Horse Race Tracks in Arizona
Horses have traditionally been a big part of the American West, where tough little ponies were needed to help drive vast herds of cattle across the plains. And where you have horses, you have horse racing. Marking its 60th anniversary in 2016 the focus of thoroughbred racing in Arizona has long been Turf Paradise in Phoenix, while the spirit of the cowboys who started it all can still be found at Tucson’s Rillito Park, known as the birthplace of quarter horse racing.
Live Arizona Horse Racing
Whether you’re in the booming state capitol of Phoenix, or down the highway in more laid-back Tucson, you have a chance to catch great live horse racing action throughout the winter and early spring.
Carved out of the desert in what was at the time empty land north of the city, Turf Paradise was the dream of local Phoenix businessman and horse owner Walter Cluer. Opened in 1956, Turf Paradise is the home of the Turf Paradise Derby and Phoenix Gold Cup.
Now operated under the direction of the Rillito Park Foundation, Rillito Downs continues its 25-year tradition of horse racing in Tucson. Primarily the home of quarter horse racing, the track has undergone a series of upgrades, including improvements to the track surface and the construction of new barns.