I don't know about you, but as far as I am concerned, September had better go quickly now that it has arrived. I say this only because it just means we are exactly one month to the day from the start of my third season as the announcer at Turf Paradise in Phoenix. I have made a couple of trips out to the track to get primed for the start of the season and see what is in store for us during the 157-day season that will run from October 1 to May 6, the traditional Day After Derby finishing date.
I can tell you that Turf is planning to introduce a PK5 Play Of The Day this season where I try (normally in vain) to hit the 50-cent minimum wager. Of course, the idea behind this is to be somewhat economical in trying to hit the play, so you won't be seeing any $500 plays even on days where the track has a good-sized carryover. Usually, I will try to limit the play to something that won't be bankrupting anyone who dares follow my lead. Also, for those of you who remember the nightly PK4 Play Of The Day from my days in Houston, I can promise you there will not be any ridiculous celebratory images popping up on the video screens on those occasions I do hit the Play Of The Day.
Anyway, the big news of the off-season this year at Turf Paradise is the introduction of purse increases for the 38 Stakes races the track will be running during the 2011-2012 meeting. The marquee event of the season the Phoenix Gold Cup is going to be worth $75,000 this season, as is the Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile and the Turf Paradise Derby. The reason for these increases to the purses is the fact that Yavapai Downs didn't race this summer, so Turf Paradise was able to receive added revenue from OTB wagering in the state since Turf Paradise is currently operating that system.
It promises to be an exciting 56th season of racing at Turf Paradise in Phoenix. Hopefully, if you are in the neighborhood this winter, you can come by and visit the track and I look forward to seeing you out there. Tune in again tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!