Rainbow Oaks and Derby Trials Rescheduled For This Weekend at Ruidoso Downs Race Track
Crews are using excavators to widen and deepen the river channel as it passes through the racetrack’s property in the event of further floodwaters.

© Ruidoso Downs Race Track
Rainbow Oaks and Derby Trials Rescheduled For This Weekend at Ruidoso Downs Race Track

RUIDOSO DOWNS, NM–JULY 2, 2024–The rescheduling of trials for the Grade-1 $800,000 Rainbow Derby and $482,000 (est.) Rainbow Oaks, Presented by Rolling Still Vodka and Ponderosa Whiskey, will be this Saturday and Sunday pending approval by the New Mexico Racing Commission.

Eight trials for the Rainbow Derby will be added to the race card on Saturday, July 6th, and five trials for the Rainbow Oaks will be added to the card on Sunday, July 7th.

The finals for both stakes events will occur two weeks later during the Zia Festival, July 20-21.

The Derby and Oaks trials were postponed Sunday due to flooding caused by the burn scar from recent fires in the Ruidoso area. Workers continue to repair the damage created by the flooding in hopes that racing will continue this Thursday, July 4th.               

Ruidoso Downs General Manager Rick Baugh met with horsemen on Monday afternoon in the racing office  to listen and hear their input about the proposed rescheduling of the trials.

"We will ask the racing commission to approve the plan on Tuesday," Baugh told the horsemen. "We are doing everything in our power to repair the damage to the race track and we’re in hopes that we can run the Derby and Oaks trials this weekend and get back on schedule."

Baugh said the quarter horse track could be available for quarter horse training as early as Wednesday morning.

He said the thoroughbred track’s six-furlong chute has been severely damaged, and it might be considerably longer before the track can continue with thoroughbred training and racing.

"The quarter horse portion of our race track is unscathed from the floods,” Baugh said. “The first-turn of the thoroughbred track sustained the flood damage and we are working as fast as we can to make those necessary repairs."

Meanwhile, crews are using excavators to make the river channel much wider and deeper as it goes through the track’s property in the event of further floodwaters.

"We remain confident that we’re going to be able to race this weekend," Baugh said. "We are dealing with never-before seen flooding within this community, so we appreciate the support of our horsemen and racing industry as we all work to get through this crisis together."

Post time is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday and 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The latest information about the racing season can be found at