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2020 Update

Located on the grounds of the New Mexico State Fair, Albuquerque Downs runs a mixed thoroughbred, quarter horse meet. Since 1946 it has run the New Mexico State Fair Futurity a race for New Mexico breds which is the oldest continuously run Quarter Horse race in America.

The track is a one mile oval with a glass enclosed grandstand that seats 7,200. The stables can accommodate 1,080 horses.

2020 Update

La Mesa Park2016 Opening Day Ad

Albuquerque Downs, went through a major renovation before the beginning of the 2016 season. The grandstand and casino were totally redone. The glass panels that enclosed the grandstand were removed giving the second and third story areas open air seating, giving an unobstructed view of the races and the Sandia Mountains in the background. The first level was enclosed and restaurants and bars were added to the Turf and Jockeys Clubs on the third level.

Another big change was the introduction to night racing which debuted in 2016 and you could now watch your horse run on the giant infield jumbotron. It was said these upgrades cost over a million dollars, you don't see that kind of commitment nowadays!   

I did make it to Albuquerque Downs once, but as usual no live racing was going on. To make matters worse, my son and I spent way to much time at the Sun Ray Park Casino earlier in the day. When we arrived at Albuquerque Downs, it was already dark so you really couldn't see very much, but we managed to find the casino. At that time I don't think you could call it "World Class", the place had seen better days. I don't know if it was cause it was Tuesday, but it was pretty empty. Anyway we found a video poker machine and wouldn't you know we hit the first and last royal flush of our careers. Now these machines were old, spitting quarters old, all of a sudden it started making noise and dumping out quarters, all we could do was start stuffing them in our pockets, after that we had to walk out hands in pockets to keep our pants up. As we left we got the evil eye from the two security guards on duty. I imagine things are a little more modern therenow.