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Ruidoso Downs, NM 88346


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2015 Zia Derby Up 24 Percent Thru Latest Payment

Ty Wyant

             The continued strength in the older horse division at Ruidoso Downs includes New Mexico-breds with the 2015 Zia Derby up 42 percent through the most recent payment.

            The Zia Derby projects to pay the all-time record purse of $170,000. The previous standard was $140,143 set in 2012.

            “The Zia Derby purse is another example of how the strength and depth of our stakes program for older horses continues to have a positive impact on Ruidoso Downs and quarter horse racing,” said Ruidoso Downs’ general manager Shaun Hubbard.

            “It also shows our dedication to the growth of New Mexico-bred racing. Of course, none of this happens without the owners’ and breeders’ participation.”

            The record-setting Zia Derby joins the superlative numbers for the Grade 1 open derbies this summer at Ruidoso Downs. The All American Derby has a $2.3 million (est.) purse. The Rainbow Derby has a $1 million (est.) purse. The Ruidoso Derby has an $800,000 (est.) purse.

In conjunction with these derbies are three $100,000 stakes: the Mr Jess Perry, the Corona Cartel and the First Down Dash.

            The All American Gold Cup will again have a $200,000 purse. It was raised from $40,000 to $200,000 last year and awarded Grade 1 status.

            The Zia Derby offers one of the largest purses during Zia Festival weekend on July 25-26. The Zia Festival combines New Mexico-bred racing with a grandstand filled with vendors selling Southwestern wares. The Zia Festival weekend has grown into one of the most popular weekends of the summer season.

            For complete Ruidoso Downs’ information, go to, visit the Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino Facebook page and follow the Ruidoso Press Box (@RuiPressBox) on Twitter.