RUIDOSO DOWNS, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico’s richest horse race, the All-American Futurity, is just weeks away with thousands expected to pack the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack. Now, after several racehorse deaths at the track, the Downs is detailing a new plan to keep the horses safe.

This comes after the New Mexico Racing Commission confirmed Friday that several horses died at the track last weekend. “We all know that we had an issue the last couple of weeks,” said a Ruidoso Downs Racetrack spokesperson at a “special meeting” Thursday afternoon. “We’ve addressed those issues as Executive Director Trejo commented to you earlier.”

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The Downs said it will be monitoring horses more closely in the coming weeks through more blood work and adding a separate 29-stall barn for qualifying horses. The barn will be the main location where horses will be checked on by veterinarians and trainers. They’re also adding 16 new surveillance cameras to monitor who walks in and out of the barn. “We’re going to screen and limit access to the people that go into this barn,” said the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack spokesperson.

However, during the Thursday meeting, commissioners asked for more. They want daily reports from the track and even asked them to send the documentation to the Governor’s Office. “I would like you to share it with the Governor’s Office,” said David “Hosie” Sanchez, Vice Chairman for the New Mexico Racing Commission. “She is very concerned about it.”

The Downs is also promising more thorough medical checkups, to make sure horses are fit to compete. In the end, some commissioners voiced approval of The Downs plan. “You do have our blessings, but being a commission, we can’t vote on it because then they can come to us and say ‘they promoted this’,” said New Mexico Racing Commissioner, Billy G. Smith.

News 13 reached out to the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack General Manager about how the horses died but did not receive a response.