Ruidoso (most New Mexicans pronounce it "Ree-uh-do-so") is situated at 6,900 feet in the timbered Sacramento Mountains, the southernmost finger of the Rockies. It is a mountain resort town most famous for the nearby Ruidoso Downs racetrack, where the world's richest quarter-horse race is run for a $2.5-million purse. Outdoors lovers, hikers, horseback riders, fishers, and hunters are drawn to the surrounding Lincoln National Forest. Southern New Mexico's most important ski resort, Ski Apache, is just out of town. The nearby Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation includes the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino. Not far away, the historic village of Lincoln recalls the Wild West days of Billy the Kid. Be aware that during those busiest of months, Ruidoso seems to live up to its Spanish name -- which translates as "noisy," although the name originally referred to the sound of the river running through town.