Turf Paradise, located in Phoenix, Arizona, was opened in 1956 and is the host of both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. The track made history by becoming the first organized professional sports franchise in Arizona. Since then, the track has continued to develop and is one of the most popular sporting attractions in the state. Turf Paradise has a one-mile main track and inside that is a seven furlong turf course. The track also has a four-furlong training track.
Live racing is held at Turf Paradise from October through May each year with a mix of races for both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses.
Turf Paradise Race Track Picks
Betting on races from Turf Paradise Race Track is convenient and secure through any of these recommended racebooks. Even if you cannot make it to Arizona to watch the races in person, you can get in on the action.
Turf Paradise Race Track Racing Tips
There are numerous stakes races throughout the season for both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses with strong incentives for horses bred in Arizona which supports the breeding and agricultural industry within the state.
When wagering on the races from a track like Turf Paradise, there are some things to keep in mind. Known for having a spectacular turf course, the track attracts runners from all over the West Coast looking for softer spots outside of the tough California circuit.
On the turf, pay close attention to prior turf form or for horses with pedigrees that suggest they may move up on the surface switch. On the main track or on the turf, pay close attention to horses making significant drops in class. While on paper they may have an obvious advantage over some more modest rivals, there could be a reason their connections are seeking reduced competition.
Another key tip when handicapping races at Turf Paradise is to pay attention to which jockeys and trainers are currently experiencing success. This is a track that has a close-knit, competitive jockey colony and it can take several seasons for a rider to become established and become privy to riding for the more successful barns. Keep a close eye early in the season as to which jockey and trainer combinations are winning at a high percentage and then watch as the meet unfolds. Notice details like whether or not a big barn always uses a particular jockey and then if that rider is not on a horse for that barn, maybe look the other way.
Turf Paradise Derby
One of the biggest races that Turf Paradise hosts is the Turf Paradise Derby. Restricted to three-year-olds, the race is typically run in February and has a purse of $50,000. It is contested at a mile and a sixteenth on the dirt. Though it has a modest purse and does not have graded stakes status, the race does attract a competitive and quality field of both local horses and horses from out of town. The race has been supported by top trainers like Bob Baffert and Richard Mandella over the years.
In 2001, Startac set the stakes record when he completed the mile and a sixteenth in 1:41.72 and won by 4 ¾ lengths as the heavy favorite for trainer Simon Bray. Startac went on to be a multiple graded stakes winner.