Ruidoso Downs to Use "K-9 Power" This Year

The track has teamed with local law enforcement agencies to use dogs to sniff out illicit substances.

Edited press release

Ruidoso Downs president and general manager Jeff True (center) poses with members of local law enforcement. PHOTO: Ruidoso Downs Racetrack

Ruidoso Downs Racetrack is teaming up with the Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs Police Departments and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s office to use K-9 units at the track.

The three local law enforcement agencies will use experienced K-9 units to periodically inspect incoming trucks and trailers, as well as tack rooms and feed storage areas in the barn areas to detect illicit substances. This increased security effort will encompass the entire track property, including vehicles and tack rooms in the stable area.

“We’re pleased to join forces with local and regional law enforcement to create a more safe and secure racing environment at Ruidoso Downs,” said Ruidoso Downs’ president and general manager Jeff True.

The K-9 units are on regular patrol with their respective agencies in the execution of their duties and have been trained for the detection of illegal human drugs. A newly acquired dog is currently being imprinted and trained in the detection of illegal equine substances that have been detected in post-race and out of-competition testing programs conducted by the state racing commissions in New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. The new K-9 unit will be deployed at Ruidoso this summer.

“Dogs can smell odors at levels of parts per trillion, say the scientists, and they can be trained to alert to any scents that they are trained to find," True explained. "The investment in a dog that can detect illicit equine substances is a logical addition to our comprehensive effort to prevent the use of those substances in racing."

All the canine units have been exposed to horses and barns, and they have shown no adverse reaction to those environments.

The 47-day Ruidoso Downs season opens on Friday with the first of two days of trials to the Grade 1, $1 million Ruidoso Futurity.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit