SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico (KTSM) – The Sunland Derby is set for March 26, and on Sunday, Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino hosted the derby draw to determine which posts the qualifying horses will be in on race day.

In post 1 will be How Did He Do That with trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Alfredo J. Juarez Jr. In post 2 will be Low Expectations with trainer Antonio Garcia and jockey Mario Gutierrez.

Post 3 will be Fort Bragg with trainer Tim Yakteen and Juan J. Hernandez as the jockey. Post 4 is Henry Q with jockey Edwin Maldonado and trainer Todd Fincher.

Post 5 is One in Vermillion with Esteban Martinez as trainer and Harry Hernandez as jockey. In post 6 is Hard to Figure with jockey Flavien Prat and trainer Bob Baffert. In the final post 7 will be Wild on Ice with trainer Joel H. Marr and jockey Ken S. Tohill.

This year’s competition includes some new horses that have not yet been to Sunland Park as well as seasoned veterans and fan favorites. Whoever takes the crown in this critical race will have earned enough points to qualify for the coveted Kentucky Derby.

The Sunland Derby has always brought out racing fans as Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino’s racing consultant Tom Dawson explained that this is an opportunity to watch major league sports.

“This is truly a major league event that brings top class people and horses together and our local fans get to see how it unfolds,” Dawson said.

This is now the second derby at Sunland Park since coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Dawson said with that in mind they are ready to fully welcome back fans and the rest of the Borderland.

This is the 18th running of the Sunland Derby and it has become a popular event in the Southwest region. Over 15,000 people are expected to attend and Executive Director of Marketing Jaci Marx understands the role the derby plays boosting local businesses.

With the race a week away, Marx is hoping once again that the event’s popularity will be shared with the local area.

“Whether it be all the hotels that we’re booking and selling out because of the Sunland Derby or the retail business that get extra business that day or actually the whole weekend because of the derby, so I think everybody is excited, you know, we’re up and going again and we can help contribute that way back to the community,” Marx said.

A day of racing culminating with the Sunland Derby starts at 12:25 p.m. on Sunday, March 26. Fans are encouraged to arrive early.

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