2016 Race Dates Changed for Two New Mexico Tracks

The Downs at Albuquerque will conduct a continuous 60-day meet from June 25-September 25.

Q-Racing Journal

The New Mexico Racing Commission has approved 2016 date changes for The Downs at Albuquerque and SunRay Park.

The New Mexico Racing Commission on October 22 unanimously voted to allow two New Mexico tracks to essentially switch their race dates for 2016.

As a result of the commission's actions, The Downs at Albuquerque will conduct a 60-day meet from June 25-September 25. The track was ordered to offer a minimum of 10 races per day from opening day through September 2. The 17-day New Mexico State Fair meet at The Downs will run from September 3-25.

SunRay Park in Farmington will run a 36-day meet from April 22-June 21. In 2015, The Downs conducted a 39-day meet in the spring, followed by a 17-day fall meet in conjunction with the New Mexico State Fair in September, and SunRay Park ran its meet in July and August.

The switch was made at the request of management of The Downs at Albuquerque. Track president Paul Blanchard and director of racing Don Cook told commissioners that moving the Albuquerque race dates from the spring to the summer would help the track attract and retain horsemen for a continuous three-month meet, as well as give the track more time to make improvements and upgrades to its grandstand and paddock area.

Ruidoso Downs management, led by general manager Shaun Hubbard, opposed the move, saying that the switch of race dates would hurt its track during its summer meet, which runs Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

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