When Turf Paradise opened its doors in 1956, the area surrounding 19th Avenue and Bell Road was dirt roads and desert.
North Phoenix has literally grown up around the local track at 1501 W. Bell Road, which celebrates its 60th anniversary with a birthday party Saturday, Jan. 16 that includes free umbrellas while supplies last, a kids fun park, $3 bottled beer, the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile stakes race, and of course free birthday cake. Grandstand admission is just $2. The gates open at 11 a.m. and the first post time is 12:40 p.m. A full card of live horse racing includes the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile named after the late Phoenix Suns coach who was a horseracing fan and a regular at the track.
Turf Paradise offers one of the longest racing seasons in the United States thanks to Arizona’s great weather. Through Off Track Betting networks its races are viewed at OTB locations all over the United States and worldwide.
Turf Paradise General Manager Vince Francia said, “After 60 years in Arizona it’s safe to say we’re more than just a fad. As loyal fans and those new to horseracing continue to come to Turf Paradise, we expect to be around for at least another 60 years.”
For more information, visit www.turfparadise.com.