Sunland Park Live Racing Season Begins Friday, December 18
The 2015-2016 live racing season at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino gets underway Friday, December 18 and will offer quality Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred action.
Quarter Horse stakes action begins Saturday with the $85,000 Jess Burner Memorial Handicap. The 350 yard sprint drew a competitive field of New Mexico-breds including Jess Got Issues as the 5-2 morning line choice; Major Moonflash, winner of the New Mexico Classic Derby at Zia Park; Whatever Bill; Osboldo and Seeyalateralligator.
Trainers to watch include Jason, Giles, Harvey Baeza, Lori Chavez, Chris Zamora and Kenneth Grisham. The competitive jockey colony will feature Ricky Ramirez, Adrian Ramos, Esgar Ramirez, Larry Gamez and Jesse Lee Levario.
Some of the top older Quarter Horses in the country, including AQHA world champion Jrc Callas First, are expected to compete in the $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park on December 27.
The marquee Thoroughbred stakes is the $800,000 Sunland Derby (Grade 3), which has sent several noted winners to the Kentucky Derby, including Mine That Bird and last year's champion Firing Line, who finished second to eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. The 2016 Sunland Derby will be run on Sunday, March 20.
Live racing at Sunland Park will be conducted on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday basis for most of the season. There will be no racing on Christmas Day, Friday, December 25. A special Monday card on December 28 will make up its place. Tuesday programs will be all-Thoroughbred cards. Nine races are planned daily with a 12:45 p.m. post time.
The 72-day live racing season at Sunland Park continues through April 19, 2016. For more information on post times and special events, visit www.sunland-park.com/racing.