Rillito Releases Stakes Schedule, Condition Book

Arizona track set to open on February 7.

Michael Cusortelli, StallioneSearch.com

Rillito Park will feature 20 days of racing this year.

Historic Rillito Park Racetrack has released its stakes schedule and first condition book for its 20-day American Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred meet, which opens February 7.

Rillito’s Quarter Horse stakes schedule features seven races, topped by the 350-yard, $20,000-added El Moro de Cumpas Stakes on March 21. Other major sprint stakes include the 330-yard, $10,000-added Rillito AQHA Bonus Challenge on February 15.

Rillito Park’s Thoroughbred stakes scheduled is headed by the 1 1/16-mile, $10,000-guaranteed Budweiser Pima County Classic Stakes on March 29.

This season will mark Rillito Park’s first under the management of the non-profit Rillito Park Foundation and its director, Jaye Wells. Mike Weiss will serve as the track’s general manager. A longtime racing industry executive, Weiss has served in management positions at Beulah Park near Columbus, Ohio, and he helped reopen North Dakota Horse Park in Fargo five years ago.

The Rillito Park Foundation won the bid to run the track from the Pima County Horsemen’s Association, which had been managing its operations since 1984. Horsemen will see larger purses with an approximate 40-percent increase over last year. Patrons will be greeted with new food and beverage menus.

Rillito Park sits on about 88 acres in the center of Tucson, Arizona’s second-largest city. The first Quarter Horse track in the United States, the track opened in 1943 and was the birthplace of the photo finish. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Ten years later, the American Quarter Horse Association placed an historical marker at the track, recognizing it for its contributions to Quarter Horse racing.

Rillito Park will offer live racing on weekends through closing day, April 12. Gates will open every race day at 10 a.m. (MST), with first post time scheduled for 1 p.m. For more information on the meet, visit the track’s website at rillitoracetrack.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.