Phoenix racetrack forced to pay over $150K for safety issues, penalty fees
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A popular Phoenix racetrack will have to fork over $150,000 after the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority found safety issues with the facility and officials failing to pay penalty fees. Turf Paradise must pay assessed fees and fines totaling $155,611 and pay up by May 3.
According to the order, the raceway will have to repair issues with the facilities rails, including all junctures between panels on the rails, so they run together, fixing all gaps or sharp edges. Officials must secure the rails along the track and cover them with protective padding and covering. Turf Paradise officials also agreed to restore an area previously used for veterinarians checking out the horses and hire a farrier, a person who trims and shoes horses’ hooves. The farrier will then check and monitor that the horseshoes comply with the rules. The order says officials were penalized for not paying fees in 2022 and will be ordered to pay nearly $52,000 a month from March to May.
Last June, an Arizona’s Family investigation uncovered an alarming number of racehorse deaths at the track. Nationwide, an average of 1.39 racehorses died per 1,000 race starts. In Arizona, it was 2.54 per 1,000 starts. The Arizona Racing Commission found from June 1, 2021, to May 31, 2022, 42 horses died at Turf Paradise.
Vince Francia, the general manager of Turf Paradise, told Arizona’s Family Investigates that the horses’ injuries and deaths weren’t related to the turf or track surface. Francia previously said the track was investigating whether the number of races affected the injuries.
The racetrack released the following statement Wednesday morning:
If the violations aren’t fixed, another hearing will be held on March 16.
Editor’s Note: The headline and body of the story was changed to reflect assessed fees and fines owed by Turf Paradise.
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