About Turf Paradise

History of Turf Paradise

In 1954, Phoenix businessman Walter Cluer purchased 1,400 acres of barren desert which is now 19th Avenue & Bell Road with a vision. He wanted to build a first class race track in Phoenix. Only with his passion & dream Turf Paradise became a reality.
Turf Paradise opened its doors January 7, 1956, making Valley history as the first organized professional sports franchise in Arizona. Hosting only five owners in 50+ years Turf Paradise was purchased by Jerry Simms, a self-made successful valley businessman.
Simms invested in a multimillion dollar renovation plan for the Clubhouse and Turf Club as well as renovating the main & turf track.

In 2003, Simms built a 30’x60’ state-of-the-art equine pool for the training & therapy of the 2,200 horses which call Turf Paradise their home during the season. Property enhancement is always in Simms’ mind with the Turf Paradise Marketplace hosting an upscale Super Walmart and Sam’s Club opened in early 2007.

Turf Paradise entrances now greet fans with stunning 90 foot marquees at both entrances connecting Turf Paradise Road through the property from Bell Road to 19th Ave.

Entering our 57th Season, Turf Paradise is now the 3rd largest sports attraction in the State & holds court to one of the longest seasons of Thoroughbred racing in the country. The track length is a seven-furlong infield turf course with a one mile and one-eighth chute. Turf Paradise has developed an in state OTB system with over 60 sites.
The Turf Paradise races show in 2000 locations in 40 different countries.

Turf Paradise offers a place for everyone. From our fine dining, VIP, Directors’ & Turf Club to our Grandstand & Park Pavilion filled with concessions, there’s fun for all!

Nestled in our lushly landscaped grounds and surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges, you’ll be thrilled by the heart-pounding excitement of live Thoroughbred racing and think you truly are in Paradise.