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TUCSON, AZ—FEBRUARY 8, 2020—Quarter Horse racing returns to Tucson, Arizona this weekend.
Today (Saturday) is opening day for Rillito Park’s Winter Meet 2020. The historic park, and birthplace of Quarter Horse racing, has hosted racing for seven decades. Jaye Wells, president of the Rillito Park Foundation, said staff still gets excited ahead of a new season.
All but one of the eight races scheduled for Saturday will have a full field of eight horses, according to Wells. He said it’s the fullest field for an opening day that he can remember. This season is extended by a weekend, because Wells said there was a demand for it from fans and the American Quarter-Horse Association awarded Rillito Park Racetrack with two regional races.
The Bank of America 440 Challenge is set for Saturday, March 21. The John Deere Juvenile will close out the season on Sunday, March 22. .
Wells said the appearance will benefit the on-going partnership the park has with the University of Arizona and its interns.
"They play an instrumental part in that and we're proud of that, he said. "What's really rewarding is you see some of these students that graduate, and they were interns here and now they're in some of the top positions in the racing industry all over the world."
The Roulon Goodman Maiden Stakes (not black type), a $9,000 event for 3-year-old an older Quarter Horses will run as the feature race (7) on Sunday at 300 yards.
Gone Dashin For Cash, a 5-year-old son of Gone To The Mountain has been installed as the slight morning-line favorite at 9-5. J.J. Munoz will saddle with R.C. Gamez getting the riding call for owner Jorge Valenzuela. Post for Race 7 is 4:30 p.m. (MST).
Post time on Saturday, and each race day for the next seven weekends, will be 1:30 p.m. (MDT). Gates open at 10 a.m. General admission is $5 and clubhouse tickets are $10.