Tuesday, June 19, 2012
A total of 34 stakes worth more than $1.3 million will be contested during The Downs at Albuquerque meet, which opens August 10.
Located at the Expo New Mexico, the New Mexico State Fairgrounds, The Downs at Albuquerque will run 20 Thoroughbred stakes and 14 Quarter Horse stakes. The highlight of the track's stakes schedule will be Lineage Day on August 26, during which 11 stakes for New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses will be run. Purses for Lineage Day will exceed $470,000.
Lineage Day has been moved from the third Sunday to the fourth Sunday in August to avoid a conflict with the August 17-18 New Mexico-Bred Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse Yearling Sale in Ruidoso Downs.
The 54-day Downs at Albuquerque season includes a 17-day New Mexico State Fair meet from September 7-29. Stakes highlights during the State Fair portion include the 400-yard, the $50,000-added New Mexico State Fair Senor Futurity (RG3) for state-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings, the 400-yard, $50,000-added New Mexico State Fair Senorita Futurity (RG3) for state-bred 2-year-old fillies, and the 1 1/16-mile, $50,000 New Mexico State Fair Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (R) on September 24, and the 6-furlong, $50,000-added Dessie & Fern Sawyer Futurity (R) for state-bred 2-year-old fillies, the 6-furlong, $50,000-added George Maloof Futurity (R) for state-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings, and the 400-yard, $50,000-added New Mexico State Fair Breeders' Derby (RG3) on September 25.
New to Albuquerque stakes schedule is the 300-yard, $60,000-est. Zoom Zoom Zoom Shootout Stakes on September 30. The race will pay out 80 percent of its gross purse to the winner, and racing secretary Jim Collins expects it to draw entries from throughout the country.
The Downs at Albuquerque facility is undergoing a facelift that will include a new, larger casino that will be located by the racetrack's 7-furlong chute and be connected to the track grandstand by a walkway through a landscaped park. Also, the apron of the grandstand and winner's circle will be renovated.
Track officials expect the casino to be completed by the first quarter of 2013.
The Downs at Albuquerque meet runs through November 4, with live racing presented on primarily a Wednesday and Friday-Sunday schedule. For more information, visit the track's website at www.abqdowns.com, or call the track at (505) 266-5555.