12th Sunland Derby draws in over 18,000 fans, millions in bets

KDBC
Monday, March 24, 2014 - 12:06am

The Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino hosted more than 18,000 fans at the race Sunday and the event brought in a healthy profit.

"The Sunland Derby is the premier event for Sunland Park," said Rick Baugh, General Manager at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.

It’s Baugh’s job to make sure everything ran smoothly at Sunday’s derby.

"I've had so many compliments from so many people around the property," he said.

The estimated number in attendance is one of the best the Sunland Derby has ever had.

"We were around 18,600 people," Baugh said. “A lot of people here, a lot of folks on the property"

All those people came to watch the races and to bet some money.

"Too much,” joked Tina Hourigan. “Probably overall with this last race I won money."

Albert Avila said, "I probably around a $100 and I broke about even."

Even for the non-gamblers, having fun was worth throwing down a few dollars.

“We probably won less than we bet,” joked Brandon Smith. “But enough to make it fun anyhow."

All of those bets, big or small, added up. Baugh said about $4,000,000 was bet on Sunday’s race.

"That's all sources. That is on track and from coast to coast,” he explained. “It was a good handled race, a really good race."

Now that this year’s race is over, fans are already looking forward to the big derby.

"A lot of these horses we saw today will be in the Kentucky Derby," said Larry Nichols.

For the Sunland Derby, to be a part of that makes this race that much more special.

"Getting to the big show. The derby is the big show. We are just glad to be part of that," said Baugh.

The attendance and amount bet is about the same as last year’s Sunland Derby.  

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