ALBUQUERQUE — The New Mexico Racing Commission on Thursday postponed making a decision on issuing a license for a new horse-racing track.

A top deputy to state Attorney General Hector Balderas recommended the postponement because of a legal challenge filed by Hidalgo Downs, one of five competitors for the license.

Hidalgo Downs says a feasibility study on a new track conducted for the Racing Commission was flawed, and it wants a judge to order that a new one be prepared.

The study conducted for the Racing Commission found that the track and casino proposed by Hidalgo Downs for Lordsburg would produce far less gaming revenues than tracks and casinos proposed for Clovis and Tucumcari.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Tania Maestas recommended that the commission postpone its decision on a new track license until the litigation filed last week by Hidalgo Downs is resolved. Maestas said the postponement will ensure a fair and impartial decision.

The five-member Racing Commission, without discussion, voted unanimously to accept the recommendation.

The vote was a surprise development for the dozens of people who had showed at the commission meeting for its long-awaited decision on the lucrative new track license.


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