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A Q&A with Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino GM Rick Baugh

A Q&A with Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino GM Rick Baugh

The spring and summer racing meet begins on Friday with some of the best quarter horse racing in the world at Ruidoso Downs. The season has 47 days of racing and ends on Labor Day.

Here's what General Manager Rick Baugh had to say as the El Paso Times caught up with him prior to the start of this year's season.

Q: With the season starting on Memorial Weekend, how are things going in preparation?

A: "We're excited for the season. We have been working hard and once again, we'll have very good racing and some of the best quarter horses in the world. We have concerts planned and other events are planned for our fans and visitors."

Crowds begin to arrive and take their seats ahead of the start of horse racing on Labor Day for the All American Weekend at Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino on Sept. 4, 2023.

Q: Last year you made several changes to help ensure the safety of the horses. What can we expect this season?

A: "We'll continue to be proactive. We've entered into a Co-Op with other tracks around the country that run quarter horses and this will be beneficial to everyone. We can monitor the horses much better and know their health situation. We'll be able to keep track of trainers as well. We'll continue to preach safety and the health of the horses is so important. We'll get the veterinarians more involved as well in terms of them looking at the horses in advance of races."

Q: Have changes been made to the track?

A: "We hired a new track man, Sean Wright, and we upgraded the track. We feel good about the improvement we made in that area."

Q: Will all fans still need to have tickets for All American Futurity? (Of note, tickets are needed for all fans for the biggest race of the year and crowd size will be limited. Other days will not be affected)

A: "Fans will need a ticket this year for that big race. We got to the point where the crowds were too big and lines for wagering were so long. We hope for a better experience for the fans."

Jockeys and horses compete on Labor Day for at the All American Weekend at Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino on Sept. 4, 2023.

More: Horse Racing News Seize the Grey likely headed for Belmont Stakes. What horses might Preakness winner face?

Felix F. Chavez can be reached at fchavez@elpasotimes.com; @Fchavezeptimes on X

This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: A Q&A with Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino GM Rick Baugh

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