New Mexico horse tracks host Kentucky Derby Watch events
“It’s so exciting to be back and have the crowd. That’s what we really missed last year was the crowd. It’s fun to have the races, but until you see the fans in the stands who are Shouting and yelling for your horse to finish first is what we really missed last year, “said Tim Keithly, Marketing Director of Ruidoso Downs.
It was also a day for reunion. Some friends had the opportunity to meet for the first time since the pandemic began.
“When she walked in yesterday it was overwhelming because we’ve been friends for over 30 years and seeing her and talking on the phone, but talking on the phone is not the same as sitting up close and personal and being able to hug someone and just go back outside being and socializing, ”said Mona Hall, a member of the Watch Party.
With summer just around the corner, Ruidoso Downs expect horse racing to be a great way for even more people to socialize.
“Perfect sport to get back from the pandemic because everything is out in the open. You can see you just went to the lawn club. It’s open air. The stands are open air so people can socialize. Wear one Mask, wash your hands and take part anyway, ”Keithly said.
Other people said they look forward to making new connections.
“That’s incredible. I just met Mona. Today she introduced me to Crystal to make new friends and new experiences. This is a great day, ”said Vennie Mae, a participant.
Most partygoers said they cheered Roswell-born Mike Smith and his horse Midnight Bourbon. Smith has won two Kentucky Derby races in 2005 and 2018.
“Mine That Bird will always be known as the New Mexico Kentucky Derby winner, and we are proud of that,” said Keithly.