When Turf Paradise is celebrates 63 years in Arizona January 12th it will salute another Arizona treasure, radio and racing pioneer Ray Odom. Ray came to the Valley in the early 50’s as a radio programmer who went on to own two radio stations. He was also a concert promoter who counted Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra among his friends.
Ray’s other passion
has always been horse racing. He continues to train horses to this
day at Turf Paradise. His association with the track goes back
decades. In 1960 he set up a studio at Turf and broadcast the races
live until 1975. Odom will be signing copies of his book, “A
Lifetime of Radio, Records, and Racehorses” from noon to 2pm at
Clubhouse gift shop.
Turf Paradise General Manager Vince Francia said, “Ray has been and continues to be a compelling chapter in the history of Turf Paradise. That’s in addition to his legendary status as a broadcaster and concert promoter. To say this man has done it all would be an understatement.”
Turf’s anniversary party also includes free tote bags for the first 4,000 paid admissions and a $10,000 contribution to the Glendale Union High School District as part of the track’s #ThroroughbredForEd initiative.
In addition to a full card of live horseracing there’s also live music, a kids fun park, free birthday cake, and $3 aluminum bottled beer. Grandstand admission is $3 and kids 16 and under get in free. Grandstand admission is free for teachers with valid ID.
The birthday party also features one of the premier races of the season named after one of the track’s most iconic fans. The $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile is named in honor of the late Phoenix Suns coach who was an avid racing fan and a regular at the track.
The season also includes:
Sundays featuring Mexican food and
music the last Sunday of every month.
- Super Saturday February 9th
- Wiener Dog Races March 9th
- Fan Appreciation Day March 23rd
- Cornhole Tournament April 6th
- Kentucky Derby Party May 4th
Who: Turf ParadiseWhat: 63rd Anniversary Party
When: Saturday, January 12. Gates open at 11a.m.
Where: Turf Paradise 1501 West Bell Road
Why: To celebrate 63 seasons of horseracing in Arizona
How Much: Grandstand admission is just $3
More Info: Call (602) 942-1101/ Online www.turfparadise.com
Turf Paradise opened its doors in 1956 and has operated at the same location at 19th Ave and bell Road ever since. Turf Paradise is Arizona’s first sports franchise and features live racing through May 5th.