Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) a letter giving the organization 30 days to "remove its belongings" from its Turf Paradise office and to "remove the trailer (medical trailer)...

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Turf Paradise Ends Season Early Due to Coronavirus Concerns

Turf Paradise has announced that it is ending its season immediately due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, and to assist Arizona in slowing the spread of the illness. Recently Governor Doug Ducey declared a public health emergency and he signed a bill that would spend $55 million in Arizona to combat the virus. The track's Clubhouse and Turf's network of Off Track Betting locations will remain open for simulcasting at other tracks. Live racing had been scheduled to run until May 3. Live racing at Turf Paradise will resume in...

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