Page 65 - NM Summer 2023
P. 65

                  MEETING TIME
By Michael Cusortelli
The New Mexico Racing Commission
held its monthly meeting in the board room at the commission offices in Albuquerque on Thursday, May 11.
New Mexico Horse Breeders’ Association executive director Mary Barber gave the commission the NMHBA’s race-a-day report
for the first 12 days of the 21-day SunRay Park meet, which opened April 7. During the first
12 days of the SunRay Park meet, the track carded 38 New Mexico-bred races, 18 for Thoroughbreds and 20 for Quarter Horses. By comparison, 42 state-bred races were contested during the first 12 days of the track’s 2022 season. Of those 42 state-bred races, 23 were for Thoroughbreds and 19 were for Quarter Horses.
An average of 3.17 New Mexico-bred races per day were run during the first 12 days of the SunRay Park meet, a decrease of 9 percent from the 3.50 state-bred races per day during the first 12 days of the track’s 2022 season.
Ms. Barber also reported that, during the first six days of the SunRay Park meet, a total of 111 New Mexico-breds competed in open overnight races, of which 42 (21 Thoroughbreds and 21 Quarter Horses) finished first, second, or third. Bonuses totaling $47,887 were paid to the owners of these horses.
In addition, 120 horses raced in the 15 overnight New Mexico-bred Thoroughbred races for an average field size of 8 horses
per race, and 157 horses raced in the 17 overnight state-bred Quarter Horse races for an average field size of 9.24 horses per race.
• NMRC chairman David “Hossie” Sanchez introduced the new commissioner, Robert Pitre.
• NMRC executive director
Ismael “Izzy” Trejo introduced the commission’s new investigator, Arthur Pierre. Mr. Pierre has extensive experience in the racing industry, including working on a breeding farm and working as an assistant trainer and assistant starter.
He also has served as an investigator in another jurisdiction.
Mr. Trejo also reported that he and Mr. Pierre visited a prison in Santa Fe, where inmates are learning to work with and take care of retired racehorses.
• NMRC chief investigator Leasa Johnson reported that she attended a Land Rover/ Rolex horse event in Kentucky, where there were seminars covering ways to reduce the risk of injuries to riders. She also reported that there is a device that can fit on the back of a rider’s helmet that can detect if the rider might have sustained a concussion from a fall. If the helmet is hit hard enough, the device turns red to warn of a possible concussion.
Ms. Johnson showed the commission one of the devices, and she reported that the cost was $65, perhaps less if they were purchased in bulk.
• The commission set the dates for the remaining meetings for 2023:
July 20
August 17 (this meeting could possibly be held in Ruidoso)
September 21
October 19
November 16
• SunRay Park director of racing Steve Fedunak received approval to amend the track’s stakes schedule to add second divisions of
the $100,000 Jack Cole Stakes (R) for New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and $100,000 Jimmy Drake Stakes (RG3) for New Mexico- bred Quarter Horses. He also received approval for the track to drop Daily Double wagers from its wagering menu.
• Ruidoso Downs president Rick Baugh received approval to amend the track’s stakes schedule to run all covered Thoroughbred stakes Lasix-free.
• Albuquerque Downs president of racing Don Cook received approval for The Downs’ 2023 condition book, stakes schedule, purse structure, and post times and wagering format.
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