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Racing fans receive reprieve from closure
Turf Club pic2
The Turlock Turf Club averages about 100 racing fans on any given weekend and five to six times that number for big events like the Kentucky Derby. - photo by Journal file photo

Horse racing fans will have at least a few more weeks to place their bets as a planned closure of the Turlock Turf Club has been postponed.

The Turf Club, which is owned and operated by the Stanislaus County Fair, was on the verge of shuttering its doors after more than 22 years due to a decline in revenue. Coming in to take the lead in the declining business are California of Horse Racing and Northern California Off-Track Wagering Inc., which will assume daily operations.

“We are excited to find a way to continue the operations of the Turf Club for another few weeks and are committed to finding a way to keep horse wagering in Turlock on a permanent basis,” said Matt Cranford, chief operating officer for the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.

Horse racing at California’s county and district fairs is rich in tradition and history. With its roots established long before the turn of the century, horse racing and fairs have been synonymous over the years. The current Turlock Turf Club facility, located on the north end of the fairgrounds, opened in April 1994.

Racing fans lined up to place their bets at the wagering facility when it opened in 1994, and in 2014 an average of 100 people visited the Turf Club each weekend with 500 to 600 filling the club during its annual Kentucky Derby Party.