Horse racing aficionados and gambling enthusiasts, make your way to Ruidoso Downs in the southern part of New Mexico, situated 180 miles from Albuquerque! It’s not just about the horse racing; it’s about the vibrant atmosphere of the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino, cheering on the horses, trying your luck with casino games, and savoring scrumptious meals. Ruidoso Downs is situated within the breathtaking Sierra Blanca mountains, a magnet for visitors from New Mexico, Texas, and other regions. Some even find Ruidoso so appealing that they make it their home (find enticing listings by clicking here!).
6 Things To Know About Ruidoso Downs Race Track & Casino
1. A Variety Of Races Are Held At Ruidoso Downs
Known for hosting both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races, Ruidoso Downs is synonymous with the All American Futurity. Often hailed as the “richest race” in the Quarter Horse world, and the most lucrative for two-year-olds, the track has earned the nickname “The Home of the $8 Million Quarter Horse Triple Crown.” Quarter Horses, recognized for their lightning speed in a quarter-mile sprint, are a particular highlight.
2. Ruidoso Downs Racing Season
Enjoy live racing excitement at Ruidoso Downs, usually held on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day, culminating in the thrilling All American Futurity during Labor Day weekend. Additionally, bet on races countrywide at the Race Book even during the off-season.
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3. Gambling At Ruidoso Downs, Anyone?
Indulge in gaming at Billy the Kid Casino, a part of the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino complex. Choose from more than 300 gaming machines and enjoy the recently introduced electronic gaming. Billy’s Shootout Six Handicapping Contest, with a $5 buy-in, occurs every Thursday, offering various opportunities. The Race Book provides an intimate setting with food and bar service. There’s even a free casino rewards club for those over 21, where you can earn points for free play and even track discounts.
4. Horse Racing Betting Terms At Ruidoso Downs
Understand these terms for placing your bets.
- Win: Your horse must come in the first position.
- Place: Your horse must come in first or second position.
- Show: Your horse must come in first, second, or third position.
- Across the board: Win, place, or show for a single horse on one ticket.
- Exacta: First two horses in the exact order.
- Exacta box: First two horses in any order.
- Trifecta: First three horses in exact order.
- Trifecta box: First three horses in any order.
- Superfecta: First four horses in exact order.
Note that all these designations are according to the official results of the order of finish.
Also, familiarize yourself with a “pool bet” in live race betting, where the stakes are pooled, and winnings are distributed like a lottery among those with winning tickets.
5. Find Yourself In The Lap Of Luxury At Ruidoso Downs
For an upscale experience, explore the Jockey Club. With private membership, indulge in “exclusive viewing at the heart of the action with premium drinks and dining.” Temporary passes are also available (some restrictions apply).
6. Beyond The Races At Ruidoso Downs
Ruidoso Downs is more than just racing and wagering. It’s also a hub for concerts and festivals like the Zia Festival and the Chile the Kid Festival. Savor weekend culinary delights at 440 Smokehouse and Anejo Cantina, or enjoy fine dining at Brendan’s at the Jockey Club during the fall and spring months.
What to wear? Casual weekend wear is fine at Ruidoso Downs, except at the exclusive Jockey Club.
Whether you’re into horse racing, gaming, or simply soaking in the natural beauty, Ruidoso Downs, just a three-hour drive from Albuquerque, offers an unforgettable experience.