Management at Turf Paradise Race Course in Phoenix reported no problems yesterday in filling races or naming riders for its Sunday card, the first day of a proposed nationwide walkout by members of the Jockeys' Guild.
Trainers entered 86 horses for nine live races at the Arizona track. Riders included the track's second leading rider, Mark Hanna, according to track publicist Vince Francia. However, leading jockey Scott Stevens and several other Guild members did not accept mounts.
Turf Paradise, which takes entries on a 72-hour basis, is the first ,, of about dozen tracks that are scheduled to race Sunday to publish its card. Most of the others, including Laurel Park, will take Sunday's entries tomorrow.
"Although we passed the first test, it's a bittersweet result," said Lonny Powell, general manager at Turf Paradise. "But it was critical to remove any doubt in the minds of our fans that racing would go on on Jan. 1."
Turf Paradise is not a member of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, the organization of track owners that is involved in contract talks with the Jockeys' Guild.
John Giovanni, the guild's national manager, said "we've always maintained that it's up to the jockeys to make individual decisions whether or not they're going to ride. Some guild jockeys might ride, but I think you'll find most of the riders [at Turf Paradise] are ones you've never heard of before."
With three days remaining until the Jan. 1 deadline, no movement was reported yesterday by either side.
NOTE: Buddy Mays, president of Local 27 of the United Food and Commercial Workers' Union, which represents about 750 track employees, said talks have been slow, but some progress is being made in negotiations with Laurel/Pimlico management. The union and the tracks have a tentative agreement to extend current contract talks until Jan. 3 instead of the original Dec. 31 deadline. Mays said talks "got back on track yesterday and I'm meeting again with [track president] Joe De Francis today."