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La Mesa Park was located in Raton, in the upper right corner of New Mexico. It had a seven furlong dirt oval, which featured an open air facility. The grandstand had seating for 3,000 the clubhouse an additional 586 and the Turf Club Restaurant sat another 400. The track had stalls for 1.033 horses.

Raton was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but it had coal mines, which meant it had railroads. The rational behind the track was that the coal mines wouldn't last forever, and they didn't, but the track could carry the town and it did for quite a while. The railroad probably played an important role in the tracks early existence as the grandstand once stood outside Dallas, Texas at Arlington Downs and was dismantled moved to Raton and rebuilt. The train also probably brought early fans from, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. The train eventually got replaced by the plane.

One of the features of La Mesa Park, was it's adjoining airport built for private plane traffic. One of the advertising slogans was "park your car or your plane at La Mesa". Actually there seemed to be a strong presents of clients from Kansas and especially Oklahoma, as La Mesa hosted futurities and derby's for these states. An Oklahoma business man even bought the track at one point, the last owner, I think.               

La Mesa Park because of its location did not seem to be part of a circuit. Racing was a mixed Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse meet that ran from mid Spring to late Summer. La Mesa has the distinction of having the highest elevation of any American race track at 7,834 feet.

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La Mesa opened in 1946 holds the honor of being the first race track to operate in the state of New Mexico. Unlike most of its counterparts it still stands and plans are in motion to revive it as a Racino as of this writing in 2008. When La Mesa went under it had a purse structure of 1 making it one of the lowest in the country.

La Mesa Park eventually defaulted on it's bid to re-open as a racino. The track is still there, waiting for the wrecking ball, the call to the post a long faded memory. I never made it to La Mesa Park but I did get to see it once, when I drove by in the early seventies.