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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Ruidoso Downs Race Track opening back up to the public Memorial Day weekend

The track will then be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. this summer until Labor Day.

RUIDOSO, N.M. — The sound of a trumpet blaring. It's the sound of normal.  At least to horse racing fans in West Texas.

Soon the stands at Ruidoso Downs could look like they did back in 2019, filled with excitement.

"There's so much to do here, biking and camping and all of the outdoor activities, and part of that is horse racing," Tim Keithley, Ruidoso Downs director of marketing said.

Opening day is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.

No thoroughbreds here, Ruidoso Downs is home to quarter horse racing.

"A lot of folks came to the races when they were young with their grandparents or their parents, and so now as they grow up they want to show the same fun activity to their children," Keithley said.

Soon this generational pastime hopes to be lifting COVID-19 restrictions to get back to full gallop.

"We're hoping by that time that we're going to be full capacity," Keithley said. "We're making plans for full capacity and we believe we'll be there by Memorial Day weekend."

But the track is still following New Mexico guidelines of social distancing, temperature checks, etc.

"As long as folks are doing the typical guidelines of wearing their face covering, washing your hands, socially distancing," Keithley said. "Well we're fine with all of that as long as we get to have horse racing."

One perk here at the track, there's lots of space to spread out.

"It's a seven-eighths mile race track, and so we'll have lots of areas for folks to enjoy the races and feel comfortable at the same time," Keithley said. "Now that we feel like, it feels like we're towards the end of it, we're all going to be very jubilant this summer to be able to do what we want to do."

You won't find mint juleps or fancy hats at this track, but track operators hope a little entertainment and some competition will help all of us get back to the normal we once knew.