Turf Paradise Opens Saturday

Arizona track opens its 144-day meet on Saturday.

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Turf Paradise opens Saturday.

Turf Paradise will open its 144-day Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet with a eight-race program on Saturday. Post time for the first race is set for 12:55 p.m. (MST).

Turf Paradise’s Quarter Horse stakes schedule consists of 17 races. Two of the stakes, the $68,220 Bank of America Championship Challenge and $32,130 John Deere Juvenile Challenge were contested on October 4, two weeks prior to the official start of the meet, to accommodate the schedule for the Bank of America Challenge Championships, which will be run this Saturday night at Prairie Meadows near Des Moines, Iowa.

Topping the list of remaining sprint stakes during Turf Paradise’s 59th season is the 300-yard, $70,000-est. Desert Classic Futurity (R) for foals of 2013, to be run May 1. Other prominent stakes include the 300-yard, $45,000-est. Arizona Quarter Racing Association President’s Open Spring Futurity on March 28, and the 350-yard, $50,000-est. AQRA President’s Open Spring Derby on March 29.

For the first time this season, fans in Arizona will be able to wager on Turf Paradise’s races via phone betting. The law was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer last May, and it went into effect with the approval of rules by the Arizona Racing Commission on October 9.

“Our goal is to have phone betting operational as soon as possible,” said Turf Paradise general manager Vincent Francia.

Turf Paradise’s meet will offer live racing on a five-day-per-week schedule, primarily Saturday-Wednesday, through closing day, May 5. Opening day will feature a special guest appearance by Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg, who will be signing copies of his biography, “Jack: From Grit to Glory,” written by Chris Kotulak.

For more information on the meet, visit turfparadise.com.

All Turf Paradise races can be seen at Q-RacingVideo.com.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit www.aqharacing.com.