Sunland Park Releases $2.1-Million Quarter Horse Stakes Schedule

The track's 72-day season opens December 16.

New Mexico Horse Breeders' Association

Sunland Park has released its stakes schedule for its 72-day meet, which opens next month.

Sunland Park has released its stakes schedule for its 2016-17 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet, which opens on December 16.

Sunland will offer 44 stakes -- 29 for Thoroughbreds and 15 for Quarter Horses -- worth approximately $5.5 million in purse money. As it has been since 2003, the track’s $3.4-million Thoroughbred stakes schedule will be topped by the 14th running of the 1 1/8-mile, $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3) for 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail. The Sunland Derby will headline a March 26 program featuring seven Thoroughbred stakes worth $1.5 million in purses and will include the 1 1/16-mile, $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks for sophomore fillies.

Both the Sunland Derby (50-20-10-5) and Sunland Park Oaks (50-20-10-5) will offer Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks points, respectively, to their top four finishers. Other stakes highlights include the 1 1/8-mile, $150,000 Sunland Park Handicap for 3-year-olds and older, and the 4 1/2-furlong, $150,000-est. Copper Top Futurity (R) for New Mexico-bred 2-year-olds, both of which will be run on April 16.

Sunland Park’s Quarter Horse schedule will be worth approximately $2.1 million and be anchored by the 16th running of the 400-yard, $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park (G1) on December 31. Other major Quarter Horse stakes include the 300-yard, $300,000-est. New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) for state-bred 2-year-olds on April 8; the 59th running of the 300-yard, $200,000-est. West Texas Futurity (G2) -- one of Quarter Horse racing’s longest continuously running stakes -- on April 15; and the 400-yard, $200,000 Sunland Park Juvenile Championship on December 31.

Sunland Park’s 72-day season will offer live racing primarily on a Friday-through-Sunday and Tuesday schedule through closing day, April 18. The lone exception to this schedule will be when live racing is offered on Wednesday, December 21, and Wednesday, December 28, to compensate for no live racing on Saturday, December 24 (Christmas Eve), and Sunday, December 25 (Christmas Day).

First post time at Sunland Park will be 12:45 p.m. (MST), December 16-February 14, and 1:30 p.m. (Mountain) from February 17-April 18. In addition, Sunland’s barn area will open on November 28, following by the opening of the racetrack for training on December 2.

For more information on Sunland Park Racetrack, visit www.sunland-park.com.

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