Hailey Shiffer is used to a race starting with cheers from the crowd and excitement in the air as horses take off from their starting gates.

She was the assistant general manager for the 2023 winter meet at the Rillito Racetrack and is already looking forward to the 2024 season.

However, there will be a change in their upcoming season because a new Arizona law that just went into effect requires one race a day of each meeting to be for Arizona bred horses only.

If they cant have at least five horses that are Arizona bred, then that race would be an open race, but Arizona bred horses would have to be a preference.

Arizona, I think it can do a lot more to promote the Arizona bred, Shiffer said.

She said sometimes the Rillito Racetrack does have races that are only for Arizona bred horses and sometimes they also have races that prefer them.

As for the new law, she said itll help to promote people buying and racing more horses from Arizona.

It gives the Arizona breeders an option to promote their horses and run them against their own kind, she said.

She also said it could make some people more money because the purses, or the prize money the winning horses owner gets, is geared more towards promoting Arizona bred horses.

The new law also says about ten percent of each purse won by the horses owner has to go back to the original breeder who owns the mother of the racing horse.

If theres any confusion as to who that money should go to, a commission can step in and determine that.

Schiffer said that can be an advantage to promoting breeding horses in Arizona, but she said it might not favor the owners of the winning horse.

I can see it can be a little unfair for the owners who might not want to give up that 10 percent, she said.