Horse racing to return to Rillito Park next month - Tucson News Now

Horse racing to return to Rillito Park next month

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By Mary Rinker, Tucson News Now intern

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Horse racing will begin in the New Year with a bang when it returns to Rillito Park Race Track Saturday, Feb. 8.

Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing will run on weekends from Feb. 8 through March 30 and betting will be available for all races, according to race track officials.

Self-parking is free and admission starts at $5 for general grandstand seating. Gates open at 11 a.m. and post time is at 1 p.m.

Children under 12 are allowed in free to the grandstand and clubhouse, which contains a full restaurant and bar. The grandstand hosts snack and beverage bars on both levels.

The Rillito Race Track is the founding spot for much of Quarter Horse Racing's most recognizable traits and was the first regulated quarter horse facility in the United States.

The track was founded in 1943 by four Tucson-area locals: Bob Locke, Mel Haskell, J. Rukin Jelks and Jake Meyer. The four men created the American Quarter Horse Racing Association which establishes regulations and holds a registry. They created the first "chute" track, a straightaway that turns into an oval, which is the basis for all Quarter Horse tracks today.

The now popular "photo finish" camera system which helps identify winners of close races was first put into place at the Rilltio, as well as pari-mutual betting.

For more information about Rillito Park Race Track, and/or race times and betting options you can call the track at (520) 293-5011.

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