$20 million Sunland Park season begins Dec. 6

KDBC
Friday, November 22, 2013 - 1:03am

The 55th live racing season at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino begins on Friday, December 6 and continues through Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

The rich 76-day meet is stocked with an abundant inventory of prestigious stakes races. Horsemen will relish a lofty purse distribution of $20 million. Average daily purses for the new meet should exceed the
$260,000 level.

The meet’s highlight is the $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) to be run on Sunday, March 23, 2014. The 12th running of the Kentucky Derby prep race will be the culmination of a stakes filled card worth over $1.5 million. Last year’s 1 and 1/8 mile classic was won by Govenor Charlie for trainer Bob Baffert and owner Mike Pegram. Martin Garcia piloted the winner in track record time.

The $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) remains an integral part of the point system for entry into the 2014 Kentucky Derby. The winner of Sunland Park’s biggest race will receive 50 qualifying points. The runner-up earns 20 points, followed by 10 for third and 5 points for fourth. 50 points will be extremely valuable for a Kentucky Derby candidate.

The $120,000 Mine That Bird Derby on Saturday, Feb. 22 is the chief local prep for the $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III).

Sunland Park Director of Racing Dustin Dix said, “We continue to strive for the very best in Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino. Our excitement and attitude for the 55th live racing season is reaching a fever pitch. Last year’s Sunland Derby (Gr. III) day was a record breaker for the second straight year. The upcoming meet looks very promising with great horses running for big purses. We are also thrilled about the Sunland Derby (Gr. III) and the Sunland Park Oaks being important parts of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks qualifying point system.”

The lucrative Sunland Derby (Gr. III) day program also includes the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks, The $85,000 La Coneja Stakes, the $75,000-added Harry Henson Handicap, the $85,000 guaranteed New Mexico Breeders' Derby, the $85,000 guaranteed New Mexico Breeders’ Oaks and the $75,000 guaranteed Bill Thomas Memorial Stakes
for open horses racing six and one-half furlongs.

The 2014 Sunland Park Oaks winner receives 50 qualifying points towards the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

The $100,000-added Riley Allison Futurity lures top two-year-old Thoroughbred talent at one mile on Sunday, Dec. 22.

The 13th running of the $350,000 Grade 1 Championship at Sunland Park takes place on Sunday, Dec. 29. Champion Aged Stallion Prospect to the Top won last year’s Championship.

New Mexico-bred thoroughbreds run for $85,000 guaranteed pots in the Johnie L. Jamison Stakes and the New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap on Dec. 8; the Enchantress Stakes on Dec. 15; the Red Hedeman Mile on Dec. 28; the La Senora Stakes on Jan. 11; the Pepsi Cola Stakes on Jan. 18; the Peppers Pride Stakes on Feb. 15 and the NMSU Stakes on March 16.

New Mexico-bred Quarter Horses compete for $85,000 purses in the Jess Burner Memorial Handicap on Dec. 7; the Challenger Six Handicap at 870 yards on Dec. 14 and the Lou Wooten – Sydney Valentini Handicap on Dec. 15, The NMHBA Quarter Horse Stakes on Feb. 16, the Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap on March 9 and the Sunburst Stakes on April 12 are also worth $85,000. Foals of 2011 run in the $250,000 estimated Shue Fly Stakes at 400 yards on Jan. 4, 2014.

The $100,000-added Bank of America New Mexico Challenge at 440 yards and the $250,000 estimated New Mexican Spring Futurity (restricted Grade 1) at 300 yards will both be run on Sunday, April 6.

Many of the region's top Thoroughbred stakes runners converge in the $75,000 Sunland Park Handicap at 1 and 1/8 miles on Sunday, April 13.

The Grade I $275,000 estimated West Texas Futurity featuring the nation’s elite two-year-old Quarter Horses is also set for Sunday, April 13.

