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Ruidoso Downs Hall of Fame inductees announced

World champion Danjer among six who will be enshrined next summer
Danjer, AQHA world champion quarter horse in 2021, has been chosen as an inductee to the Ruidoso Downs Hall of Fame next summer. (Roberta Harris/Ruidoso Downs)

RUIDOSO – Members of the All American Ruidoso Downs Foundation have selected inductees for the annual Ruidoso Downs Hall of Fame ceremony, to be held Thursday, June 27.

The six inductees to be honored next summer include world champion racehorse Danjer, as well as trainer Mike Joiner, jockey Chris Zamora, owner/breeder MJ Farms and Billy Smith and Tom Dawson.

The Ruidoso Downs Hall of Fame honors people and animals that have made major impacts in the horse racing industry both nationwide and at Ruidoso Downs through the years.

Danjer, a winner of a dozen Grade 1 stakes races, was a winner of 22 races in his career and earned nearly $2.5 million. The Oklahoma-bred son of FDD Dynasty was named the 2021 World Champion by the American Quarter Horse Association as well as 2020 and 2021 AQHA Champion Aged Horse and Aged Gelding.

Danjer died last summer of an aneurysm while in training for the All American Gold Cup at Ruidoso Downs.

The Albuquerque-based breeding farm MJ Farms, owned by Mac Murray and Dr. Janis Murray, is home to top-ranked New Mexico-bred sires Big Daddy Cartel and Eye Am King. The stallion farm has also owned or managed such major sires as Dash Ta Fame, Jesse James Jr and Woodbridge.

Major stakes winners from the MJ Farms breeding program include Astica, Alice K White, Big Daddy, Mister Riptide, Bella De Ball, Wild Six and Kendall Jackson. MJ Farms has been a top producer of yearlings at the New Mexico and Ruidoso Select Sale for many years.

Trainer Mike Joiner earned his first win in the All American Futurity last summer when he saddled Cowboys Gun Z to the win. Joiner has career earnings of over $30 million with more than 950 wins to his credit.

Joiner has been training horses at Ruidoso Downs since 1991, having won every major stakes event at least once through the years. Top horses that have hailed from the Joiner barn include Flash and Roll, Bodadcious Eagle, FDD Dynasty, First Valiant Sign among many other champions and stakes winners.

Chris Zamora is considered by many to be one of the top New Mexico-based jockeys for more than 20 years. Zamora had logged more than 2,000 wins in a riding career that stretched from the late 1980s to 2011.

Zamora won 12 riding titles during his riding career at Albuquerque Downs, Ruidoso Downs and Santa Fe Downs. He was the nation’s leading quarter horse rider in money earned in 1994, and has career quarter horse earnings of $11.4 million.

Some of his top mounts included quarter horses such as Noblesse Six, Blazin N Shakin, Namehimastreaker, Rabbit Revival, Kama Shootin and Chicks Are Streakin.

Zamora also notched 1,027 thoroughbred victories during his career with earnings of $6 million.

For more information on the inductees, check out the official site for Ruidoso Downs at raceruidoso.com.