Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico is not just any racetrack—it’s a cornerstone of the local culture and a beacon for horse racing enthusiasts from around the world. Known especially for its quarter horse racing, Ruidoso Downs hosts some of the most prestigious races in the sport, including the famous All American Futurity, recognized as the richest quarter horse race in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or a newcomer to the races, here’s what makes Ruidoso Downs a must-visit destination.


Historical Significance

Ruidoso Downs has a storied history that adds depth to its modern allure. Established in the late 1940s, it has grown from a humble racing facility to a renowned venue attracting visitors nationwide. The track is uniquely tied to the local community and has been instrumental in developing and promoting the sport of quarter horse racing.


Racing Season Highlights

The racing season at Ruidoso Downs is packed with excitement, typically running from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The pinnacle of this season is the All American Futurity, held on Labor Day itself. This race not only offers a glimpse at some of the country’s top racing talents but also boasts a multimillion-dollar purse, drawing competitive fields and high stakes.


What to Expect

Visiting Ruidoso Downs is an experience that extends beyond the races. The facility offers a range of amenities to enhance the spectator experience:

  • Luxury Seating: From grandstand seats to luxurious Turf Club options, there are viewing choices to suit all preferences and budgets.
  • Betting Options: For those interested in wagering, there are ample opportunities to place bets, with kiosks and personnel readily available to assist first-timers.
  • Dining and Refreshments: The track features several dining options, from casual snacks to more formal dining rooms where you can enjoy a meal while watching the races.
  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Ruidoso Downs is a venue for everyone, including families. Special events and areas are often set up to entertain younger visitors, making it a great family outing.


Planning Your Visit

To make the most of your visit to Ruidoso Downs, consider the following tips:

  1. Check the Race Schedule: Visit the Ruidoso Downs website to check the race schedule and plan your trip around major race days or events.
  2. Arrive Early: Racing days can draw large crowds, especially during big races like the All American Futurity. Arriving early can help you find better parking and seating.
  3. Explore the Area: Ruidoso itself is a beautiful destination with plenty to offer beyond the racetrack. Consider extending your stay to explore local attractions, nature trails, and the vibrant art scene.


Schedule Your Stay

Ruidoso Downs offers more than just a day at the races—it’s an immersive experience that captures the spirit of New Mexico’s rich horse racing tradition. Whether you’re there to witness the heart-pounding finish of the All American Futurity or to enjoy a leisurely day of entertainment and dining, Ruidoso Downs promises a memorable visit steeped in the thrill and pageantry of horse racing.