Live racing will be held on a Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday basis for most of the season. Racing on Thursday, Dec. 26, Thursday, January 2 and Thursday, January 30, 2014 are the only exceptions. There is no live racing on Wednesday, Dec. 25 (Christmas) and Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 (Super Bowl Sunday). Post time is 12:15 p.m.

Defending Sunland Park training champion Justin Evans returns to action with an arsenal of high quality runners.

The young trainer was the leading conditioner at Zia Park and is closing in on 200 wins this year.

Two-time Sunland Park training champion Henry Dominguez is absolutely loaded with a terrific stable. Dominguez trains for Sunland Park’s leading owners Kirk and Judy Robison of El Paso, Texas.

Leading Thoroughbred rider Ry Eikleberry will be back along with the top Quarter Horse jockey Esgar Ramirez.

Here is the list of stakes races for the upcoming season:

Saturday, Dec. 7 - Jess Burner Memorial Handicap. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds.
and up. New Mexico-breds. 400 yards.
Saturday, Dec. 7 - KLAQ Handicap. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds and up.
5 and 1/2 furlongs.
Sunday, Dec. 8 - Johnie L. Jamison Stakes. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds and up.
New Mexico-breds. 6 and 1/2 furlongs.
Sunday, Dec. 8 – New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed.
Three year olds and up. Fillies and mares. New Mexico-breds. 6 furlongs.
Saturday, Dec. 14 - Challenger Six Handicap. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds
and up. New Mexico-breds. 870 yards.
Sunday, Dec. 15 - Lou Wooten – Sydney Valentini Handicap. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds and up.
Fillies and mares. New Mexico-breds. 400 yards.
Sunday, Dec. 15 – The Enchantress Stakes. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. Two year olds. Fillies.
New Mexico-breds. One Mile.
Saturday, Dec. 21 - Bold Ego Handicap. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds and up.
Fillies and mares. 5 and 1/2 furlongs.
Sunday, Dec. 22 - Riley Allison Futurity. Purse $100,000-added. Two year olds. One Mile.
Friday, Dec. 27 – Sunland Park Winter Quarter Horse Futurity. Grade 2. Purse $200,000 estimated, $50,000-added.
Two year olds. 400 yards.
Saturday, Dec. 28 - Sunland Park Winter Quarter Horse Derby. Grade 2. Purse $125,000 estimated, $50,000-added.
Three year olds. 400 yards.
Saturday, Dec. 28 - Red Hedeman Mile. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. Two year olds.
New Mexico-breds. One Mile.
Sunday, Dec. 29 - The Championship at Sunland Park. Grade I. Purse $350,000 Guaranteed.
Three year olds and up. 400 yards.
Sunday, Dec. 29 - Albert Dominguez Memorial Handicap. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed.
Three year olds and up. New Mexico-breds. 1 and 1/16 miles.
Saturday, Jan. 4 - The Shue Fly. Purse $250,000 estimated. Foals of 2011. New Mexico-breds.
400 yards.
Sunday, Jan. 5 - Winsham Lad Handicap. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds and up.
One Mile and 70 yards.
Saturday, Jan. 11 - La Senora Stakes. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds.
Fillies. New Mexico-breds. 6 furlongs.
Saturday, Jan. 18 - Pepsi Cola Stakes. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds.
New Mexico-breds. 6 furlongs.
Sunday, Jan. 19 - KOFX – Radio Handicap. Grade 2. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds and up.
350 yards.

