The classic All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs will offer a world-record $3 million (est.) purse on Labor Day this summer.
That will be the largest purse for any two-year-old horse race in the world.
“This is a monumental event in the history of quarter horse racing,” said Ruidoso Downs’ general manager Shaun Hubbard. “All of our fans, horsemen and quarter horse racing will benefit. We especially appreciate the owners and trainers who participate in these races.
“This is very special and exciting during a time of decreasing foal crops and a general downward business trend nationwide.”
By comparison, the Kentucky Derby has a $2 million purse and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile for two-year-old thoroughbreds has a $2 million purse. The $3 million (est.) purse is also believed to be in the top-10 purses of any horse race in the world.
The winner of the 2015 All American Futurity will earn one-half of the total purse.
“We are totally dedicated to enhancing the racing experience for our fans at Ruidoso Downs,” said Hubbard. “It’s just amazing that a small track in the New Mexico mountains can have the world’s richest two-year-old race. It’s incredible when you think about it.”
Last Labor Day, a record 24,778 fans attended Ruidoso Downs when the All American Futurity was contested. This is more than the entire population of Lincoln County (where Ruidoso Downs is located).
While horse racing business has been down nationwide, the cornerstone races during the Ruidoso Downs’ summer season have soared.
Last year, the All American Gold Cup for older horses experienced a purse boost from $40,000 to $200,000.
The 2015 All American Futurity purse of $3 million (est.) represents a purse increase of 57 percent in only five years.
The 440-yard All American Futurity is the final race in the All American Triple Crown series that also includes the $750,000 Ruidoso Futurity in June and the $1 million Rainbow Futurity in July. If a horse wins all three races then that horse’s connections take the $4 million All American Triple Crown bonus. The total of the winner’s share for each race and the bonus would be projected at $6,235,000.
The Ruidoso Futurity purse is up 50 percent and the Rainbow Futurity purse is up 60 percent in the latest five runnings.
All horses who maintain eligibility for futurity trials may remain eligible to compete in the following year’s respective derby. The projected purses for the 2015 derbies are: All American Derby at $2.3 million, Rainbow Derby at $1 million and the Ruidoso Derby at $800,000.
The All American Futurity has a record-setting history. In its first running in 1959 the purse was $129,686, then a record in quarter horse racing. Then it became the first horse race in the world to offer a $1 million purse when Moon Lark won in 1978. Now it has set a new threshold at $3 million.
“Who knows how high the All American Futurity will grow?” said Hubbard.
The record-setting purse increase for the All American Futurity follows more stringent security measures and “super testing” for illegal drugs in horses competing at Ruidoso Downs this summer. They were announced last fall.
The 2015 Ruidoso Downs season starts on May 22 with two days of trials to the Ruidoso Futurity and concludes on Labor Day with the record All American Futurity.
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