The 131-day meet will run from October 13 thru May 5. Racing will be conducted primarily on a 5-day a week basis, Saturday thru Wednesday. Gates open at 11am and the first post time is 12:55. Grandstand admission is $3, Clubhouse and Turf Club $5 and general parking is free.
Turf Paradise will also be holding ceremonies throughout opening day honoring veterans, Native America veterans and first responders in addition to offering free grandstand admission to veterans, active military, as well as police officers and fire fighters. Beneficiaries of these events will be MCLEF (Marine Corp Law Enforcement Foundation) and the Southwest Indian Foundation.
“Opening Day is a festive, celebrating the return of the horses,” said track general manger Vincent Francia. “We felt it appropriate to use the occasion to recognize and honor those that have served and those who keep us safe on a daily basis.”
Robbie Junk will sit in a Racing Secretary’s chair he’s totally familiar with, having served in that capacity at this track in 2000 and as assistant Racing Secretary until 2011. Since that year Junk has served as Racing Secretary for Sunland Park and since 2016 for Canterbury Downs.
The new wager, which will be seeded with a guaranteed $25,000 carryover pool beginning opening day, is the Grand Canyon Pick 6. The 20¢ wager is identical to a regular Pick 6 – picking the winners of six consecutive winners – but with a twist and the lure of a bigger payoff. The Grand Canyon Pick 6 carryover pool is paid out only when there is one winning combination. However, consolation payoffs are paid out daily to winning ticket holders.
A $2 million stakes program will be highlighted by the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile, January 12, The $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup, February 9 and the $50,000 Turf Paradise Derby, February 16. The Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders’ Day, which features six state-bred stakes worth $185,000, will be held April 20.