Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is Home to All
Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is Arizona’s third largest sports attraction today having already established itself as the state’s first professional sports franchise even before baseball and basketball came upon the scene. As a world-class sports betting venue, it is home to more than 2,000 thoroughbreds and quarter horses along with their owners and trainers. Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise provides thrilling entertainment for people of all ages with a focus on family-friendly events that continue to please one and all. There is so much to know and love about this premier horse training and racing facility that it needs to be revealed thoughtfully and thoroughly as it is for you here.
The story of Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise could be characterized as a dream come true from which the dreams of many others who follow also get fulfilled. Whether this is the guest who attends the races and wins a bet, the owners of the magnificent horses who happen upon a winning steed that continues to deliver on the purse, or the couple who get married at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise, the possibilities for making wishes and dreams come true are many.
From the Dream to the Reality
In 1954, the Deer Valley of Arizona was still mostly barren desert land and dirt roads. Statehood for Arizona had occurred only 42 years prior in 1912. For perspective, that was the same year the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, the British passenger liner Titanic sank in the North Atlantic and abstract impressionist painter Jackson Pollock was born.
It was there in the Deer Valley, about 25 miles from the state’s capital, that Phoenix businessman Walter Cluer focused on a 1,400-acre plot of land. Here, he envisioned a dream: To build a first-class horse racing track. He went ahead and purchased the land, against the judgment of others at the time. Two years later, he opened the gates of Turf Paradise to rousing success in 1956, coincidentally, the same year painter Jackson Pollock passed on.
The Desires of the Few Have Served the Many
Walter Cluer was at the helm of Turf Paradise for nearly 25 years before Herb Owens bought it in 1980. With an eye for furthering the success of the track, he pursued renovations that brought it up to par with other racing venues across the country. He first added an infield turf course that is seven furlongs including a 1 1/8th mile chute.
With a turf course, then, there needed to be a Turf Club, so he proceeded to enlarge the Clubhouse by introducing an upscale Turf Club including a penthouse-style Directors’ Suite known as the “Top of the Park.” Today, it is the most exclusive area at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise for special events, hosting groups of 50 to 200 people. Situated on the fourth level of the main building, it boasts a most spectacular scenic view of the grounds and the splendor of the surrounding mountains both from inside the club and from the outdoor patio.
Innovation Brought Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise into the Modern Era
After these upgrades, the third owner to come along was Scottsdale resident Robert Walker. He saw a great opportunity when he purchased the track in 1989, after making his fortune from selling his aerospace company. Walker must have been basking in the serendipitous nature of Turf Paradise because his pursuit of off-track betting (OTB) was a move that brought the track into the gambling field in a way that made legislative history.
It had to be kismet or simply being at the right place at the right time because Walker’s formula allowed him to close out the track’s outstanding debt resulting in its first time ever dividend paid out to Turf Paradise stockholders. If that weren’t enough, Walker aligned himself with a consortium of racing interests who lobbied the Arizona legislature who, in turn, legalized OTB.
The significance of this action is as powerful as the introduction of pari-mutuel betting back in 1908, which literally turned horse racing around. The prevalent anti-gambling sentiment during the early 1900s led nearly all states in the Union to ban bookmaking. Before pari-mutuel wagering, bookmaking was the method of calculating odds, taking bets and paying out the winnings.
Although thoroughbred racing in the United States had been a popular sport for nearly 300 years by the middle of the 20th century, organized horse racing did not actually begin until 1868. The next bump in the popularity of horse racing did not come along until horses began to win the Triple Crown, consisting of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise has benefited greatly from what began as a single, in-state OTB network that has today grown to more than 60 in-state OTBs with more than 900 out-of-state connections in over six countries.
Success Draws Attention to Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise
When a business makes a go of things, it is bound to draw the attentions of big money. This is what occurred in 1994 when the track was bought up in a stock acquisition by none other than the California-based Hollywood Park Racetrack. This has given Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise a corporate face, at that time, under the chairmanship of R.D. Hubbard. This was also a time when numerous Native American in-state casino gaming concerns presented intense competition. Despite all of that, Turf Paradise still flourished making record handle numbers.
This period of the track’s history set the stage for the next and current owner, Jerry Simms. A self-made millionaire, Jerry Simms laid out $53 million in June of 2000 and put his mark on the track by expanding the name to Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise. He then proceeded to spend millions of more dollars on what was more of a remodel than a renovation plan. His re-style renovation planned for Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise included the addition of two race book-style betting stalls or carrels accommodating 80 private terminals; one located within the Clubhouse and the other adjacent to the Turf Club. Simms also gave both the main track and turf course a face lift.
Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise Goes State of the Art
There is little question that the improvements and investment Simms has made to Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise have been transformational. What was truly groundbreaking was the addition of the $125,000 equine swimming pool in the summer of 2003.
Located in the same area as the stables, this 30- by 60-foot pool provides the 2,200 thoroughbreds and quarter horses housed on the backside of Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise a modern-day, advanced means of horse hydrotherapy. With a depth of 12 feet, it holds 140,000 gallons of water and can accommodate as many as six horses at one time. The effect was immediate, making a positive impact on equine health. It is an element that draws owners and trainers to Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise who seek the best for their prize mounts.
Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise Branches Out
Jerry Simms is not one to be satisfied with things as they are. Even though Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise was certainly on a very healthy footing by 2004, he saw more opportunity at the venue and purchased the very busy property adjacent to the track. The intersection of 19th Avenue and Bell Road was prime real estate for commercial development.
The addition of a Super Walmart and Sam’s Club was a natural. The additional traffic meant more interest from the public and particularly families. It was a no-brainer in 2016 to make use of Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise in the off-season by hosting the Arizona Mile, a stop on the championship series of the American Flat Track motorcycle racing. You can look forward to this racing series running the week following the end of the horse racing season, which is one of the longest thoroughbred seasons in the nation.
The Careful Handling of Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise
The track has only had five owners in over 60 years of its existence, and yet, with each transition, new ownership contributed significantly positive changes. These owners shared entrepreneurial vision while maintaining an interest in the success of Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise. Jerry Simms himself is a dedicated family man, and the present course of events at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is geared toward family-friendly fun and excitement, whether it’s a heart-pounding day at the races or any of the other inclusive special events regularly occurring.
There is Something for Everyone at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise
While betting on the races is the main purpose of a race track, when the venue is as unique as Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise, there is an attraction for everyone. The Grandstand and Park Pavilion provide general audiences with a cavalcade of concessions and an up-close view of the action. The Directors’ Suite and Turf Club offer a fine dining experience for VIPs and private parties, if desired. Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is also a fine venue for weddings with its beautiful landscaping and breathtaking backdrop of the desert and mountains. Group and corporate events are continually hosted with plenty of special days to treat your group or party to something extraordinary to show your appreciation and to make a memorable event.
Super Saturday at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise
Super Saturday at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is held in February and happens to be the biggest day for Arizona horse racing.
There are three stakes races, which are:
- The $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup
- The $30,000 Turf Paradise Handicap
- The $30,000 Sun City Handicap
In addition to these races, there is the Budweiser Classic featuring some of the finest thoroughbreds in the Southwest. Bring the family because this day also spotlights a Bulldog Fashion Show parading the latest in canine fashion under the Pavilion Tent. Track fans also get the unique opportunity for a meet-and-greet on the track apron with Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise Jockey Colony.
There are also:
- Live music
- A BBQ tent
- $3.00 bottled beer
- Pony rides
- Face painting
- A Kids’ Fun Park complete with inflatable bounce houses
Grandstand admission for Super Saturday is only $3.00, and kids 16 years and under get in for free. Free T-shirts are given to the first 4,500 paid admissions, and if that were not enough, there is a full card of live horse racing to enjoy.
Every Season at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise Holds Special Events
Throughout the season, Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise holds Special Fiesta Sundays featuring delicious Mexican food and lively music. In March, you can mark your calendars for the Wiener Dog Races and the Camel and Ostrich Races.
During special events, gourmet buffets are served at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise including for the Breeders’ Cup Championships, the Kentucky Derby and, of course, Mother’s Day. These are hosted in the Turf Club and the Clubhouse featuring an all-day, all-you-can-eat breakfast and lunch buffet.
The whole family makes a day of it at the Kentucky Derby Party in May as the season is reaching its finale. At Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise, this famous horse race is an all-the-frills, all-the-thrills celebration with the traditional fashion judging of the ladies bonnets and sundresses, the gents in all their Kentucky finery and mint juleps to flavor the fun. Reservations are a must.
Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise has been operating continuously at the same location of 19th Ave and Bell Road. Taking advantage of the best weather anywhere, the regular season at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise starts in mid-October and runs through early May thus escaping the desert heat but also making one of the longest thoroughbred racing seasons in the country.
Plan Your Next Group Outing to be Held at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise
Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise provides beautiful private banquet rooms, private patios, and private outside track apron spaces all perfect for company events, family celebrations, holiday parties, fundraisers or any social occasion. Whether you are a group of 25 or 2500, you can count on top-notch treatment, excellent menu selections and all of this at an all-inclusive group rate.
