Page 32 - New Mexico Summer 2021
P. 32

                MEETING TIME
The New Mexico Racing Commission held its monthly meeting on Thursday, March 18, 2021.
New Mexico Horse Breeders’ Association executive director Mary Barber did not
issue her regular race-a-day report, as there has been no live racing in the state since December 23. However, she told the com- mission that during a meeting with SunRay Park management, the track agreed to run all scheduled New Mexico-bred stakes races and that the NMHBA was able to add $10,000
to the purse of all state-bred Thoroughbred stakes to bring the purses up to $50,000.
“We are looking forward to getting racing started back up again at SunRay Park,” Ms. Barber said.
Ms. Barber added that Ruidoso Downs Racetrack, which opens its 47-day season on May 28, plans to run all of its traditional New Mexico-bred Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse stakes and has added two: the 350-yard $150,000-est. Mountain Top Derby (R) for 3-year-olds on Saturday, June 19, and the 400-yard $25,000-est. Jess Burner Stakes
(R) for 4-year-olds and older on Saturday, September 4.
“We hope to have our summer party and awards ceremony at Ruidoso Downs dur-
ing Zia Festival weekend (July 31-August
1), and everyone is welcome to come,” Ms. Barber said. “We are looking forward to the legislative session ending at noon on Saturday (March 20), but we’re disappointed that the advance-deposit wagering bill did not go through. We thank Jeff True and the New Mexico Horsemen’s Association for all of their hard work on the bill.”
NMRC executive director Ismael “Izzy” Trejo said that the commission has hired
a new attorney, Richard Bustamante, and
he will begin his job on April 5. He added that the national Horsemen Benevolent and Protective Association has filed a suit claim- ing that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) is unconstitutional. Passed by the U.S. House and Senate and signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 27, HISA will create a non-profit, private company overseen by the Federal Trade
Commission that will devise policies regard- ing drug testing and medication enforcement, along with protocols related to safety practices at racetracks. The oversight body will have an effective operational date of July 1, 2022.
• Approved the following board of stewards
for the 18-day SunRay Park meet, which opens April 23: Ron Walker (presiding stew- ard), and Reese “Rug” Howard and Reuben Rivera (associate stewards). In the case of emergency, Gerald Richards was approved to serve as a substitute.
• Approved a request from SunRay Park to drop its live racing scheduled for May 17 and 24, and add three dates (May 28-30) at the end of the meet.
• Approved Ruidoso Downs’ 2021 stakes schedule. Once again, the track’s stakes schedule will be topped by Quarter Horse racing’s richest and most prestigious race, the 440-yard, $3-million All American Futurity (G1) on Labor Day, September 6.
3-year-olds Thoroughbreds with large purses. Commission executive director Ismael
“Izzy” Trejo said that the job notice for the agency’s auditor position will be closing soon. He added that the pre-meet inspection at SunRay Park in advance of that track’s open- ing went well.
“Kudos to Lonnie Barber and his staff for making the facility look exceptionally good after being shut down for two years,” Mr. Trejo said. “They were still working on the track surface on the day of the inspection, but the rest of the facility is in wonderful shape.”
• Approved the following board of stew-
ards for the 47-day Ruidoso Downs meet, which opens May 28 and runs through September 6: Ron Walker (presiding steward), and Ruben Rivera and Reese Howard. The commission approved Victor Escobar to serve as emergency steward.
• Approved the condition book and purse schedule for the SunRay Park meet, which opens April 23 and runs through May 30.
The New Mexico Racing Commission held its monthly meeting on Thursday, April 22.
NMRC chairman Sam Bregman began the meeting by introducing the commission’s new attorney, Richard Bustamante.
“He has an excellent reputation in the
legal community,” Mr. Bregman said. “He
has knowledge and experience in litigation, which is important to the commission since
the agency receives some frivolous lawsuits. However, the commission is looking forward to having a full-time attorney working with us.”
Mr. Bregman added that he was looking forward to the return of live racing to New Mexico, and he acknowledged everyone who made it happen.
“I’m very encouraged that racing will keep going this year, and with the consent of the rest of the commission, we encourage the Downs at Albuquerque to add seven more days to their meet,” he said. “The horsemen have suffered a great deal through this pan- demic, and the members of the racing com- munity should help out in any way they can.”
New Mexico Horse Breeders’ Association president Tom Goncharoff spoke on behalf of
the NMHBA. Mr. Goncharoff said that when they first started discussing purse money
with SunRay Park, track management felt it would be necessary to drop all Thoroughbred stakes purses to $40,000, meaning they would fall below the $50,000 purse level needed to maintain black-type status.
“But with the great success of gaming
at SunRay Park since its casino opened, (NMHBA executive director) Mary Barber and (SunRay director of racing) Lonnie Barber we were able to raise those purses to $50,000 to maintain that black-type status,” Mr. Goncharoff said. “We wouldn’t other- wise have been able to regain that status until 2023, so raising those purses is a huge relief.”
Mr. Goncharoff added that the NMHBA is working with management at The Downs at Albuquerque to develop a $1-million futurity for New Mexico-bred Quarter Horses.
“We’re very close to finalizing those details,” he said. “We should have more to report at the May commission meeting.”
Mr. Goncharoff also said that the NMHBA is working with Sunland Park man- agement to develop Derby and Oaks stakes for
30 New Mexico Horse Breeder

   30   31   32   33   34