An Open Letter to the New Mexico Racing Fee


Derby Trail hopeful, Señor Buscador (seen left), from the barn of Todd Fincher works at Sam Houston Race Park with jockey Ty Kennedy aboard (.38 seconds 3F on 01/12/21). He is just one of the many Thoroughbreds who have fled the state seeking races outside of New Mexico. This Thursday the New Mexico Racing Commission holds its monthly meeting. J.N. Campbell submitted a position statement to the NMRC record (republished here).

Derby Path hopeful, Señor Buscador (seen left), from the barn of Todd Fincher works at Sam Houston Race Park with jockey Ty Kennedy aboard (.38 seconds 3F on 01/12/21). He’s simply one of many many Thoroughbreds who’ve fled the state looking for races outdoors of New Mexico. This Thursday the New Mexico Racing Fee holds its month-to-month assembly. J.N. Campbell submitted a place assertion to the NMRC file (republished right here).

Since early final 12 months, New Mexico has by order of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, closed racetracks throughout the state due to what most would agree is “a public well being disaster.” Sunland Park, close to the New Mexico-Texas line, cancelled the 2020 Sunland Derby. This will not be solely an vital cease on the Kentucky Derby Path, however has hooked up to it, contests that the very lifeblood of the Thoroughbred world in that a part of the nation.

The 2021 assembly is delayed, and at this level the working of that sequence most likely won’t happen. Over in Hobbs, New Mexico, Zia Park, which is hooked up to a on line casino tried to run over the past a part of the 12 months, however was halted when COVID-19 instances skyrocketed. For Quarter Horses that run at Ruidoso Downs, their season can also be in jeopardy as we head in the direction of the late spring and early summer time. 

What’s so perplexing about this case is that different states throughout the nation, from New York to California, have re-opened tracks and succeeded at holding individuals protected. A racetrack is not any totally different than a Walmart. Is not it? Social distancing really could be more practical on the former than the latter when protocols are in place, particularly with regards to cleanliness. Thus, it seems politics and worry have come to dominate the world of racing in New Mexico, simply because it has in different sectors. I’m not saying that’s unwarranted. Nevertheless, the consequences of those choices, to stay closed, could have far-reaching ramifications on every little thing from breeding operations to the very livelihoods of people who make their dwelling round horses that run.

To say that it’s going to take years for this trade in New Mexico to get better will not be an understatement. The lack of the Sunland Derby races has already compelled trainers inside the state to hunt races elsewhere, which may in flip change the trajectory of home-bred operations.

Take Todd Fincher, for example. He would usually be making ready his star runner, Señor Buscador, to run within the late March spotlight of that sequence, however as a substitute he was compelled to maneuver his entire operation to Sam Houston Race Park.

The lack of income for him, his workers, his shoppers, will probably be substantial. The stress is mounting. Fincher has a big operation, however what in regards to the smaller outfits that can’t afford to journey? How in regards to the backstretch employees or train riders who depend on seasonal work to outlive? The state of affairs is reaching a vital juncture. How will the state reply?

Within the spirit of what’s paramount for this trade, in a state that doesn’t all the time obtain correct racing protection by the media, you will discover a duplicate of the assertion of assist. I despatched this to the New Mexico Racing Fee to be learn in the course of the “Public Feedback” portion of their month-to-month assembly that will probably be held this Thursday. If you’re fascinated by listening to their proceedings, you possibly can go to their web site ( for the directions to logon to their Zoom name.


TO: New Mexico Racing Fee, January 14, 2021 Assembly Agenda

FROM: J.N. Campbell, Turfwriter

RE: Public Feedback, Assertion from a Skilled Turfwriter


Crescit Eundo…

That’s a Latin phrase from Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura, E-book VI, that relates the story of a thunderbolt zigzagging throughout the sky. Because it powerfully motions, momentum steadily builds like a temporal avalanche of vitality. The phrase was a “motto” for New Mexico again in 1887. I’m positive you might have seen it on the state seal to today. Translated…“It grows because it goes.”

As an expert turfwriter who covers North American Thoroughbred racing, I not solely write about this sport, however my ardour for it travels deep into my bones. I’m additionally the grandson of those that lived and cherished the Land of Enchantment. With that creed, I pen this assertion to you, the New Mexico Racing Fee, with a heavy coronary heart, however with conviction.

The stifling nature of COVID-19 has decimated hallmark trails just like the Sunland Derby, pushed trainers like Todd Fincher of impeccable character to different locales, and jeopardized the very way forward for breeding operations that maintain livelihoods. Although New Mexico will not be Kentucky, missing an extended legacy of state funding in racing; nonetheless, it’s the third largest trade. For now, its potential stays as an financial juggernaut, and like a Jicarilla Apache basket, an intricately woven a part of New Mexican tradition.

Nevertheless, the trade is dealing with its darkest hour, and it’s time so that you can impress this upon the Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, like by no means earlier than. Get the tracks and casinos open. Ship these positive backstretch staff, trainers, jockeys, racing officers, and each residual one that is impacted by these closures, safely again to work.

The racing world is behind you, New Mexico! Bear in mind the ability of momentum, Crescit Eundo—It grows because it goes…

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