TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Rillito Park finished horse racing season Sunday evening.
After a record-breaking season, Rillito Park Foundation President Jaye Wells says they will use the off-season to make repairs to the barns and improve the facility with a $1 million grant.
"Immediately after the close, the work starts for next year," said Wells. "We are going to be building our barns back up, improving the facility, it won't happen in year one but pretty soon you will see new paint and polish and we are really excited the board of supervisors had confidence in us that we brought a great little product back to Tucson."
In addition to the last day of races during the season, jockey Larry Gamez shares that these were his last races at the racetrack.
"I'm turning 55 so my body is telling me to stop and mind tells me to go so I got to listen to my body," said Gamez, who has been racing horses for 40 years.
Gamez has placed first 12 times already in 2017 and over his whole career placed first nearly 750 times, according to Equibase.com.
"The best thing about life is being on the horse," he said. "You can forget about everything, you know their adrenaline is going and just trying to get on that horse and making them go a little faster and to beat all of them... It is really exciting."
Wells says the park has a contract to continue racing until 2021.