New Stakes, Early Start Highlight Ruidoso Downs Meet

by | 01.09.2019 | 2:37pm
Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico

An earlier opening day on Friday, May 10 and new stakes races added to the iconic stakes schedule welcome fans this summer at Ruidoso Downs.

The new stakes races are the $100,000 (est.) Maiden Stakes for three through five-year-old quarter horses and the $45,000 (est.) Rita Danley Distaff for three-year-old and older New Mexico bred quarter horse fillies and mares. Returning to the Ruidoso Downs' stakes lineup is the AQHA Regional Juvenile Challenge for two-year-old quarter horses.

The Maiden Stakes trials will be contested on opening day (May 10) with the 10-fastest qualifiers racing in the May 27 finals.

The Rita Danley Distaff will be run on June 30.

The AQHA Juvenile Challenge trials run on May 17 with the finals on June 2.

The new stakes races join the legendary Grade 1 triple crown races at Ruidoso Downs. Those signature events are the $3,000,000 (est.) All American Futurity and $1,000,000 (est.)  All American Derby (September 1-2), $1,000,000 (est.) Rainbow Futurity and $750,000 (est.) Rainbow Derby (July 20-21) along with the $1,000,000 (est.) Ruidoso Futurity and the $750,000 (est.) Ruidoso Derby (June 8-9).

“Our early, Mothers' Day weekend opening has enabled us to add some key stakes races that we think will increase participation this summer,” RuidosoDowns' president and general manager Jeff True said.  “Our signature quarter horse races and several of our thoroughbred races have shown significant increases in numbers, so we are looking forward to a great racing year.”

Ruidoso Downs offers a $2-million Triple Crown Futurity Bonus to the owners of a horse which sweeps all three futurities. Three-year-old quarter horses race for the $1-million Triple Crown Derby Bonus for any horse that wins the three Grade 1 derbies.

New Mexico-bred racing will be celebrated during the Zia Festival on July 27-28. The largest purse is offered in the $400,000 (est.) Zia Futurity. Zia weekend provides 11 stakes races carded over the two days.


10 Friday         Ruidoso Maiden Stakes Trials

17 Friday         John Deere Juvenile Trials

24 Friday         Ruidoso QH Futurity Trials

25 Saturday     Ruidoso QH Futurity Trials

26 Sunday       Ruidoso QH Derby Trials

27 Monday      Ruidoso Maiden Stakes Final – $100,000 purse (est.)

31 Friday         Mountain Top NM Bred QH Futurity Trials


  1 Saturday     Dash For Speed F & M Stakes – $25,000 purse

  2 Sunday       John Deere Juvenile Final (G3) – $25,000 purse

  2 Sunday       First Lady Handicap – $30,000 purse

  7 Friday         Mountain Top NM Bred TB Futurity Trials 

  8 Saturday     Ruidoso QH Derby Final (G1) $750,000 est. purse

  8 Saturday     Mr Jess Perry – $100,000 purse

  9 Sunday       Ruidoso QH Futurity Final (G1) $1,000,000 est. purse

  9 Sunday       Ruidoso (AQHA) QH Juvenile – $100,000 purse

14 Friday         Ruidoso Adequan Derby Challenge Trials

15 Saturday     Mountain Top NM Bred QH Futurity Final (RG2) $350,000 est. purse 

16 Sunday       Ruidoso Sprint Handicap $30,000 Purse

22 Saturday     Mountain Top NM Bred TB Futurity Final – $175,000 est. purse

29 Saturday     Ruidoso Adequan Derby Challenge Final – $60,000 est. purse

29 Saturday     Higheasterjet Handicap (G2) – $50,000 purse

30 Sunday       Rita Danley Distaff – $45,000 est. purse


  5 Friday         Rainbow QH Futurity Trials

  6 Saturday     Rainbow QH Futurity Trials

  7 Sunday       Rainbow QH Derby Trials

12 Friday         Zia QH Futurity Trials

13 Saturday     Zia QH Derby Trials 

20 Saturday     Rainbow QH Derby Final (G1) $750,000 est. purse

20 Saturday     Corona Cartel – $100,000 purse

21 Sunday       Rainbow QH Futurity Final (G1) $1,000,000 est. purse

21 Sunday       Rainbow QH Juvenile – $100,000 purse

26 Friday         Ruidoso Downs Distaff Challenge Trials

27 Saturday     By By JJ – $50,000 purse

27 Saturday     Bobby Dan Crenshaw Memorial – $20,000 purse

27 Saturday     Zia Handicap (RG2) – $50,000 purse

27 Saturday     Sierra Starlet – $50,000 purse

27 Saturday     Sierra Blanca Handicap – $50,000 purse

28 Sunday       Zia 870 Championship – $50,000 purse

28 Sunday       Road Runner Handicap – $50,000 purse

28 Sunday       Zia QH Derby Final (RG2) $150,000 est. purse

28 Sunday       Lincoln Handicap – $50,000 purse

28 Sunday       Land of Enchantment Handicap – $50,000 purse

28 Sunday       Zia QH Futurity Final (RG1) $400,000 est. purse


3 Saturday     Mr Jet Moore Handicap (G2) $50,000 purse

10 Saturday     Rio Grande Señor TB Futurity Trials 

10 Saturday     Rio Grande Señorita TB Futurity Trials

10 Saturday     Ruidoso Downs Distaff Challenge

11 Sunday       Brigand Handicap – $20,000 purse 

16 Friday         All American QH Futurity Trials

17 Saturday     All American QH Futurity Trials 

18 Sunday       All American QH Derby Trials

31 Saturday     John Andreini Memorial Stakes – $25,000 purse 

31 Saturday     Red White and Blue TB Claiming Stakes – $15,000 purse

31 Saturday     Bill Reed Memorial Stake – $20,000 purse


  1 Sunday       All American QH Gold Cup (G1) $200,000 purse

  1 Sunday       All American QH Derby Final (G1) $1,000,000 est. purse

  1 Sunday       First Down Dash – $100,000 purse

  1 Sunday       Rio Grande Señorita TB Futurity Final – $175,000 est. purse

  1 Sunday       Billy The Kid Handicap – $30,000 purse

  2 Monday      Rio Grande Señor TB Futurity Final – $175,000 est. purse

  2 Monday      Tribute To The Troops QH Claiming Race – $30,000 purse

  2 Monday     Labor Day TB Claiming Stakes – $15,000 purse

  2 Monday      Ruidoso NM Bred Claiming Stakes – $15,000 purse

  2 Monday      Governors Handicap – $30,000 purse

  2 Monday      All American Juvenile – $200,000 purse

  2 Monday      All American QH Futurity Final (G1) $3,000,000 est. purse


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