The latest missive in an ongoing game of epistolary ping-pong between the Arizona horsemen and Turf Paradise management has seen the track re-affirm their proposal to stage a race-meet this winter. ... the proposal comes with caveats. The first is a previously stated desire: That the $2.1 million the Arizona Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (AZHBPA) moved from the Turf Paradise horseman’s account into its own account be returned.
[A letter from TuP to horsemen] said, in essence, if you want us to open Turf Paradise for an abbreviated race meeting in 2021, you'll have to find another organization besides the Arizona Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to represent you. Either that, or the current board and executive director of the Arizona HBPA can resign, and then we'll consider opening for a live meet in January.
“Simms is trying to do the same thing with the horsemen that he did with the racing commission a while ago: divide and conquer,” said Robert Hutton, president of the Arizona HBPA. “His move to get rid of the HBPA is because he doesn't want anyone holding him to a standard.”
Jerry Simms, owner of Turf Paradise Race Course, has donated $1 million to the Arizona Coronavirus Relief Fund. The fund, part of the Arizona Together initiative established by Governor Doug Ducey, provides financial support for organizations working to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, including funding of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline medical personnel, supporting non-profit organizations that help vulnerable Arizonans through food banks, homeless shelters and domestic violence facilities, among other services.