The Facilities at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise
Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise offers accommodations for every preference. Starting with the Grandstand, it consists of three levels inside and two outside. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis with that shifting throughout the day as people come and go. The Grandstand is packed with concessions and bars throughout.
The Family Picnic Area of the Grandstand at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is positioned track-side just east of the Grandstand apron. There is a comfortable grassy area perfect for a family day out at the park. This is where the Kids’ Fun Park is staged on those days that offer Special Events.
The Party on the Rail is the latest addition to the Grandstand at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise. It is also track-side and close to the finish line. This is where you can experience the thrill of the finish up close and personal. This area provides picnic tables with umbrellas conveniently situated between two Tiki-style bars. The Group Sales Department at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is available to book a reservation for your group Party on the Rail.
Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise Clubhouse
For casual dining, you can’t beat Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise Clubhouse. With seating for 1,000 people, it is located on the second level of the main building for a beautiful view of the track offering tiered seating for four-top and two-top tables each with their own individual TV monitors to catch every moment of the action. Dress casually, but don’t be too casual about making reservations on live race days.
The Turf Club and Terrace at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise
Upscale while still offering casual fare, the Turf Club and Terrace at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is located on the third level for a bird’s eye view of the track. Able to accommodate up to 280 guests, it also offers tiered seating for two or four people, and also provides individual TV monitors at each table. Wear your business casual or Country Club attire in here and plan to reserve your seating before you come.
The Turf Club Terrace at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is a tasteful banquet facility adjacent to the Turf Club. This is where many wedding receptions are held as well as group parties, corporate meetings and other banquets. One advantage in here are the private betting windows. You can enjoy the action from the outside balcony or any one of the more than 50 TV monitors.
The Players’ Club at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise
Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise caters to the serious horse player, and the Players’ Club provides just that. With 70 private seat carrels and TV monitors, its own mutuel wagering windows and a full-service bar, this room defines the sports bar. Located on the third level just behind the Turf Club, this room has no exterior view, but then, it was not meant to. This room is for players who are not inclined to depart from their programs and betting. However, just a few steps away and into the Turf Club, players can see the live action before them. Make your reservations and plan to get down to some serious wagering in here.
The Directors’ Suite at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise
There are few areas at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise as special and exclusive as what is referred to as “Top of the Park,” and this defines the unique location in which you will find the Directors’ Suite. Occupying the fourth level of the main building at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise, this opulent room encompasses inside accommodations for up to 60 VIP guests with an additional 150 guests outside under the rooftop cover of the patio.
This is as private as you can get at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise with private wagering windows, a full-service bar and the convenience of restroom facilities. Group sales will happily reserve your spot inside Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise Directors’ Suite.
Newbies are Embraced at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise
Horse racing for newbies can be intimidating if you don’t have the help of someone knowledgeable to take you under their wing. However, at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise, you need not worry about a thing. Whether at the track or availing yourself of the nearly encyclopedic information and schooling found at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise website, you have the gentle guidance and helping hand that could have you boxing exactas and betting trifectas in no time.
Explore the New Fan Treasury at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise Website
The terms, the wagers, the program and the Daily Racing Form can all seem like Greek to someone who has not encountered them before. Under the New Fan Tab on Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise Website, you have access to what is possibly the most comprehensive guidance in a new fan tutorial as can be found anywhere in the horse racing world.
There you will find:
- The Essentials of Horse Racing
- Betting 101
- How to Read the Program
- How to Read the Racing Form
- Racing Glossary
- Responsible Wagering
Whether you decide to bet on a horse because you like the name or the color of the silks the jockey is wearing, or whether you want to immerse yourself in all the criteria and data gathered to help you place the most informed wager in each race, it is all available to you at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise. Don’t be shy about getting your feet wet; just stay out of the horses’ hydrotherapy pool.
When you begin to calculate your wagers based upon the odds or the stats contained in the Daily Racing Form that tell you how your horse has been performing, there is something indescribable about developing your working knowledge and seeing that expertise come to fruition. Start simply at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise, and only wager the minimum at first. Never wager what you cannot afford to lose.
Pretty soon, you can experience winning numerous races throughout the day at Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise. It is in this seemingly nebulous context of the lingo and the various wagers that one begins to understand what draws us all to the races. It is in the exquisite grandeur and beauty of the desert where Jerry Simms’s Turf Paradise is located that you can find the sporting fun of wagering on a field of magnificent thoroughbreds and quarter horses while enjoying the entire park, its fabulous concessions and, at the same time, experiencing the history of this unique race track.