Rillito Racing, Pima County agree on new operating contract

Rillito Racing, owned by the Rillito Park Foundation, has reached an agreement to continue racing operations in Pima County until June 2021.

The Pima County Board recently voted unanimously to keep Rillito Racing in operation for another four years, the county said on its website. The contract includes a $1 million investment which will go toward the infrastructure improvements at the racetrack.

Rillito Racing handles all official horse racing in Pima County, which includes thoroughbred and quarter horse races. The winter season starts Feb. 11 and ends March 19.

A $1 million grant to improve the racetrack was contingent upon on Rilito Racing obtaining the new operating agreement contract.

In recent years, work at Rillito Regional Park consisted of the demolition of obsolete barns in an effort to create room for new soccer fields. Some of the grant will be used to update and improve the barns that are still on the property. Funds will also be set aside to pay for any future facility improvements approved by the County Board.

Besides hosting horse races, Rillito Regional Park serves as a public venue for farmer's markets, concerts and other local events. The park is known for its 11 sports fields and is conveniently located near "The Loop" which has over 100 miles of trails for bicycles and other modes of recreational transportation.

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