The three classic Grade 1 derbies this summer at Ruidoso Downs are on pace to be the three richest derbies this year in quarter horse racing. This is following the February 1 sustaining payment for each race.
Projections indicate that no other derby in quarter horse racing will have a purse that reaches the level of the All American Derby, Rainbow Derby or Ruidoso Derby in 2016.
The 440-All American Derby projects to have a $2.5 million purse, up from $2,378,832 in 2015. In 2006, the All American Derby purse was $406,299.
The 2015 All American Derby winner Apollitical Blood was honored as Champion Three-Year-Old Colt.
The 440-yard Rainbow Derby is expected to have a $1.2 million purse, up from $1,067,761 in 2015. In 2006, the Rainbow Derby purse was $269,817.
The 400-yard Ruidoso Derby is on target to become a $1 million stakes, up from $815,045 last year. In 2006, the Ruidoso Derby purse was $168,335.
“The faith that owners and horsemen have in our derby program is reflected in these numbers,” general manager Shaun Hubbard said. “We are sincerely grateful for their continual support and look for these races to continue to grow and maintain their lofty position as quarter horse racing’s top derbies.”
Time-of-entry supplements would boost the purse of each of the derbies.
The 2016 Ruidoso Downs’ season starts on Friday, May 27 with two days of Ruidoso Futurity trials. Ruidoso Derby trials will be contested on Sunday, May 29.