The first season of racing at Ruidoso Downs under the new ownership of All American Ruidoso Downs, LLC (AARD) has been deemed a tremendous success.
“Our first season was gratifying to the extent we made some policy choices and some investments that fans and horsemen responded to favorably,” said True, president and general manager.
The infrastructure and product improvements included a new roof on the main building, a new corporate network, improved security elements and practices, new surveillance room, 100 new machines on the casino floor, and the operational and promotional improvements all combined to build the business.
Total handle for the 2018 summer meeting of 47 days compared to the 2017 meeting of 52 days was $26.4 million versus $24.0 million, an increase of 9.9%. On track handle improved 4% to $10.2 million; total out of state handle on Ruidoso racing was up 23.6% to $12.3 million. Daily average handle was up 25% to $499,981 per day. The casino experienced an 8% increase in coin-in versus the same period last year.
Purses were increased 10% in the second week of the meeting and $90,000 in added stakes and overnight races were added during last several weeks of the meeting due to increased purse revenues.
The two horse sales conducted at Ruidoso, the New Mexico Bred Sale and the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale, also saw significant increases in average and total sales. The NM Bred Sale improved the total average of horses sold by 34%. The Select Sale average on horses sold was $46,580, up 8.7%.
The season leaders are as follows:
Quarter Horse Racing
Owners: Valeriano Racing Sables and Melvin Neugebauer (each with six wins).
Jockey: Ricky Ramirez (38 wins)
Trainers: Blane Wood and Wes Giles (each with 32)
Owners: J. Kirk and Judy Robison (11)
Jockey: Tracy Hebert (34)
Trainer: Todd Fincher (21)
The new racing season for 2019 begins earlier than in 2018. The 17 weeks of racing will begin on May 10 and will offer 54 racing days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Ruidoso Downs will offer live racing on Memorial Day and Labor Day Mondays, as well as live racing on Thursday July 4th.