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Report from March 2017 NM Racing Commission Meeting
RSS Feeds Thursday, March 30, 2017

The New Mexico Racing Commission held its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Albuquerque on Thursday, March 16.

New Mexico Horse Breeders’ Association executive director Anna Fay Davis gave the commission the race-a-day report for the first 48 days of the Sunland Park meet, which opened December 16. During this period, the track carded 205 New Mexico-bred races, 159 for Thoroughbreds and 46 for Quarter Horses. By comparison, Sunland Park carded 203 state-bred races -- 152 for Thoroughbreds and 51 for Quarter Horses, during the first 48 days of its 2015-16 meet.

An average of 4.27 New Mexico-bred races per day have been run during the first 48 days of the Sunland Park meet, a slight increase over the 4.23 state-bred races per day during the first 48 days of its 2015-16 season.

Also, during the first 36 days of the Sunland Park season, a total of 205 New Mexico-breds have competed in open overnight races, of which 56 (27 percent) finished first, second, or third. Of this total, 41 were Thoroughbreds and 15 were Quarter Horses. Bonuses totaling $42,781.10 were paid to the owners of these horses.

Ms. Davis added that, during the first 48 days of its 2016-17 season, Sunland Park has carded 185 New Mexico-bred overnight races.

“There were 1,729 New Mexico-breds that were scheduled to participate in these races,” she reported. “This is an average of 9.35 New Mexico-breds per race.”

Sunland Park’s 72-day meet runs through April 18.

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Commissioner Jerry Cosper of Belen reported on the commission’s medication committee meeting, which was held on March 15.

“The primary discussions revolved around setting up guidelines on hair testing,” Dr. Cosper said. “We’re just getting off the ground on this, but it was a good start.

”We also looked at the possibility of allowing racing secretaries to write races that have medication restrictions,” he added. “We tabled this issue and will look at it again in the future.”

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New Mexico Horsemen’s Association (www.newmexicohorsemen.com) executive director Pat Bingham said that the NMHA is in preliminary discussions with Sunland Park Racetrack for an owners’ outreach celebration.

“We think it would be beneficial to our existing owners, and we’re hopeful that it would help us attract new owners,” Mr. Bingham said. “As we all know, it’s the owners that help keep our industry going.”

Mr. Bingham also reported that, effective April 21, beginning with drug tests performed on horses, the NMHA will no longer pay for any splits or associated costs that are requested by an owner or trainer. Anyone requesting a split test will be required to call the NMHA office in Albuquerque at (505) 266-7056. If the split that is sent to the referee lab comes back negative, the owner or trainer paying for the split test will be reimbursed for the cost of the split test by the NMHA.

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Commission executive director Ismael “Izzy” Trejo reported that the commission is currently advertising for stewards positions at SunRay Park, The Downs at Albuquerque, and the New Mexico State Fair meets.

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Also at the meeting:
*The commission approved SunRay Park’s condition book for its 36-day season, which runs April 21-June 19.

“Once our revenue starts to pick up, we’ll add some money to our bottom-level claiming purses,” said SunRay Park director of racing Lonnie Barber. “We are aware that our bottom-level races make our race cards go, but we also realize a need to improve the quality of our races toward the top of the class ladder.”

*The commission approved the condition book and condition book officials, stakes schedule, stall application, and purse structure for The Downs at Albuquerque meet, which runs June 24-September 24.

Gerald Richards will serve as the track’s racing secretary, replacing Jim Collins. In addition, the track has increased its bottom-level claiming price from $5,000 to $6,250, has added a $20,000 claiming level to its condition book, and director of racing Don Cook announced that the winner of this year’s 440-yard, $250,000 Downs Fall Quarter Horse Championship on September 24 will earn a starting berth in the 440-yard, $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos in December, Quarter Horse racing’s richest and most prestigious race for older horses.

“We think this will help us draw the best horses in the world for our signature Quarter Horse race, and we’re excited about that,” Mr. Cook said.

*Sunland Park director of racing Dustin Dix reported that overall handle at his track is up 20 percent over last year, when an EHV-1 outbreak at the track and several nearby training centers impacted its 2015-16 meet.

“Our average field size is also up over last year,” Mr. Dix added. “All indications are that we were having a successful meet.”

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The next New Mexico Racing Commission monthly meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 13, at the commission’s headquarters in Albuquerque. For more information, visit the commission's website at http://nmrc.state.nm.us, or call (505) 222-0700.

In The News

Sunday, October 29, 2017
Jockeys Ry Eikleberry and Roimes Chirinos each rode the winners of two races during Sunday’s $2-million New Mexico Cup Day program at Zia Park.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
A total of 131 New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses has been entered in Sunday’s New Mexico Cup races at Zia Park. Purses for the 12 races -- eight for Thoroughbreds and four for Quarter Horses -- will exceed $2 million, once again making New Mexico Cup day the richest state- or province-bred day of racing in North America.
Monday, October 23, 2017
The New Mexico Racing Commission held its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Albuquerque on Thursday, October 12.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Horsemen are reminded that nominations close on November 1 for five 2018 stakes at The Downs at Albuquerque.

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