08/26/2009 11:00PM

Turf Paradise gets record stall inquiries


A record 3,600 applications for 2,000 available stalls were received by Turf Paradise as the Phoenix track gets ready to open its 54th meet. The 156-day stand begins Oct. 2 and runs through May 2, 2010.

There will be 30 new trainers with stalls this meet, hailing from places such as Kentucky, Iowa, and Michigan, the track said.

Turf Paradise and other racetracks in Arizona have been pushing to get slot machines, and the track's owner, Jerry Simms, said the number of stall applications may be a reflection of horsemen anticipating future purse boosts from slots money.

Turf Paradise also has replanted the turf course with a type of grass that has deep roots, which for the first time will allow grass racing right from the start of the meet. The goal, according to the track's president and general manager, Eugene Joyce, is to offer 25 percent more grass races over the course of the stand.