(KWES) - Tomorrow is the first Saturday in May which means the start of the 144th Kentucky Derby. This is considered one of the most prestigious horse races in the world and is often called the most exciting two minutes in sports. As we get ready to watch 20 Thoroughbred horses race, a near by Southwest race track Ruidoso Downs is getting ready to start their race season including both Thoroughbred horses and Quarter Horses.
"Around here, we have Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses and we run a mixed meet. We have a unique race track designed so that we have a dedicated straightaway for Quarter Horses and then right next to it is where it joins to the oval. So the Thoroughbreds run around the oval for a longer distance and the Quarter Horses run on the straightaways. We can run a straight race as far as 550 yards. There's all different classes of race between claimers, allowance and stake horses. There's different distances as well for both breeds," said Jeff True, President/General Manager.
There are some race tracks that only run one breed but True believes in the Southwest there isn't a particular love for a certain breed and that's what makes this track so special.
"It's a unique race track design that people like because you don't go everywhere and see the quality of quarter horse racing that we have at Ruidoso Downs. It's literally the best quarter horses in the business running at Ruidoso in the summer time," said True.
Ruidoso Will have a total of 47 race days starting from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. Their preseason racing starts Monday and ends on Wednesday.