Horse Racing in Arizona
What horse racing tracks currently exist in Arizona?
The state of Arizona offers year-round horse racing at three different thoroughbred tracks:
- Turf Paradise: 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. Some 50 years later, Turf Paradise is the third largest sports attraction in the Grand Canyon state.
- Rillito Park: Rillito Park first opened in 1942, and even 73 years later, offers Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred racing in Tucson, Arizona. Notable events, such as the first starting gate chute and the earliest use of photo-electric timers, have earned the charming five furlong track a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Arizona Downs: Located in Prescott Valley, about an hour’s drive north of Phoenix, Arizona Downs was originally known as Yavapai Downs and then Prescott Downs. After decades of racing at the the old Rodeo Grounds from 1959 to 2000, the track went through a period of multiple closures and relocations. The new Arizona Downs opened in May of 2019.
Classic Sports Betting Moments in Arizona History
With professional sports franchises from all four major sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL), Arizona expects to enjoy significant betting activity from sports fans beginning this Fall. Additionally, the state is how to two PAC-12 collegiate teams, the University of Arizona Wildcats and the Arizona State Sun Devils
An All-Time Bad Beat for Cardinals Fans
In November of 2019, the Arizona Cardinals and traveled to San Francisco to face the 49ers as 10 point underdogs. Trailing by just 4 points as time expired, the Cardinals snapped the ball from their own 22-yard line, hoping for a miraculous play that would secure a game-winning touchdown.
What happened next was certainly miraculous, but not for fans of the Cardinals, and most definitely not for anyone who’d taken the ten points and wagered on the Cardinals.
The play starts off innocently enough, as Quarterback Kyler Murray complete a short pass to Larry Fitzgerald. With defenders quickly closing in on Fitzgerald, he turns to make a backward lateral pass, and things begin getting weird.
The closest “receiver” in the vicinity of Fitzgerald’s lateral was 320lb left tackle D.J. Humphries, who unsurprising did not catch the pass. A brief scrum ensues as several 49ers and Cardinals players dive for the live ball, at which point the game appears to be over. Final (would-be) score would have been 49ers: 30, Cardinals: 26.
However, as what appear to be two Cardinals players fight for possession on the ground, the ball inexplicably shoots out from the pile, back past the original line of scrimmage. Near the 5-yard line, with no time on the clock, 49ers cornerback DJ Reed, scoops up the ball and steps into the end zone for a 49ers touchdown.
Thus, the official final score moved to 49ers: 36, Cardinals: 26. For most bettors who took the Cardinals with the ten points, a sure-fire win suddenly became a heart-breaking push. Even worse, some operators has the line at 49ers -9.5, meaning that anyone taking the Cardinals with just 9.5 points to give ended up not just pushing, but losing as a result of that play.