Ruidoso Downs Race Track — 6 Important Things to Know

If you’re an enthusiast of horse racing and love gambling, Ruidoso Downs in Southern New Mexico is your go-to destination! The Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino is a hot spot for aficionados who revel in watching equine competitors sprint to the finish. While there, you can also try your luck at the casino and indulge in a tasty meal. What’s more, the venue is set against the scenic backdrop of the Sierra Blanca mountains, attracting visitors from not just New Mexico and Texas, but other regions as well.

Some even choose to make Ruidoso their permanent residence – see great listings here!

Here’s what you should know about Ruidoso Downs Race Track:

Ruidoso downs horses at the gate

1. What kind of races can you find at Ruidoso Downs?

Ruidoso Downs specializes in both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races. Its standout event is the All American Futurity, widely recognized as the “richest race” in the world of American Quarter Horses and the most lucrative for two-year-olds of any breed. Ruidoso Downs markets itself as “The Home of the $8 Million Quarter Horse Triple Crown.” The name “Quarter Horse” originates from these horses excelling in quarter-mile sprints.

2. When does the racing action happen at Ruidoso Downs?

Live horse racing at Ruidoso Downs takes place on weekends, generally running from Memorial Day through to Labor Day. The season reaches its thrilling zenith with the All American Futurity during the Labor Day weekend. Additionally, during the off-season, you can wager on horse races from across the nation at the venue’s Race Book.

Gambling at Ruidoso Downs3. gambling at Ruidoso Downs?

The Billy the Kid Casino, part of the larger Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino complex, operates daily. Featuring over 300 gaming devices, the options are abundant. The casino has recently expanded to include electronic gaming, with a variety that spans from low-stakes to high-limit slot machines.

Billy’s Shootout Six Handicapping Contest is a weekly event every Thursday at the Race Book, and it showcases a rotating lineup of tracks and races each month.

The Race Book itself offers a cozier environment complete with food and bar amenities within the Ruidoso Downs complex. An added bonus is the casino’s loyalty program, complimentary for those 21 and over, enabling you to accumulate points for free gameplay and even receive discounts at the racetrack.

4. What specific terms should you know for horse race betting?

Here are essential terms for placing a wager.

  • Win: Your selected horse must finish first.
  • Place: Your horse has to end up in either the top two positions.
  • Show: Your horse is required to be among the first three finishers.
  • Across the board: Betting on a single horse to either win, place, or show on one ticket.
  • Exacta: Pick the top two horses in the correct order.
  • Exacta box: Choose the first two horses, regardless of the order.
  • Trifecta: Select the first three horses in precise order.
  • Trifecta box: Pick the initial three horses, in any arrangement.
  • Superfecta: Decide on the leading four horses in the specific sequence.

These terms align with the official end results of the race.

For those with more experience, consider permutation betting with an exacta, trifecta, or superfecta; you’ll be picking more than one horse in a race, which could elevate your winning prospects. Always wait for the official announcement before redeeming your ticket, either at a manned counter or a self-service station (a second look never hurts, even if you think you’ve lost).

Also, keep in mind that at Ruidoso Downs, live race bets are organized as a “pool bet.” All bets on a certain race are grouped together, and the winnings are proportionally divided among those holding winning tickets, similar to a lottery.PVP Ruidoso Downs

5. What’s the high-end way to take in the races at The Downs?

For a lavish outing, consider the Jockey Club’s membership. As per their site, it grants you “exclusive observation points paired with premium food and beverages.” Membership options and single-day passes are offered (subject to certain conditions).

6. What additional activities are available at Ruidoso Downs?

Ruidoso Downs is more than just a hub for equine competitions and wagering. It’s also a go-to location for live music and special events such as the Zia Festival and Chile the Kid Festival. For culinary experiences, you can dine over the weekend at establishments like 440 Smokehouse and Anejo Cantina. Brendan’s at the Jockey Club offers premium meals to the public on Friday and Saturday nights from September through May.

As for attire, apart from the upscale Jockey Club, a weekend casual dress code suffices.

If you’re contemplating making Ruidoso your home, you can browse through available home listings and luxury vacation rentals by clicking the appropriate links.

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