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Six scheduled for induction to Ruidoso Downs Hall of Fame

Induction ceremony will take place this week celebrating historic racetrack
See Me Do It, a three-time Grade 1 stakes winner in 1989, is one of six inductees in the 2023 Ruidoso Downs Hall of Fame class. (Ruidoso Downs)

RUIDOSO – Ruidoso Downs racetrack will induct five individuals and one racehorse into the prestigious Ruidoso Downs racetrack Hall of Fame with the annual ceremony scheduled for Thursday evening.

In addition to See Me Do It, the 1989 American Quarter Horse Association’s World Champion, horsemen and racing officials in the sport of quarter horse and thoroughbred racing will be recognized for their years of service to the industry.

See Me Do It was chosen to be this year’s equine inductee. Owned and bred by the late Jean Dillard, who died in 2021, See Me Do It won 17 career races in 24 starts accumulating earnings of more than $913,000.

As a 2-year-old in 1988, See Me Do won the Oklahoma Spring Futurity at Blue Ribbon Downs before finishing later that year in the Grade-1 All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs.

The filly, trained by Bobby Turner and Blane Schvaneveldt, went undefeated during her 3-year-old season, winning three Grade 1 events including the Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos, the All American Derby and Rainbow Derby at Ruidoso Downs and becoming the first horse in AQHA history to win all three of those prestigious stakes races.

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Among the horsemen inducted into the Hall of Fame are trainer Paul Smith and jockey Joe A. Martinez.

Smith, who is still an active trainer with more than 1,600 wins in both quarter horse and thoroughbred racing, began his training career in the 1950s. Among his top runners were Crusher Run, a multiple stakes winner and earner of more than $200,000 from 1987 through 1989 at Ruidoso Downs as well as Remington Park in Oklahoma City.

Smith also trained Fast Gas, a 29-time winner from 77 career starts from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Fast Gas won 18 stakes races throughout New Mexico, including five at Ruidoso Downs. Smith-trained horses have more than 14,000 starts with 1,500 wins and career earnings of over $8,200,000.

Martinez, considered one of the top jockeys throughout the Southwest during his three-decade career, was at the height of his career in 1990 when he won an all-time record 103 races during one season at Ruidoso Downs.

Trainer Paul A. Smith, a winner of more than 1,500 races in both quarter horse and thoroughbred racing, is one of six inductees in the 2023 Ruidoso Downs Hall of Fame class. (Ruidoso Downs)

Some of Martinez’s most notable mounts include See Me Gone, winner of the 1991 Rainbow and All American Derby as well as Royal Down Dash, winner of the 1993 All American Derby, 1993 Sunland Park Fall Derby and 1994 New Mexico Challenge Championship; and World Champion Stoli, on board to win the 2000 West Texas Futurity.

A top rider of both quarter horses and thoroughbreds throughout his career, Martinez won over 4,000 races with combined earnings of more than $36.5 million. Martinez won over 140 stakes races including the All-American Derby twice, Rainbow Derby twice, Rainbow Futurity, Texas Classic Derby, and Riley Allison Futurity among other stakes events.

The annual banquet to honor the Hall of Fame inductees will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Alto Lakes Country Club. Tickets to the banquet will be available through the Ruidoso Downs Box office at (575) 378-4140.

For more information about the latest inductees and the entire Ruidoso Downs Hall of Fame class, check out the website at raceruidoso.com.