Page 54 - New Mexico Summer 2021
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                 Rick Baugh & Ethan Linder
Sunland Park Management Team Hired To Run Ruidoso Downs by Pete Herrera
 The owners of Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and its Billy The Kid Casino have hired the management team at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino to run the track.
Following the departure of former Ruidoso Downs general manager Jeff True, the ownership groups of the two tracks have agreed to utilize key Sunland employees, including Sunland Park general manager Rick Baugh, as consultants. The Sunland group will consult
on the racetrack and the Billy The Kid Casino, properties owned since 2017 by All American Ruidoso Downs Inc. Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino is owned by My Way Holdings LLC.
The change has been approved by the New Mexico Racing Commission and New Mexico Gaming Commission.
On Monday, May 24, 2021, the management team named Ethan Linder, a native of Shelbyville, Indiana, as the new General Manager of Ruidoso Downs. Linder came to Ruidoso Downs with a strong resume detailing of years of experience in the resort and entertainment industry, as well as in racetrack marketing and management. Most recently
he was Director of Marketing at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, a position he held from 2014 to 2021, under the leadership of Rick Baugh, who also is the father of Ethan’s wife, Sumer. Ethan and Sumer are parents to sons Nash, 8, and Knox, 6.
“This 140-acre property sits in the midst of some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the state of New Mexico. Our goal is to develop
Ruidoso Downs to offer exciting entertainment opportunities that will draw people from all areas of this part of the country to fill the stands and enjoy horse racing at its finest.” Linder’s vision for Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino is to see it become a multi-faceted year-round entertainment destination. “This place has so much potential. Can it be that and more? We believe that it can!”
Sunland Park, which is owned by the family of the late Stan Fulton, did not race in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All American Ruidoso Downs Inc. purchased Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and its casino from R.D. Hubbard in 2017. At the time of the purchase, AARD Inc. consisted of four partners -- Johnny Trotter, John Andreini, Stan Sigman and Narciso “Chicho” Flores. Andreini and Sigman have since passed away, changing the dynamics of the ownership group.
Baugh will be working with Trotter in managing the racetrack and casino. Jeff True, who was hired as president and general manager when AARD purchased Ruidoso Downs, will not be retained in any capacity. During his tenure, True developed several policies designed to increase the integrity of racing at Ruidoso.
“I enjoyed my time at Ruidoso,” True told Paulick Report. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to take care of this special place. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into
it, and I think Ruidoso is set up for success following a tough time because of COVID- 19. It will do well.”
Ruidoso Downs ran its 2020 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The All American Cowboy Festival, which is held annually in the fall at Ruidoso Downs, was canceled last year, and the two sales held on track property -- the New Mexico-Bred Sale and Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale -- were moved to Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Ruidoso Downs opened its 47-day race season on May 28. During the off-season, management invested in its on-track technol- ogy by signing a long-term tote services agree- ment with AmTote International, a product of 1/ST Technology and one of the industry’s largest and most innovative racing and gaming technology companies.
The agreement will enhance the betting experience for patrons. The new technology includes the V3000e self-serve terminals which offer users a rich graphic interface, and the F3000e teller and self-serve convertible terminal. In addition, mobile betting through AmTote’s MBet platform will also be available at Ruidoso. The infield and indoor tote boards will also be upgraded with new LED indication.
AmTote technology and services host the majority of race track operators in North America and are currently in operation at Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park, Aqueduct, and Woodbine, among many others.
 52 New Mexico Horse Breeder

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