Page 33 - New Mexico Summer 2021
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                                                                        MEETING TIME
  • Approved the stall application and amended race dates for The Downs
at Albuquerque, which will now open
its 2021 meet on August 14 and end
it on September 19, with the Bank of America Racing Challenge for Quarter Horses scheduled for October 23. Downs
president of racing Don Cook said that he expects average purses to reach $215,000 per day.
• Approved Zia Park’s request to amend its racing license and its nomination forms for the New Mexico Cup Futurity (RG2) and New Mexico Cup Derby (RG2).
• Approved Ruidoso Downs request to decrease the minimum wager of its Pick-3 bet from $1 to 50 cents. The commission also approved the following racing offi- cials for Ruidoso Downs: Robyne Draper as placing judge and Brenda Buckner as horsemen’s bookkeeper.
There was more discussion on the issue, then the commission voted unanimously to stop these funds going to the NMHA.
“The good news is -- we just increased purses in our state by $700,000,” Mr. Bregman said.
• Approved the following dates for 2021
commission meetings: July 22, August 19, September 9, October 14, and November 18. All meetings will be held in Albuquerque and will start at 9 a.m. (Mountain).
• Approved the commission’s 2022 fiscal year operating budget. Amber Trujillo of the com- mission staff reported that the budget will be $3,359,300, down $44,000 from fiscal year 2021. Also, the testing budget is $164,548, down from $700,000 in fiscal year 2021.
• Approved SunRay Park’s request to amend its stakes schedule and run eight races on Kentucky Derby Day, May 1.
• Approved Zia Park’s request to pay 50 percent of its jockey and exercise rider insur- ance, totaling $34,962.
• Approved Sunland Park’s slot allocation agreement between Sunland Park and Ruidoso Downs.
• Approved Ruidoso Downs’ request to amend its stakes schedule. It also approved several racing officials and interim general manager Curtis Kelly.
The next New Mexico Racing Commission monthly meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 18, at the commission office in Albuquerque. For more information, visit the commission’s website at http://nmrc.state., or call (505) 222-0700.
The New Mexico Racing Commission held its monthly meeting in the board room at the commission offices in Albuquerque on Thursday, May 20.
New Mexico Horse Breeders’ Association executive director Mary Barber gave the com- mission the NMHBA’s race-a-day report for the first nine days of the SunRay Park meet, which opened April 23. During the first nine days of the meet, the track carded 35 New Mexico- bred races, 19 for Thoroughbreds and 16 for Quarter Horses. By comparison, 32 state-bred races were contested during the first nine days of SunRay Park’s 2019 season. Of those 32 state-bred races, 14 were for Thoroughbreds and 18 were for Quarter Horses.
An average of 3.89 New Mexico-bred races per day were run during the first nine days of the SunRay Park meet, an increase of 9 percent over the 3.56 state-bred races per day run dur- ing the first nine days of the track’s ’19 season.
Also, during the first six days of the 2021 SunRay Park meet, a total of 94 New Mexico- breds competed in open overnight races, of which 38 (six Thoroughbreds and 32 Quarter Horses) finished first, second or third. Bonuses totaling $49,467.50 were paid to the owners of these horses.
Ms. Barber also told the commission
that 264 horses had been consigned to this summer’s New Mexico-Bred Sale at Ruidoso Downs. Of that total, 179 are Quarter Horses and 85 are Thoroughbreds.
During his report, NMRC chairman Sam Bregman said that he is glad to see live racing return to New Mexico, and he added that there have been four purse increases
since the start of the SunRay Park meet. He also said that he spoke with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, and he reported that she
is happy to see live racing return to New Mexico. She also thanked the commission and its staff for all of its work in getting things back up and running.
During his report to the commission, NMRC executive director Ismael “Izzy” Trejo congratulated Mr. Bregman on being elected
to the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s board of directors. Mr. Trejo also said that all five racetrack casinos are doing well business-wise, and that he will be interviewing candidates for the NMRC’s auditor position.
The commission also discussed whether to approve the New Mexico Horsemen’s Association’s receipt of 1 percent of all purse money, a $5 starter fee and a $2 Political Action Committee fee.
“I’ve tasked myself to make sure that the statutes and rules are followed,” Mr. Bregman said. “We must follow the law. The horsemen receive from $500,000 to $600,000 per year (from the 1 percent of the purse money), with no authority to do so. The starter fees come to around $103,000 per year, and the PAC fund is about $41,000.”
Mr. Bregman said that he asked Mr. Trejo and commission attorney Richard Bustamante if they could find authorization of these fees anywhere in the statutes or rules, and he was told that they could not find them.
“This is $700,000 being taken away from purses, and I cannot support allowing this to continue,” Mr. Bregman added. “I will ask the racetracks to immediately stop sending these funds to the NMHA.”
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