Ruidoso Announces Strict Drug Guidelines

R.D. Hubbard makes strong statement about Class 1 and Class 2 drugs at New Mexico track.

September 3, 2012

Ruidoso Downs Race Track Logo

R.D. Hubbard, chairman of the board and majority owner of Ruidoso Downs Race Track, announced that drug offenders will be booted from the racetrack’s private property beginning in 2013, saying “the sign is out that drug offenders are not welcome at Ruidoso Downs Race Track and in New Mexico.”

In addition, he has informed the New Mexico Racing Commission and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez that he will work to get other tracks to implant the same strict guidelines.

“I have been in the horse racing business for more than 50 years, and I love the horses and the sport,” Hubbard said. “I will not idly stand by and watch a few mistreat these great animals and ruin the great sport of horse racing. Consequently, I have informed the New Mexico Racing Commission and the Governor of our intentions for the 2013 race season.”

The new guidelines will be that any positive test for a Class 1 or Class 2 drug will immediately result in the trainer having his stalls revoked and his or her ability to enter horses suspended. They will be banned from the grounds. These guidelines will be included in the stall application trainers sign when applying for stalls.

“The racetrack provides stalls to trainers rent free, and we pay all the utilities associated with them as well as the cost of removal of waste,” Hubbard said. “Most people do not realize that having stalls at a track is a privilege and not a right.

“Consequently, anyone who abuses these great animals and this wonderful sport are not welcome at Ruidoso Downs Race Track,” he added. “This should not be a burdensome rule to anyone because there is no need for a Class 1 or Class 2 drug to be anywhere near these horses. We recognize that the majority of trainers are quality and trustworthy horsemen and it is just a few who have abused the system. This guideline will give all other owners and trainers as well as the fans the assurance that horses are all running with an equal opportunity.”

Hubbard did not stop there. “I have already spoken with Dr. Ed Allred (owner of Los Alamitos Race Course in Southern California), and he fully supports this guideline and is going to institute it there as well,” Hubbard continued. “Furthermore, I am personally going to seek the agreement of the other tracks in New Mexico as well as Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana to join us in this effort.”

American Quarter Horse Association Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. of the nearly 300,000-member strong AQHA offered his support as well.

“We are very pleased to see this action taken by Ruidoso Downs and will do everything we can to take a leadership role in implanting this and other strong guidelines against illegal drug users in all areas of the country,” he said.

Ruidoso Downs Race Track has been a strong supporter of active steps the New Mexico Racing Commission has already taken in cracking down on the illegal use of Class 1 and Class 2 drugs. It worked collectively with the Racing Commission to find one of the few laboratories in the country (University of California-Davis) able to detect the designer drugs that a few horsemen were allegedly using on Memorial Day weekend, the opening of the 2012 race season at Ruidoso. That enhanced testing resulted in multiple bad tests on opening weekend.

“The good news is that since May 26, 2012, there has not been one positive test for a Class 1 drug and only two high caffeine tests,” Hubbard said. “I believe everyone got the message and now are playing by the rules. This new guideline will be one more step in our effort to work with the Commission to clean house on anyone using illegal drugs. Everyone will have had plenty of notice that the sign is out that drug offenders are not welcome at Ruidoso Downs Race Track and in New Mexico.”