About the Track
Pari-mutuel wagering has been allowed by Arizona State laws since 1935. In 1944 Tucson Greyhound Park was opened and operated in the County of Pima for the 60 days allowed by the laws of the time. These early days of racing in Arizona consisted of a “racing circuit” which moved from county to county to race the allotted days allowed by the current laws.
The county racing grew from 60 days per year to 90 days, then 120 days to finally the 180 days allowed in the early 1970’s. Racing locations included, Yuma, Phoenix, Apache Junction, Amado and Tucson Greyhound Park as the major stops. This early “racing circuit” was operated by the Funks’ Greyhound Racing Circuit, Inc. which was owned by the Funk brothers and Delaware North Company. In 1976 the state laws were changed and the “racing circuit” was divested thus ending the monopoly ownership of Arizona tracks.
In 1981, Tucson Greyhound Park and the Amado Greyhound Park were sold to George Gillett of Nashville. The landmark law change of 1982 made year round racing legal in Arizona. After the 1982 Amado Greyhound Park season the track was closed to allow for year round racing at Tucson Greyhound park beginning in 1983. At this time the State of Arizona began the state lottery. In 1987 George Gillett sold the Tucson Greyhound Park to the current owners – Joseph Zappala and Robert Consolo, Jr.
Legislation in 1991 allowed the opening of Off-track Betting sites (OTB) throughout the State. An agreement was reached by the pari-mutuel permit holders (both horse and greyhound racing) that allowed for Tucson Greyhound Park and Rillito Park to have one OTB site each within Pima County while Phoenix Greyhound Park and Turf Paradise Horse Track are allowed unlimited sites in all other counties. Tucson Greyhound Park opened it’s OTB at the Wild Wild West on Ina Road in the fall of 1991.
The 1994 legislative session passed a law allowing for unlimited OTB sites in Pima County only for Tucson Greyhound Park and Rillito Park. Tucson Greyhound Park now has 7 OTB sites in the Tucson area. The OTB’s are located at Jeff Pubs, Kappys, Sports Page Lounge, Famous Sams (Central, East), Old Father, and the Keys.
During the 50 years of continuous greyhound racing at Tucson Greyhound Park, we have had six of the top 25 all-time leading greyhound race winner’s race our track. JR’s Ripper is the number one all-time leading race winner with 143 victories during JR’s Ripper’s racing career. JR’s Ripper retired from racing here at Tucson Greyhound Park in 1986 and was inducted into the prestigious Greyhound Hall of Fame in 1992. The five other top race winners were:
4th All-Time Leader Sarah Cap – 120 wins
10th All-Time Leader Frontier TJ DJ – 109 wins
12th All-Time Leader Lurcher Boy – 107 wins
21st All-Time Leader K.A. Clover – 98 wins
25th All-Time Leader Cut Off – 95 wins
ONLY Tucson Greyhound Park’s President or Vice President have any authority to create obligations for Tucson Greyhound Park. No other person has the authority to obligate Tucson Greyhound Park in any way.