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New racing surface at Ruidoso Downs

March 29, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Ruidoso Downs, March 28 – A newly renovated racing surface will greet the horses, jockeys and trainers when the Ruidoso Downs’ track opens for training on April 28. Horses will begin arriving in the barn area on April 24. T

The 60th anniversary summer racing season runs from May 26 through Sept. 4 on a Thursday through Sunday schedule with additional programs on May 29, July 3, July 4 and Sept. 4. First post time is 1 p.m., except on futurity trial days.

Renowned racing-surface consultant Dennis Moore is overseeing the project that is adding 3,000 cubic yards of screened material to the Ruidoso Downs’ 7/8ths-mile Thoroughbred oval and the 550-yard Quarter Horse chute. Also, the existing track material will be finely screened to remove any impurities.

Then the entire track’s banking and grading will be checked to measure the angles of the racing surface, both on the straightaways and around the turns. The banking and grading will be adjusted, if needed. Also, any required adjustments to the depth of the track’s cushion will be made to produce an even, competitive racing surface.

These measurements and modifications ensure that the racing surface will, once again, be in peak condition for the summer racing season.

“Our mission is always to have the best racing surface for the horses and horsemen,” Moore said.

The Ruidoso Downs season offers a projected record $5.4 million in purses, up from $4 million in 2005. The meet culminates with 2-year-olds in the $2 million (est.) All American Futurity, Quarter Horse racing’s richest race, on Labor Day. Two-year-old Quarter Horses will also be racing over the renovated racing strip in the $625,000 (est.) Rainbow Futurity (July 23) and the $500,000 (est.) Ruidoso Futurity (June 11).

New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses will be showcased during the 10-race Zia Festival on July 30. The richest race during the Zia Festival will be the $325,000 (est.) Zia Futurity for Quarter Horses while the premier state-bred Thoroughbreds will be competing in six stakes races with a total of $330,000 in added money.

For information on Ruidoso Downs racing, visit