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Ruidoso Downs is a horse racing track in Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico. The track hosts both thoroughbred and quarter horse racing, notably the All American Futurity, the richest race in quarter horse racing.
In 1947, parimutuel wagering was legalized in New Mexico, and an informal race track along the Rio Ruidoso was developed and given the name Hollywood Park. A canvas-covered grandstand was built and by 1949, Hollywood Park featured a 5/8ths-mile oval and became the first track to contest 870-yard races that pit Thoroughbreds against Quarter Horses. Hollywood Park also became the first track in the Southwest to have a complete film patrol with races filmed from two angles.
By 1953, the track was known as Ruidoso Downs and Gene Hensley became the majority shareholder. With help from Californian Carl Mercer and tireless promotion from Ray Reed, Hensley developed the All American Futurity. With its first running in 1959, the All American Futurity became Quarter Horse racing's signature event and put New Mexico horse racing on the map.
In 1986, Ruidoso Downs was reconfigured with the current 7/8ths-mile oval and the separate 550-yard chute for American Quarter Horse racing.
Billy the Kid Casino was added in 1999 and the casino quickly started contributing cash to race purses and helped secure Ruidoso Downs' future.
The World's Richest Quarter Horse Race - The Quarter Horse race that every owner, breeder, trainer and jockey wants to win is Ruidoso Downs' signature event, the All American Futurity.
Run over 440 yards every Labor Day, the All American Futurity gained its lofty status through unique financial cooperation between the track and horsemen. Ruidoso Downs contributes "added money" to start the race's purse, and then horse owners make payments to keep their young horses eligible. Many of these payments are made before the horse ever starts in a race.
This system made the All American Futurity the world's first $1-million race for any breed of horse and enabled the All American to become the first $2-million race in Quarter Horse racing. Now the All American Futurity has a purse of $2.4 million and is the richest race for a two-year-old of any breed in North America.
Bet on the All American Futurity with OffTrackBetting.com
Two races are considered the forerunners of the All American Futurity and both have their roots in Ruidoso. In 1946, a local watering hole called the Central Bar & Grill was having a marketing problem: How could the owners promote the casino located in the back room of the establishment at a time when casinos weren't legal in New Mexico? The answer was to create a horse race and name it after the bar. The resulting Central Bar & Grill Futurity was an important race until the early 1950s when it disappeared, but it left a model for a successful event that continued as the Ruidoso Futurity (a different race than the current Ruidoso Futurity). That early version of the Ruidoso Futurity received widespread attention in 1955 when Go Man Go suffered his first defeat in the race.
In 1953, Gene Hensley bought a majority share of Ruidoso Downs and began looking for new ways to promote the track. Offering the richest race in Quarter Horse racing would surely define Ruidoso Downs. Along with Carl Mercer - who had developed a successful futurity in Southern California - and Ruidoso musician and promoter Ray Reed, Hensley created the All American Futurity. When it was inaugurated in 1959 with a purse of $129,686, the All American Futurity was the richest race ever held in Quarter Horse racing. The winner was the filly Galobar, who gave owner Hugh Huntley and trainer Newt Keck the first of their three wins in the first five runnings of the race.
May - September
Main Track: Seven furlongs, oval.
Distance from last turn to finish line: 660 feet.
Dedicated Quarter Horse Track: 550 yards.
1:00pm Friday - Monday
$2 Daily Double on 1st and 2nd races
$2 Exacta on all races
$2 Quinella on all races
$2 Twin Trifecta on 3rd and 4th races
$2 Pick 3 on last three races
$2 Trifecta on all races (except 3rd)
Win, place, and show: 18.75%
Daily Double, Quinella, and Exacta wagering: 21%
Trifecta, Tri-Super and Pick 3 wagering: 25%
Ruidoso Downs Race Track & Billy the Kid Casino
PO Box 449
Ruidoso Downs, NM 88346
26225 U.S. 70
Ruidoso Downs, NM 88346
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