Turf Paradise celebrates 63 years of horse racing today with a salute to racing pioneer

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 promotor 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.”

Ray Odom was recently featured on Channel Eight’s Horizon program. Here is a link.

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…

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Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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