Ruidoso Downs Racetrack, nestled in the mountains of southern New Mexico, opens its 47-day meet on Friday, May 24.

Once again, the track’s Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred meet will be highlighted by the $8-million All American Triple Crown for 2-year-old Quarter Horses, and its annual Zia Festival highlighting the best New Mexico-bred racehorses. The All American Triple Crown races consist of the 350-yard, $1-million Ruidoso Futurity (G1) on June 9; the 400-yard, $1-million Rainbow Futurity (G1) on July 14; and the sport’s richest race, the 440-yard, $3-million All American Futurity (G1) on September 2.

Other major open Quarter Horse stakes include three Grade 1 stakes for 3-year-olds, beginning with the 400-yard, $850,000 Ruidoso Derby on June 8, followed by the 440-yard, $750,000 Rainbow Derby on July 13, and the 440-yard, $700,000 All American Derby on September 1. Also, the sport’s best sophomore fillies will match strides in the 440-yard, $350,000 Rainbow Oaks (G1) on July 13, and the 440-yard, $500,000 All American Oaks (G1) on September 1.

Ruidoso Downs will also offer solid stakes opportunity for aged Quarter Horses, ending with the 440-yard, $250,000 All American Gold Cup (G1) on September 2.

This year’s Zia Festival races will take place during the weekend of July 20-21. Ten New Mexico-bred stakes — five for Thoroughbreds and five for Thoroughbreds — will be contested, led by the Ruidoso’s richest race for state-bred Quarter Horses, the 400-yard, $375,000 Zia Futurity (RG1) on July 21.

Other prominent New Mexico-bred Quarter Horse stakes include the 350-yard, $150,000 Mountain Top Derby (R) on June 15, and the 350-yard, $350,0000 Mountain Top Futurity (RG2) on June 16.

Ruidoso Downs will also offer three lucrative stakes for New Mexico-bred 2-year-old Thoroughbreds, starting with the 5-furlong, $150,000 Mountain Top Futurity (R) on June 23, and followed by the 5 1/2-furlong, $125,000 Rio Grande Senorita Futurity (R) for fillies on August 4, and the 5 1/2-furlong, $125,000 Rio Grande Senor Futurity (R) on August 4.

Ruidoso Downs will offer racing primarily on a Friday-through-Sunday schedule. Holiday racing is slated for Monday, May 27; Thursday, July 4; and closing day, Monday, September 2. For more information, including a complete stakes schedule, visit the track’s website at