Page 137 - NM Winter 2023
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                RUIDOSO DOWNS
Ruidoso Downs ended its 46-day Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet on Labor Day, September 4.
Located in the mountains of southern New Mexico, Ruidoso Downs is the home
of Quarter Horse racing’s richest and most prestigious race, the 440-yard, $3-million All American Futurity (G1) for 2-year-olds, which is traditionally run on closing day. This year’s All American Futurity was won by Cowboys Gun Z, an Oklahoma-bred son of Flying Cowboy 123 trained by Mike Joiner for owners West Texas Racing Partners, who purchased the bay gelding for $125,000 at the Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale. Ruidoso Downs is also the home of Quarter Horse racing’s richest race for 3-year-olds. This year’s $1,199,686 All American Derby (G1) was contested on September 3 and was won
by Whiskey Creek, a son of world champion Apollitical Jess trained by Toby Keeton for owners Wootan Racing and Roger K. Beasley. New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses were on display during Zia Festival weekend, July 22-23. Stakes purses totaling $943,108 were paid out on Zia Festival weekend. Call Me Jessiecartel won the festival’s richest race, the 400-yard, $387,688 Zia Futurity (RG1) for state-bred 2-year-old Quarter Horses. A $23,000 yearling purchase at last year’s New Mexico-Bred Sale at Ruidoso
Downs, the sorrel Jess A Chicks gelding was trained by Eric Valenzuela for owners Empire Racing and Pavon Racing LLC.
Francisco Calderon was Ruidoso Downs’ leading Quarter Horse jockey with 35 wins from 199 mounts, 10 more than runner-up Adrian Ramos, who rode the winners of 25 races from 173 mounts. Calderon also led all of the track’s Quarter Horse riders with mount earnings of $2,028,929.
Wes Giles led all Ruidoso Downs Quarter Horse trainers with 24 wins from 153 starters, two more than runners-up Heath Taylor (104 starters) and Toby Keeton (133 starters), who each won 22 races. Santos Carrizales Jr. was the meet’s leading Quarter Horse trainer in starter earnings at $2,220,278.
Valeriano Racing Stables LLC was Ruidoso Downs’ leading Quarter Horse owner with
14 wins from 48 starters, six more than MRB Racing LLC, which won eight races from 78 starters. West Texas Racing Partners topped
all Quarter Horse owner in purse earnings at $1,530,096, most of which came from Cowboys Gun Z’s All American Futurity victory.
On the Thoroughbred side of the ledger, Christian Ramos led all jockeys with 30 wins from 104 mounts, 13 more than runners-up Felipe Valdez (81 mounts) and Tracy Hebert (84 mounts), who each rode the winners of 17 races. Ramos also led all riders in mount earnings at $685,028.
Todd Fincher topped all Thoroughbred trainers with 25 wins from 110 starters,
10 more than Martin Valdez-Cabral Jr., who sent out 15 winners from 63 starters. Fincher also topped all trainers in starter earnings at $811,281.
Ruidoso Downs’ leading Thoroughbred owners, J. Kirk and Judy Robison of El Paso, Texas, won eight races from 24 starters, three more than runner-up V Bar B Racing LLC, which won five races from as many starters. The Robison’s were also the meet’s leading Throughbred owners in purse earnings at $265,963.
Ruidoso Downs’ 2024 meet opens on Friday, May 24. The 47-day meet runs through Labor Day, September 2.
WINTER 2023 135
    © Susan Bachelor, Speedhorse

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