Race Tracks > Turf Paradise
Turf Paradise Track Facts
- Address: 1501 W Bell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85023
- Phone: (602) 942-1101
- Website: www.turfparadise.com
- Main Track (Dirt): 1 mile (oval) with 6-1/2 F and 1-1/14 mi. chutes
- Stretch length: 900 feet
- Width of stretch: 90 feet
- Surface Composition: 6″ sandy loam cushion over a 8″ compacted, and a 10″ clay base
Turf Paradise is the third largest sports attraction in the Grand Canyon state and home to the Turf Paradise Derby.
Notable Stakes and Listed Racing Events at Turf Paradise
- Phoenix Gold Cup Handicap (Stakes) | 4-year-olds & up going 3/4 mi.
- Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile (Stakes) | 4-year-olds & up going 1 mi. on turf
- Arizona Oaks (Stakes) | 3-year-old fillies going 1 mi.
- Turf Paradise Derby (Stakes) | 3-year-olds going 1-1/16 mi.
Turf Paradise Racing and Track History
Turf Paradise opened in 1956 on 1,400 acres of land purchased two years earlier by Phoenix businessman Walter Cluer, and was the first professional sports franchise to open in Arizona. Cluer faced many challenges in opening the track, with many speculating it would fail due to its 25 mile distance from downtown Phoenix and the poorly maintained dirt roads needed to get there. Despite these issues, Turf Paradise opened to great success and Cluer served as head of the track for almost 25 years.
Over the years the track has undergone several major changes, with a turf course being added in 1980 when the track changed hands for the first time, and further moved into off-track betting in early 90’s. When current owner Jerry Simms purchased the track in 2000, he immediately renovated and re-styled the Clubhouse and Turf Club, revamped both the dirt and turf tracks, and installed an equine pool for training and therapy to assist horses racing at the track.