RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) – The Ruidoso Downs Race Track is hosting its biggest event of the year this weekend. Horse races will run at the Ruidoso Downs, with the All American Futurity capping off the action on Monday. The Futurity is the biggest race of the year in New Mexico, as it has a purse of $3 million and is the richest race for a two-year-old of any breed in North America.
Ruidoso Downs expects great races this weekend, even though the sport has taken aa major hit due to COVID-19. “In fact, more people see live racing and bet on live racing at Ruidoso Downs than any other racetrack within hundreds of miles of here. So, that’s really important to us and not having it for so long has been a problem,” said President and General Manager of Ruidoso Downs Race Track Jeff True.
Things have been tough in Ruidoso as the Casino has been closed during the pandemic and not having fans has taken its toll as well, but Ruidoso Downs have also seen some positives. The Race Track has now gone digital, and is live streaming races for free all over the country and is even teaming up with the Cowboy Channel, which reaches 42 million homes.
“That’s what somebody has said to me recently, hey you have really raised the profile of Ruidoso Downs this summer, was that intentional or was that just an after effect of going digital, and I think it’s got to be both, but clearly with 180 percent up in our ADW [Advance-deposit wagering] money and our ADW betting is evidence that we have raised our profile,” said True.
The Downs are also making things safe at the Race Track as a limited amount of people are now able to go.