Turf Paradise recorded its best race meet in 48 years by posting gains in both on and off track handle and attendance figures as the 167-day live race meet came to a close May 16 at the Phoenix, Arizona, track.Both on and off track attendance showed increases. On track attendance rose 4%, 340,766 to 354,379; OTB attendance 6%, 413,329 to 438,868. Combined attendance was up 6%, 754,095 to 793,247."It was a very good season," said Turf Paradise owner Jerry Simms, who purchased the track in 2000. "The indicators tell us that horse racing is alive, well and growing in Arizona."
All sources of handle also reflected increases. On track wagering rose 2%, $49,467,148 to $50,697,546. In state OTB jumped 6%, from $78,579,900 to $83,562,429, for a combined 5% increase in in-state handle, from $128,259,975 to a record $134,259,975.Out of state handle followed in-state gains by increasing 4%, from $158,990,966 to $165,799,435. All sources handle rose 5% to $300,059,410 compared to previous year's $287,038,014.