Update: February, 2018. A 4 year extension has been granted to Rillito Race Track. Race dates for 2017 are over 6 weekends this year, Feb. 10 - March 18. IF you love the Race Track as we do, plan on going and/or donating. Here is our time at the meet in 2016.
March, 2016 - Horse racing at Rillito Park has never been better, but the future of this historic site remains in the balance. Backers, sponsors and fans and the U of A are working tirelessly to keep this venue a part of quintessential Tucson.
Rillito Racetrack is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the "Birthplace" of the photo finish and quarterhorse racing. Bob Baffert of Americal Pharoah fame is a graduate of the UofA's Racetrack Management program. Students of this program are taking part in this year's races.
New paint, a new concessioner, El Charro, and a good staff make this quite a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The menu is limited, but the Burgers, Fries, taquitos, nachos and margaritas are quite tasty. Ms. Karen & I, along with friends, enjoy the ponies at least one Saturday or Sunday afternoon in February or March. Horse racing is exciting, especially if you have a wager on these magnificent animals.
Rillito's racing seasons includes both quarter horse and thoroughbred racing. We always get a table in the historic old clubhouse where we can enjoy food, drink, and camaraderie in comfort. It amazes me how inexpensive the clubhouse is. Particularly considering the grand view of the races with the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains in the background.
Even better, this year we purchased a Clubhouse Pass ... $35 worth of items we would otherwise purchase, but for only $25; including vouchers for admission, food & drink, parking and a wager. You can buy Clubhouse Passes online. However, be aware that they do not include the price of a Clubhouse table. This year a table is $40.
Our friends, Wendy & Richard visiting from Alberta, had never been to any horse race. But it did not take them long to get into the spirit of the event. I lost $$$ on each of the first 4 races. However, it must have been "beginner's luck" 'cause Richard could not lose.
When all was said and done, Richard made his way back to the car with wads of cash winnings in his pockets. I, on the other hand, won just enough to cover our lunch and drinks. And I consider that a very satisfying day at the races.
The 2017 season runs February 11 - March 20th. 6 weekends. Go! Enjoy! Rillito Park horse racing ... highly recommended.