When Odds Are You’re Looking To Gamble

John Bear
3 min read
Try your luck
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Personally, I refuse to gamble unless there are short people and horses involved. A jockey friend once told me that it’s a sucker game. Well, with God as my witness, I am that sucker. There is no better day than one spent at a horse track—the fresh air, the beautiful animals, the chain-smoking old men inside playing the simulcast races. Ah, sweet: looking through the program to find the oddly named creature to wager my two dollars on and then yelling as he or she runs the mud track, the trumpet music, the ridiculous jockey uniforms, the old Mexican men and their long-toed boots.

Heaven? Probably.

Horse Tracks

There are, of course, unlicensed horse tracks scattered throughout New Mexico. One only needs an adventurous spirit and the will to find them. Or stick with these horse houses of good repute.

The Downs at Albuquerque

Expo New Mexico State Fairgrounds

300 San Pedro NE


Live racing runs Aug. 14 through Nov. 14.

There is a casino upstairs in which to drop off the horse haters. Take your $20 outside. It’s the only form of gambling that seems appropriate to take children to because they will like the beautiful horses. has post times and dates.

Billy the Kid Casino and Ruidoso Downs Race Track

Just off Hwy. 70 west, Ruidoso

(575) 378-4431

Live racing from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day

Check out for post times and dates.

Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino

1200 Futurity, Sunland Park

(575) 874-5200

Live racing from December to April

Check for post times and dates.

Sunray Park and Casino

39 Road 5568, Farmington

(505) 566-1200

Live racing from April to July

Post times and dates at

Zia Park and Black Gold Casino

3901 West Millen, Hobbs

(575) 492-7000.

Opening day is Sept. 11. Visit for post times and dates.


If casinos are more your style, there are plenty of them; nearly every pueblo or Indian tribe has one these days. Here are all of them, according to, a good site for finding all things Native American.

Apache Nugget Casino

Jicarilla Apache tribe

Hwy. 550,  Dulce

(505) 759-3777

Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino

Pueblo of Pojoaque

30 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe

(505) 455-5555

Camel Rock Casino

Tesuque Pueblo

17486A Hwy. 84/285, Santa Fe

(800) GO-CAMEL, (800) 462-2635

Casino Apache Travel Center

Mescalero Apache Tribe

25845 Hwy. 70, Mescalero

(800) 545-9011, (505) 464-6100

Cities of Gold Casino

Pueblo of Pojoaque

10-B Cities of Gold Road, Santa Fe

(15 miles north of Santa Fe on Hwy. 285)

(800) 455-3313

Dancing Eagle Casino

Pueblo of Laguna

I-40 Exit 108, Casa Blanca

(505) 552-1114

Fire Rock Casino

Navajo Nation

249 Route 118 East, Church Rock

(866) 941-2444

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Albuquerque

Pueblo of Isleta

11000 Broadway SE

(Exit 215 off I-25 south)

(505) 724-3800

Inn of the Mountain Gods

Mescalero Apache Tribe

287 Carrizo Canyon Road, Mescalero

(800) 545-9011, (505) 257-5141

Jicarilla Inn and Casino

Jicarilla Apache Tribe

Hwy. 64, Dulce

(505) 759-3777

Ohkay Casino

Pueblo of San Juan

Hwy. 68, San Juan Pueblo

(North of Española)

(800) PLAY-AT-OK, (800) 752-9286

Route 66 Casino

Pueblo of Laguna

I-40 Exit 140


San Felipe’s Casino Hollywood

San Felipe Pueblo

25 Hagen, San Felipe

(877) 529-2946, (505) 867-6700

Sandia Resort & Casino

Pueblo of Sandia

I-25 and Tramway

(800) 526-9366, 897-2173

Santa Ana Star Casino

Santa Ana Pueblo

54 Jemez Canyon Dam, Bernalillo


Santa Claran Hotel Casino

Santa Clara Pueblo

460 No. Riverside Drive, Española

(505) 367-4500

Sky City Casino

Acoma Pueblo

I-40 Exit 102, Acoma

(505) 552-6017

Taos Mountain Casino

Pueblo of Taos

Main Pueblo Road, Taos

(888) 946-8267, (505) 737-0777
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