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Turf Paradise, Phoenix

3.6
#1 of 9 in Fun & Games in Phoenix
Casino Horse Track
Turf Paradise is a thoroughbred and quarter horse racetrack in the North Mountain section of Phoenix, Arizona in the United States.HistoryIn 1954 businessman Walter Cluer, a successful millwork company founder and manufacturer from Phoenix, purchased 1400acre of barren desert at what is now Bell Road and 19th Avenue. Cluer, who was also a horse owner, dreamt of building a first-class race track in Phoenix.Many locals thought Cluer's ambitious project was ill-timed and destined to fail, given that the property was 25mi from downtown Phoenix, and that the only way to get there was via a few badly maintained dirt roads. However, he forged ahead and on January 7, 1956, Turf Paradise opened its doors to great success. Cluer remained as head of the track for nearly 25 years.In 1980, Herb Owens took over and Turf Paradise entered into a phase of renovation. A seven-furlong infield turf course with a one mile (1.6 km) and one-eighth chute was added. The Clubhouse was enlarged and a Turf Club with penthouse-style Directors’ Suite and outdoor patio was also added.Turf Paradise’s third owner, Robert Walker of Scottsdale, Arizona had made a fortune with an aerospace company he had founded and sold. He purchased the track in 1989 and moved it into the gambling field of off-track betting. Walker’s formula seemed to be the right approach at the right time, as he retired the track’s outstanding debt and declared the first-ever dividend for Turf Paradise stockholders. In addition, Walker and a consortium of horse racing interests successfully lobbied the Arizona Legislature to legalize off track betting (OTB). The in-state OTB network is perhaps Walker’s most significant contribution to the track and Arizona’s racing industry. What started out as a single OTB site in little Cave Creek (pop. 4,000) in 1991, has now grown to over 45 in-state OTBs and over 900 out-of-state locales, located in six different countries.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
109 reviews
Google
4.2
  • The building looks tired and in sore need of some updating, and there's narrow old-fashioned turnstile entry before you get to the pretty landscaping and such flowerbeds. Inside it's all very shabby, ...  more »
  • We. Is it and stay on one of the VIP rooms was fun nothing extraordinary that caught our attention - the place was ok - fairly maintained the entrance staff members were very pleasant and helpful. The...  more »
  • not the prettiest track around but went for derby day and was very crowded. Would not eat there, it is like typical bar food.  more »
Google
  • I love Turf Paradise. Horse racing is an amazing thrill. The only drawbacks to this location is the fact that it's old and not well kept. The indoors needs a new coat if paint, new chairs, the floor waxed and cleaned, the bathrooms cleaned up and an all around good cleaning. I would love to clean and fix this place up and make it look nice again. It's a great place to have a wonderful day with the races but the place is old and falling apart. Still love coming here when we have a few extra bucks to play with every now and again.
  • A shell of its former glory. .fun time if your a racing fan..but the track itself is getting worn and the grandstand area needs a serious make over. ..used to be packed..not so much anymore. ..otb has slowly killed this great race track. .
  • Great thoroughbred fun on a run down, dated track with 1990s TVs and betting machines. I'm an avid racehorse fan from Jersey so we're comparing state of the art facilities to this old one. Don't expect much in the way of services or food other than a few bars and the generic hot dog, hamburger, pretzel type of concession. Even on Saturdays, there's a small crowd on hand to watch live racing. Most of their business is simulcast. Racing is racing and its the only track around so go and enjoy it.
  • I absolutely love Turf Paradise, I'll put it right up there with any of the best tracks in the country. And I've been to a lot of them I am a true horse racing fan.
  • Always a blast, come here often. Get box seats, you won't regret it. Inexpensive and entertaining.

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