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Ruidoso Meet Up

Handle, attendance up, Wicked Courage is Horse of the Meet.

Press Release
September 4, 2013

Ruidoso Downs Race Track Logo

The 60-day Ruidoso Downs summer season concluded with a 8.3 percent increase in total handle and a 3.4 percent boost in attendance.

The handle increase included a 9.8 percent boost in live handle and a 8.3 percent increase in handle at Ruidoso Downs from other sites.

The attendance increase came with a record-setting closing weekend, highlighted by the Grade 1, $2.6 million All American Futurity and the Grade 1, $2.8 million All American Derby.

On Sunday, All American Derby day, 21,857 fans attended Ruidoso Downs for the all-time largest crowd on a non-All American Futurity Day. On Labor Day, All American Futurity day, 24,558 patrons came to Ruidoso Downs for the highest attendance in the track’s history.

The total attendance over the four racing days on Labor Day weekend reached 57,236, breaking the previous record of 54,992 set in 2012.

Andrew Smith’s 3-year-old Wicked Courage was named Quarter Horse of the meet and top 3-year-old or older Quarter Horse, while Jeffrey and Chris Meyers’ Treacherous was honored as the top Thoroughbred and 3-year-old or older Thoroughbred for the meet.

Wicked Courage, a gelding by Captain Courage, moved to the top of the national rankings with Grade 1 wins in the $822,000 Ruidoso Derby and the $1,055,000 Rainbow Derby for trainer Luis Villafranco. The Rainbow Derby victory capped a nine-race winning streak for Wicked Courage.

Norma Alvarez, Brenda Alvarez and Debra Laney’s Handsome Jack Flash was named the top two-year-old quarter horse after his wins in the Grade 1, $2.6 million All American Futurity and the Restricted Grade 1, $409,434 Zia Futurity (RG1) over New Mexico-breds. He has won four of five starts, all at Ruidoso Downs, and earned $1,482,271.

R.D. Hubbard’s homebred Reaper won a tight competition to be named the top 2-year-old Thoroughbred.

Racing returns to Ruidoso Downs on May 22 (the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend) with two days of trials to the Ruidoso Futurity.