07/18/2013 2:35PM

Turf Paradise boosts purses for 2013-14 meeting


Turf Paradise will implement a 5 percent across-the-board purse increase with a minimum purse of $6,000 for the upcoming 2013-14 season. The Phoenix track also released a roster of 40 stakes worth $1.5 million, led by three $75,000 stakes: the Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile on Jan. 18, Phoenix Gold Cup on Feb. 15, and Turf Paradise Derby on Feb. 22.

The 155-day season runs Oct. 5 through May 6, with racing conducted five days a week. While the track raced Fridays through Tuesdays the past few years, this coming season it will move to a Saturday-through-Wednesday schedule.

“Last meet, we were up 4 percent in all-sources handle, so we’re passing this along to our horsemen in purse raises,” track general manager Vince Francia said.

As for the change in racing schedule, Francia said: “Our signal plays well out of state. Our analysts tell us we generate more handle and thus more purse money by racing Wednesday instead of Friday.”

In addition, all three surfaces – the main track, training track, and turf course – have been renovated in preparation for the upcoming meet.