AZHBPA

Turf Paradise Race Dates Approved, But Doubts Remain Over Meet

In a special meeting Monday morning, the Arizona Racing Commission formally approved the proposed 2021-2022 race dates for Turf Paradise--Nov. 5 through May 7--but hard practical questions remain over what participation at that meet could look like due to an ongoing standoff between the Arizona horsemen and Turf Paradise management. As a result of welfare concerns springing from a 2020-2021 Turf Paradise race meet marred by a high number of equine fatalities, the Arizona Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (AZHBPA) have stated they will not sign any race-meet contract until...

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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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After Delays and Discord, Turf Paradise Approved For Meet

Turf Paradise got unanimous 3-0 approval from the Arizona Racing Commission on Thursday to open its backstretch by the end of the month in anticipation of an 84-date, Jan. 4-May 1 racing season. The meet will mark the first Thoroughbred racing in Arizona since Mar. 14, when Turf Paradise ended its spring season prematurely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In August, Turf Paradise withdrew its dates request for a traditional 2020-21 autumn-to-spring meet, citing liability concerns related to COVID-19. In between, the Arizona Downs summer meet never ran because local...

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Turf Paradise 2021 Winter/Spring Meet Edges Closer to Reality

With both Turf Paradise and Arizona Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (AZHBPA) representatives telling the Arizona Racing Commission (AZRC) Thursday that they are now close to agreeing on a contract for an 84-date, Jan. 2-May 1 race meet, AZRC chairman Rory Goree indicated that the commission stands ready to approve the dates request, which has already been submitted to the board but was not placed on the agenda for a vote at the Oct. 8 video meeting. Approval could come via a special AZRC session that might get scheduled before...

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New Details in Ongoing Standoff Between AZHBPA and Turf Paradise

The latest missive in an ongoing game of epistolary ping-pong between the Arizona horsemen and Turf Paradise management has seen the track re-affirm their proposal to stage a race-meet this winter. "Turf Paradise has submitted live race dates for an 84-day winter meet--Jan. 2 thru May 1, 2021--to the Racing Commission for their approval at the Oct. 8 meeting," wrote Turf Paradise general manager Vincent Francia in a letter addressed to the horsemen Thursday. But again, the proposal comes with caveats. The first is a previously stated desire: That the...

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AZHBPA to Turf Paradise Racing Proposal: We've Conditions Too

The Arizona Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (AZHBPA) would be amenable to Turf Paradise's latest proposal to conduct a live 2020-21 race meet as long as certain conditions of their own are met, according to a letter written by AZHBPA president Bob Hutton dated Friday and obtained by the TDN. "Because we are the heart and soul of horse racing in Arizona, we offer you all we have to help make Turf Paradise the venue for racing it can be and once was," Hutton wrote, pointing to the horsemen's horses,...

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