The most exciting weekend at Ruidoso Downs outside of the summer racing season is set to start on Friday and culminate with simulcast wagering on the $2 million Kentucky Derby on Saturday afternoon.
On Friday, there will be simulcast wagering on the entire card Churchill Downs beginning at 8:30 a.m. and is capped by the running of the $ 1 million Kentucky Oaks. On Saturday, Billy’s Race Book opens at 8 a.m. for breakfast and the Kentucky Derby is the program’s ultimate event.
There will be a Kentucky Oaks/Kentucky Derby double wager offered on Friday and all of Saturday’s races at Churchill Downs will be available for wagering on Friday.
The All American Turf Club will open on Saturday morning with wagering starting at 11 a.m. and a buffet at noon. There will be drink specials all day.
Kentucky Derby day at Ruidoso Downs will also offer a contest to pick your favorite derby horse for a chance to win $500 and a derby hat contest.
The simulcast racing from Churchill Downs starts on Friday with the Kentucky Oaks for three-year-old fillies. The defection of the undefeated Songbird due to an illness several weeks ago makes the Oaks a wide-open race.
Rachel’s Valentina will gain a lot of attention in the Oaks. She is a daughter of 2009 Horse of the Year and Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra.
The Bernardini-sired Rachel’s Valentina was second to Songbird in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and started her 3-year-old season with a runner-up run in the Grade I Ashland at Keeneland.
In the Kentucky Derby, Nyquist is the probable favorite with seven wins from seven starts, including stakes victories in his latest six starts. He won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and comes off a win in the Florida Derby over the highly regarded Mohaymen.
Exaggerator made a huge late run to win the Santa Anita Derby by more than six lengths in his final Derby prep. If there is a fast pace, his late-running style should make him dangerous if he can find racing room in the 20-horse field.
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