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Turf Paradise Opens 50th Season

30 September 2005

ARIZONA – As reported by the East Valley Tribune: "In an area where a 20-year-old shopping mall nearly rates as an historical landmark, Turf Paradise has everything beat. The Phoenix track opens its 50th season of racing today.

"That means the track dates back to a sleepy time when the Valley's population was about 500,000, not much more than present-day Mesa.

"…The track claims live attendance of more than 3,000 per day, and an average handle (the amount wagered) of $2.1 million per day. About 75 percent of the bets come from 1,200 off-track sites (including 60 in Arizona) that carry the races on TV.

"About 2,200 horses are based at Turf, where about 500 are employed during racing season, not counting the hundreds of owners, trainers, jockeys and exercise riders who congregate around the track, according to Turf's literature.

"More than mere numbers, the track — big enough to be recognizable in the industry but small enough where regulars know each other — seems to grab hold of people…"

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