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Albuquerue Downs

alburquequeRacing Dates: April – June
Max Per Race Payout: US$ 5,000
Main track (dirt): 1 mile, oval
Length of stretch from last turn to finish line: 1,117 ft
Width of stretch: 78 ft

Following the legalization of casino gaming in New Mexico in 1999, Albuquerque Downs finally opened its doors. Initially, while the horse racing itself boomed, the back end remained complicated and disorganised. Stability finally arrived in 2012 when a 25-year lease was signed binding the state fair and the racetrack, though the burden on taxpayers caused a considerable amount of controversy.

Albuquerque Downs may not give you the same family-friendly feeling that is experienced in some more modern racinos, but it features loads of live horse racing events, all the slot machines and restaurants you could want and a VIP Lounge equipped for year-round simulcast racing.

Annually there are over 50 days of live racing from April through August, as well as the 17-day long State Fair in September. The purses for the stakes races run during this time have reached as high as $1.8 million, with the largest individual purse being $150,000 featured for the Albuquerque Handicap. The signature event at Albuquerque Downs is the Lineage Stakes series which takes place in August and features nine stakes races, each of which features a purse of at least $50,000 and New Mexico-bred horses.