POSTED: Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 10:22pm
UPDATED: Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 10:29pm
EL PASO — Today thousands of people came to the Sunland Park Race Track.
Race-goers were ready to place their bets on some horses, eat the delicious food and enjoy some great company.
"We try to make it an annual thing. It's really enjoyable for the kids and my son loves horses. It gets them out of the house. We get to watch the horses run. Hopefully win a couple dollars and see how we do," said Benjamin Engels.
But today's specifically a big day in horse racing because its the Sunland Derby., putting southern New Mexico in the limelight.
“Makes the track look good, gets us national exposure," said race-goer, Rene Carrillo. The winner of the Sunland Derby automatically qualifies for the Kentucky Derby.
Today's big race made it a homecoming for one trainer.
"It's a big race. I spent some time in El Paso as a youth to come back here and have success in a race as big as this, it feels extremely good," said trainer Steve Asmussen.
He wasn't the only lucky one who struck luck with this bet.
"I haven't added it all up yet or done the math but I picked number six to win daddy nose best. I don't know, don't ask me how I did it but i lucked out," said race-goer David Pacheco.
Overall a good day at the Sunland Park Racetrack, now that a few horses are headed to the Kentucky Derby; a pinnacle for many in the horse racing industry.
"We're looking forward ahead to the Kentucky Derby and hopefully we can keep him healthy and happy and have a good chance for him there,” said Asmussen.