Saturday, Jan. 25 - El Paso Times Handicap. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds.
Fillies. 6 and 1/2 furlongs.
Sunday, Jan. 26 – KHEY Country Sprint. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds. 6 furlongs.
Saturday, Feb. 1 - Budweiser Handicap. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds and up.
5 furlongs.
Saturday, Feb. 8 – El Diario Handicap. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds and up.
Fillies and mares. 6 and one-half furlongs.
Sunday, Feb. 9 - Curribot Handicap. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds and up.
1 and 1/16 miles.
Saturday, Feb. 15 - The Peppers Pride Stakes. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed.
Four year olds and up. Fillies and mares. New Mexico-breds. One Mile.
Sunday, Feb. 16 - NMHBA Quarter Horse Stakes. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds.
New Mexico-breds. 400 yards.
Saturday, Feb. 22 – Mine That Bird Derby. Purse $120,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds.
1 and 1/16 miles.
Sunday, Feb. 23 - The Island Fashion Stakes. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds.
Fillies. One Mile.
Saturday, March 1 - West Texas Maturity. Grade 2. Purse $65,000-added.
Three year olds and up. 400 yards.
Saturday, March 8 - Mt. Cristo Rey Handicap. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed.
Three year olds and up. New Mexico-breds. 4 and 1/2 furlongs.
Sunday, March 9 - Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed.
Three year olds and up. New Mexico-breds. 350 yards.
Sunday, March 16 – New Mexico State University Stakes. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed.
Four year olds and up. New Mexico-breds. One Mile and 70 yards. .
Sunday, March 23 - Bill Thomas Memorial Stakes. Purse $75,000 Guaranteed.
Three year olds and up. 6 and 1/2 furlongs.
Sunday, March 23 - La Coneja Stakes. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. Four year olds and up.
Fillies and mares. New Mexico-breds. 5 and 1/2 furlongs.
Sunday, March 23 - Harry W. Henson Handicap. Purse $75,000 Guaranteed.
Three year olds and up. Fillies and mares. One Mile.
Sunday, March 23 – New Mexico Breeders’ Oaks. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed.
Three year olds. Fillies. New Mexico-breds. 1 and 1/16 miles.
Sunday, March 23 - New Mexico Breeders' Derby. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed.
Three year olds. New Mexico-breds. 1 and 1/16 miles.
Sunday, March 23 - Sunland Park Oaks. Purse $200,000 Guaranteed.
Three year olds. Fillies. 1 and 1/16 miles.
Sunday, March 23 - Sunland Derby (Gr. III). Purse $800,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds. 1 and 1/8 miles.
Saturday, March 29 – West Texas Derby. Grade 3. Purse $200,000 estimated, $65,000-added.
Three year olds. 400 yards.
Sunday, March 30 - Red Cell New Mexico Challenge. Grade 3. Purse $50,000-added.
Three year olds and up. 870 yards.
Saturday, April 5 - New Mexican Spring Fling. Purse $45,000-added.
Two year olds. New Mexico-breds. 300 yards.
Saturday, April 5 - Czaria Handicap. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds and up.
Fillies and mares. 6 furlongs.
Sunday, April 6 – Bank of America New Mexico Challenge Championship. Grade I.
Purse $100,000-added. Three year olds and up. 440 yards.
Sunday, April 6 - New Mexican Spring Futurity. RG I. Purse $250,000 estimated, $95,000-added.
Two year olds. New Mexico-breds. 300 yards.
Saturday, April 12 - West Texas Juvenile Stakes. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed.
Two year olds. 300 yards.
Saturday, April 12 – Sunburst Stakes. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. Three year olds.
Fillies. New Mexico-breds. 350 yards.
Saturday, April 12 - Copper Top Futurity. Purse $55,000-added for Two-year-old Colts and Geldings Division.
Purse $55,000-added for Two-year-old Fillies Division. New Mexico-breds. 4 and 1/2 furlongs.
Sunday, April 13 - West Texas Futurity. Grade I. Purse $275,000 estimated, $100,000-added.
Two year olds. 300 yards.
Sunday, April 13 - Sunland Park Handicap. Purse $75,000 Guaranteed.
Three year olds and up. 1 and 1/8 miles.

Tuesday, April 15 - The Getaway Stakes. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed.
Three year olds. 870 yards.
Tuesday, April 15 - Adios Amigos Claiming Handicap. Purse $25,000.
Three year olds and up. Claiming $7,500. 1 and 1/4 miles.

Sports

Reader Comments

Post new Comment