The New Mexico Racing Commission has scheduled meetings May 22-23 to hear from applicants interested in constructing a racetrack in Hobbs. The commission, at its March 28 meeting, also granted a rehearing for Lea Downs, a track proposed for Hobbs.Inda Hatch, executive director of the racing commission, said there are three applications on file to build a track in the town near the Texas border. The commission has been in the process of reviewing track applications since last year but delayed action while applicants were investigated and the racing commission underwent political upheaval.Shawn Scott, former owner of Delta Downs in Louisiana, proposed to construct the $30-million Lea Downs. His original application was rejected by the commission.R.D. Hubbard, owner of Ruidoso Downs, proposed to spend $27.5 million to construct Zia Park. A third applicant, Ken Newton, the former owner of the defunct Downs at Santa Fe, wants to build a $30-million racetrack and casino north of downtown Hobbs. It would be called Saddleback Park.
New Mexico became the second state to adopt a &#8220;safety reins&#8221; rule when the New Mexico Racing Commission approved the measure Aug. 21. The Ohio State Racing Commission adopted a similar rule in March.