Thoroughbred Rocky Gulch and trainer Cliff Lambert Sr. were among inductees into Ruidoso Downs' Racehorse Hall of Fame the evening of June 27 during a banquet in the track's All American Turf Club.
Rocky Gulch was the first New Mexico-bred Thoroughbred to earn $1 million. The Larry Teague-owned gelding won 18 of 38 starts, including 14 stakes wins against New Mexico-breds. The gelding won all of his five starts at Ruidoso Downs, including setting a five-furlong track record as a 2-year-old while winning the 2003 Rio Grande Senor Futurity in 1:02. Terry Walker trained the son of Dry Gulch—Rona Prospect, by Allen's Prospect.
Lambert is a former jockey who began training in the 1960s. He operates a large stable on the New Mexico circuit and has enjoyed success with his Thoroughbred string. Many of his horses are ridden by his son Casey.
Among Lambert's top runner was Bold Ego, a New Mexico-bred son of Bold Tactics whom he trained to five wins from his first five starts as a 2-year-old in New Mexico.
Lambert took Bold Ego to Santa Anita Park to start his 3-year-old season but needed to return to Sunland Park to oversee his stable, so he and owner J. D. Barton decided to move Bold Ego to trainer Jack Van Berg. The colt went on to win the 1981 Arkansas Derby (gr. I) and finish second in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Since Equibase began keeping detailed statistics in 1976, Lambert has 1,680 victories, among them 119 stakes wins. His runners have amassed purse earnings of more than $11 million.