02/14/2015 4:10PM

All American Futurity receives record number of nominations

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Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico has received a record 1,434 nominations for the 2016 running of the All American Futurity, the track announced late Friday. The number of Quarter Horses nominated is up 10 percent from a year ago, with their payments also making them eligible for the 2016 runnings of the Ruidoso and Rainbow futurities at Ruidoso.

The nominations to the three-race series called the Triple Crown closed in January.

Ruidoso has experienced a 13 percent increase in nominations for the 2015 All American Futurity, which will be worth a record $3 million when it is renewed on Labor Day. Last year, the 440-yard race was worth $2.6 million. The estimated $3 million purse is the largest purse for any race for 2-year-olds, including Thoroughbred offerings, according to Ruidoso. The winner of the All American will earn 50 percent of the purse.

Ruidoso has also experienced double-digit increase in nominations to the 2015 runnings of the Ruidoso and Rainbow futurities. There are a couple of different reasons for all of the increases, said Shaun Hubbard, general manager of Ruidoso.

“Of course, one thing we all know is that we couldn’t see these increases without the support of the breeders, owners, and trainers,” Hubbard said in a release. “They make it happen and it’s apparent that our changes and improvements since last summer have been well received. We are truly appreciative.”

Ruidoso has changed some of its policies tied to major races. The track now requires horses pointing for futurity and derby trials to be stabled on the grounds 48 hours in advance of entries of those races. Ruidoso also requires qualifiers remain on the grounds through the finale. Horses will also be subjected to random testing.

There will also be off-site testing throughout the year, and to ensure cooperation, the New Mexico Racing Commission will work with the New Mexico State Police, according to a release from Ruidoso.