Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The New Mexico Racing Commission held its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Albuquerque on Thursday, September 12.
New Mexico Horse Breeders’ Association executive director Anna Fay Davis gave the commission her race-a-day report for the 60-day Ruidoso Downs meet, which ended on September 2. During the meet, the track ran 217 New Mexico-bred races -- 144 for Thoroughbreds and 73 for Quarter Horses. By comparison, Ruidoso Downs carded 233 state-bred races -- 157 for Thoroughbreds and 76 for Quarter Horses -- during its 2012 season, which ran 61 days.
An average of 3.62 New Mexico-bred races per day were run during the 2013 Ruidoso meet, a decrease of 5 percent from the 3.82 state-bred races per day contested during the track’s ‘12 season.
Also during the first 48 days of the Ruidoso Downs meet, a total of 446 New Mexico-breds competed in open overnight races, of which 137 (31 percent) finished first, second, or third. Of this total, 78 were Thoroughbreds and 59 were Quarter Horses. Bonuses totaling $59,791 were paid to the owners of these horses.
Davis also reported that, during the first 16 days of The Downs at Albuquerque meet, which opened on August 2, a total of 63 New Mexico-bred races have been run, 37 for Thoroughbreds and 26 for Quarter Horses. By comparison, the track carded 71 state-bred races during the first 16 days of its 2012 season, 40 for Thoroughbreds and 31 for Quarter Horses.
An average of 3.94 New Mexico-bred races per day were run during the first 16 days of this year's Albuquerque meet, a decrease of 11 percent from the 4.44 state-bred races per day carded during the first 16 days of Albuquerque's 2012 season.
Davis also congratulated the connections of Handsome Jack Flash, a registered New Mexico-bred son of champion and freshman sire First Moonflash who won the $2.6-million All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs on September 2. She also reported that the NMHBA will be holding a Youth Day at the Races, in conjunction with the Bernalillo County 4-H, at The Downs at Albuquerque on Saturday, September 28.
In addition, Davis announced that there would be two “Race to Whip Cancer” days in October, one at The Downs at Albuquerque on October 5, and another at Zia Park in Hobbs on October 26. The NMHBA and New Mexico Horsemen’s Association will be providing promotional items for these events.
Also at the meeting, the commission announced that it had received a letter from John Beech, southwest regional manager of the Jockeys’ Guild, expressing safety concerns about 100 or so horse stalls located in the infield at The Downs at Albuquerque, which is located on the grounds of Expo New Mexico.
The temporary stalls were placed in the infield of the racetrack by Expo New Mexico, so that participants in the State Fair rodeo could have a place to house their horses.
Don Cook, general manager of racing for The Downs at Albuquerque, said that a state investigator knew about the stalls, and that the stalls would be there for the State Fair portion of The Downs’ meet.
“I’m not happy about it, but I also understand why the State Fair had to do it -- there was simply no other place to house these horses,” Cook added. “They had no other place on the grounds to put these stalls.”
Also at the commission meeting:
*The commission approved purse increases to $50,000-added for the following stakes to be run during the 2014 Albuquerque meet: the New Mexico State Fair Senor Quarter Horse Futurity (RG3), New Mexico State Fair Senorita Quarter Horse Futurity (RG3), New Mexico State Fair Breeders’ Quarter Horse Derby (RG3), the George Maloof Thoroughbred Futurity (R), and the Dessie & Fern Sawyer Thoroughbred Futurity (R).
*SunRay Park director of racing Lonnie Barber announced that three Thoroughbred stakes during the track’s 2014 meet -- the Budweiser Allowance, Dine, and C.O. “Ken” Kendrick Memorial -- would be moved from Saturday to Tuesday.
“Tuesdays are our biggest days for out-of-state simulcast handle, and the reason we’re moving these stakes from Saturday is to beef up our Tuesday programs,” Barber said.
The next regular monthly commission meeting will be held on Thursday, October 17, in Albuquerque. The executive session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will be followed by the public session at 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit the commission's website at www.nmrc.state.nm.us, or call (505) 222-0700.