Record Crowds Expected For Sunday's Sunland Derby
SUNLAND PARK, N.M. - Thousands of horse racing fans are expected to attend the 10th running of the Grade III Sunland Derby at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino Sunday afternoon.
Every year since the race became graded, fans get to see some of the best horse racing action in one of the qualifying races before the Kentucky Derby.
"We got some all-star power from some of the greatest thoroughbred trainers in the nation and the greatest jockeys, all coming in," said Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino Publicity Director Eric Alwan.
With all the great names coming in, thousands of race fans also show up wanting to be a part of history. Last year more than 18,000 fans filled the racetrack and this year even more people are expected to attended.
The Sunland Derby really got on the map in 2009 when Mine that Bird won the Kentucky Derby. Mine that Bird placed fourth in Sunland Park but shocked the world when he beat 50 to 1 odds to win the first leg of the Triple Crown.
The winning horse at this year's Sunland Derby earns a virtual berth to the Kentucky Derby and $400,000.
Racing begins at 12:45 p.m. and the big race will be at about 5:45 p.m.