Thursday, October 27, 2011
The New Mexico Racing Commission held its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Albuquerque on Thursday, October 27.
New Mexico Horse Breeders’ Association executive director Anna Fay Davis gave the commission her race-a-day reports for The Downs at Albuquerque and Zia Park. During the first 38 days of its 2011 meet, The Downs at Albuquerque ran 145 New Mexico-bred races – 76 for Thoroughbreds and 69 for Quarter Horses. By comparison, the track carded 182 state-bred races during the first 44 days of its 2010 season, 106 for Thoroughbreds and 76 for Quarter Horses.
For purposes of comparison, The Downs at Albuquerque ran an average of 3.82 New Mexico-bred races during the first 38 days of its current meet, which is a decrease of nearly 8 percent from the average of 4.14 state-bred races contested during the first 44 days during its 2010 meet.
Also, a total of 397 New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses ran in open overnight races during the first 38 days of the Albuquerque meet, of which 119 (30 percent) finished first, second or third. Of this total, 56 were Thoroughbreds and 63 were Quarter Horses. Bonuses totaling $56,570 were paid to the owners of these horses.
The Downs at Albuquerque meet runs through Sunday, November 13.
During the first 24 days of the Zia Park meet, September 11-October 18, the track ran 135 New Mexico-bred races, 91 for Thoroughbreds and 44 for Quarter Horses, marking an increase of nearly 13 percent from the 120 state-bred races Zia Park carded during the first 24 days of its 2010 season.
Also during the first 20 days of the Zia Park meet, a total of 129 New Mexico-breds raced in open overnight races, of which 28 (22 percent) finished first, second, or third. Of this total, two were Thoroughbreds and 26 were Quarter Horses. Bonuses totaling $23,741.60 were paid to the owners of these horses.
The 50-day Zia Park meet runs through Tuesday, December 4.
Davis also reminded the commission of Sunday's 11-race New Mexico Cup racing program at Zia Park. Last year's New Mexico Cup paid purses totaling more than $2 million and was the richest state-bred day of racing in North America.
Also at the meeting, commissioner Ray Willis discussed a recent track surface safety committee meeting he attended at Zia Park. Willis reported that the meeting was attended by 13 people, including seven trainers, one owner, one steward, and representatives of track management.
Willis added that, to date there have been 2,503 horses who have started in races during the current Zia Park meet. There have been nine catastrophic injuries and 17 non-catastrophic injuries, and 12 horses have been vanned off the track for various reasons after their races.
“It was discussed at the meeting that, to the public, it might not look good when a horse is vanned off the track,” Willis said. “But sometimes it's in the best interests of a horse that he be given a ride back to his barn, for any reason.”
The commission also set its meeting dates for the first six months of 2012 – Wednesday, January 25; Thursday, February 23; Thursday, March 22; Thursday, April 19; Thursday, May 24; and Thursday, June 21. All meetings will be held at the commission's headquarters in Albuquerque.
The next commission meeting will be held at the commission's headquarters in Albuquerque on Wednesday, November 30. The executive session will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by a public session at 10:30. For more information, contact the commission at (505) 222-0700, or visit the commission's website at www.nmrc.state.nm.us.