A Glimpse at the History of Turf Paradise
Proving to be some of the greatest success stories, the history of visionaries with grand ideas for desert lands reflect the once humble beginnings of what has developed into spectacular landmarks. Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is no less one of those fortuitous stories.
It started in 1954 when Phoenix businessman Walter Cluer purchased 1,400 barren acres. Making Valley history, his passion and dream resulted in a first-class race track, opening its gates on January 7, 1956. The track was named Turf Paradise and became the first state-recognized, professional, organized sports franchise. Today, Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is the 3rd largest sports attraction in the state of Arizona.
Hosting only five owners over the span of more than 50 years, the present owner, successful, self-made businessman Jerry Simms, purchased and took ownership of the track in the year 2000. Simms has invested millions of dollars for magnificent renovations of the Clubhouse, Turf Club and both the main and turf tracks. The main track is a one-mile oval with 6 ½ and 1 ¼ chutes. The turf course is a seven-furlong oval with a 1 1/8th-mile chute.
Possibly his greatest contribution to the property at Bell Road and 19th Avenue is the 30-foot x 60-foot state-of-the-art equine pool providing both training and therapy for the 2,200 horses stabled at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise throughout one of the longest Thoroughbred racing seasons in the country.
Attributes of Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise
Jerry Simms has transformed Turf Paradise into a world-class venue, not only for the most elite thoroughbreds and quarter horses but also for the owners, jockeys, and fans, all of whom enjoy a premier horse training and racing facility. The hydrotherapy pool is a rehabilitation resource that remains one of the single-greatest elements drawing horse owners and their prize mounts to Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona.
While many race tracks in the country struggle to engage park participation, Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise has developed an in-state off-track-betting (OTB) system with more than 60 sites. Beyond that, Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise races are shown in no less than 2,000 locations in 40 countries. That is serious international exposure.
The Grand Entrance to Grand Accommodations
Greeting guests on a grand scale, Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise entrances dazzle attendees with two stunning 90-foot marquees. Once inside, guests are met with a choice of accommodations including fine dining, the Players’ Club, the Directors’ Suite and Patio, the Turf Club and Terrace, the Clubhouse, the 3 floors of the Grandstand and the Park Pavilion loaded with concessions.
Making it Easy to Enjoy the Action
Located in and around the facilities at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise and throughout the track and park are the dozens of betting stations and high-definition flat-screen televisions and individual monitors broadcasting the races. Races are conducted with limited time between them, and wagering has a definite cut-off deadline to ensure the reliability of the bets. Having ready access to 90 different wagering stations means attendees have plenty of time to place their bets before the cut-off without getting stuck in long lines while the next race is starting.
There is Something for Everyone at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise
Part of the effort to keep attendance at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise into the millions annually is by creating a family-friendly atmosphere. Jerry Simms is a dedicated family-man who understands the value of quality time together that is both budget-friendly and family-oriented. The racing venue frequently welcomes organizations and children’s charities. The regular season at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise runs from mid-October through early May, open 7 days a week and bypasses the desert heat making the most of the beautiful Arizona weather.
The price of admission is intended to be affordable and therefore available to families that want to make a day at the races fun for all. Grandstand general admission is only $3.00 for those aged 16 years and older. Kids under 16 years of age are admitted for free. Once inside, there are plenty of seats available in the Grandstand and Family Picnic areas on a first come, first served basis. You can even pack your own picnic to enjoy in the Family Picnic area, minus alcoholic beverages, of course. For those who want to experience the Clubhouse or Turf Club, admission is still very low at $4.00 to $5.00 each for anyone older than 16 years.
Kids are given the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with quarter horses and thoroughbreds as well as ride ponies and meet the jockeys who race at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise. Those who want to sit right next to the track for a close-up experience of the power of the races can make reservations for the Party on the Rail. This is a section of Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise located alongside the finish rail where attendees experience the thunderous finale of each race. There is also access to a private bar area, here.
Special Events and Promotions
In every way that he could manage it, Jerry Simms has orchestrated events at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise to provide the best possible opportunities to enjoy horse racing at its finest. This includes special event all-day buffets at the track presented for your enjoyment of such grand races as the Breeder’s Cup and the Triple Crown comprising the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. If that were not enough, you can celebrate Mother’s Day with gourmet buffets in both the Turf Club and the Clubhouse. Just be sure to call for your reservations in advance.
Sports Fans Get More for their Allegiance
Turf Paradise was Arizona’s first professional sports franchise even before the arrival of professional football, baseball or basketball. Expanding on fan appreciation for both professional and collegiate games, Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise honors your game ticket stubs in exchange for free Grandstand admission with the only exclusion on Kentucky Derby Day. So, don’t toss your game ticket stubs; hang on to them to trade in for a great day at the races.
Two Grandstand Tickets with Race Package
Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise also networks with the Living Social website, a great place to gain on tremendous deals of all kinds. The deal you can get through Living Social for Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise includes half-price Grandstand admission for two to watch, wager and win including racing programs and food and beverage.
For Those New to the Horse Racing Experience
If you are new to horse racing, and you don’t happen to know a veteran of the sport who might accompany you to the races or at least give you a primer on the basics, you need not feel left out of the fundamentals. Under the New Fan tab found on the Turf Paradise website, you will find all you need to know to navigate the ins and outs and particulars on how to wager at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise race track.
You can start with The Five Essentials of Horse Racing, which gives you an overview of each of the following:
- The Horse
- The Jockey
- The Trainer
- The Owner
- The Fan
Betting 101 gives you a comprehensive overview of all the essentials of horse racing including:
- How to read the program
- How to read the racing form
- The racing glossary
- How to bet
- All the different types of bets you can place
- Sample of a mutual ticket
- How to read the infield tote board
While wagering is great fun from which we all derive great excitement when the sensation outweighs reasonable and responsible wagering, this level of engagement is also what can lead to problem gambling. For this reason, Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is committed to promoting responsible wagering, and participating in the improvement of prevention, intervention and the treatment of problem gambling.
A day at the races is an all-encompassing adventure, from the splendor of the premises to the excitement and anticipation gained in betting on and watching the races to the feast of food and beverage offerings for fending off hunger and thirst so you can fully enjoy the entire day to the point at which you finally walk away counting all your winnings. Even if you are not seasoned at wagering, the likelihood of paying for your food and beverage with your winnings is a high probability.
At Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise, you are part of the action at a world renown racing venue. From a barren patch of dirt to today’s upscale, ultramodern racing facility, you are present at the home to more than 2,000 elite racing horses. Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise holds the distinctive reputation for providing innovative veterinarian care to these world-class mounts while remaining a family-oriented environment.
Millions of guests pass through the gates at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise every year. From the races to the Special Events to the Gift Shop to the fabulous food and beverage to the wide array of accommodations to make your day at the races a special time for you and yours, Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is sure bet as one of Arizona’s leading tourist attractions. When next considering what to do during the mellow weather seasons in the Valley, why not make it a point to visit the third overall in the Top 25 sports venues and come experience Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise? You’ll be glad you did.