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Ruidoso Downs, NM 88346


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Triple Crown Nominations Defy Logic

Ty Wyant



Record Ruidoso Triple Crown Nominations Defy Logic



            Ruidoso Downs Race Track general manager Shaun Hubbard walked into nominations secretary Annelle Reynolds’ office and said: “Annelle, are you sure these nomination numbers are correct.”

            “Yes, sir, they sure are,” Annelle said. “All the 2015 Triple Crown races are up double digits and the 2016 Triple Crown payments are at a record level, the highest they’ve ever been.”

            “But the foal crops are at record low levels and oil prices have fallen,” Shaun said. “What are the horsemen telling you?

            “Naturally, they are all excited over the increase in this year’s All American, bringing it to $3 million,” Annelle continued, “but they love the fact that Ruidoso Downs has such large purses for their Derby horses. They can keep their horses eligible and still run at large purses when they are three (years-old)

            “Also they really like the $100,000 Mr. Jess Perry, Corona Cartel and First Down Dash Stakes for the horses that don’t qualify for the Derby finals. It gives them lots of opportunities to run for big money and black type. They keep telling me that Ruidoso is the place to be in the summer.”


            The figures Hubbard was reviewing are very impressive:


  • Nominations for the 2015 Ruidoso Futurity are up an astonishing 23 percent from 2014 and since the futurity is capped at $750,000 the Derby is now estimated to be worth $1.2 million in 2016.

  • Nominations for the 2015 Rainbow Futurity are up over 16 percent from the 2014 version and since the Rainbow is capped at $1 million it means the 2016 Derby will likely be approximately $1.3 million.

  • Nominations for the 2015 All American Futurity are up nearly 13 percent over the 2014 race and since the All American Futurity is capped at a record $3 million, the richest 2-year-old race in the world, the 2016 Derby is estimated to worth nearly $2.7 million.

  • Nominations to the 2016 Triple Crown Series that closed in January, 2015 are at an all-time high of 1,434 horses which is nearly 10 percent higher than last year’s version.


The $4 million All American Triple Crown bonus continues in 2015. That means any horse that sweeps the Ruidoso, Rainbow and All American Futurities would walk away with $6.375 million for their connections from just one summer’s of work.

            “Of course, one thing we all know is that we couldn’t see these increases without the support of the breeders, owners and trainers,” said Hubbard. “They make it happen and it’s apparent that our changes and improvements since last summer have been well received. We are truly appreciative.”


The changes in house rules at Ruidoso Downs and New Mexico Racing Commission policies for the 2015 season include:


  • All horses must be on the grounds in the barn area 48 hours before entering the trials of each of the futurities and derbies run during the Ruidoso race season;

  • All horses that qualify for the finals of one of the futurities or derbies will be required to stay on the grounds through the running of the finals;

  • All horses will be subject to a “roll call” at any time during these periods;

  • All horses will be subject to additional, random testing by both the New Mexico Racing Commission and the race track;

  • No less than the top-three finishers in every trial race will be tested;

  • All testing will be the so-called “super testing;”

  • The New Mexico Racing Commission will work in conjunction with the New Mexico State Police to ensure that all off-site testing throughout the year will be done cooperatively.


All in all, it promises to be a record-breaking year at Ruidoso Downs Race Track for the Triple Crown Series.

            For information contact Annelle Reynolds at 575-378-7224.