Track Menu


  Aquabats in the Infield !     

Sunland Park Ad

Opened in 1959 Sunland Park is probably the most recognized race track in New Mexico. Known for winter racing it gained in popularity before many east coast tracks started year round racing. Facing a decline in revenues in the nineteen nineties New Mexico was quick to see the benefit of a new type of racetrack, the racino. The state enacted legislation to allow such facilities in the late nineties. Sunland Park wasted no time and became one of the first racinos operating in 1999.

Sunland Park Ad  Many outstanding jockeys like Jerry Bailey, Pat Valenzuala, Cash Asmussen and Mike Smith started their careers at Sunland. Leading trainers Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukus both trained Quarter Horses at Sunland.

 In 2009 after a fourth place finish in Sunland's signature race the Sunland Derby a horse named Mine That Bird took a long van ride to Kentucky where he pulled off an upset victory at 50-1 in the Kentucky Derby. Sunland Park has a purse value index of 33 the highest in New Mexico.

Sunland Park has undergone many changes since the days when water skiers use to perform in the infield lake before the races. Back in those days it looked like a racetrack, today it looks like something off the Vegas strip, but I guess their all starting to look like that. The good news is that their still around, at least for a while.

 I was fortunate to make it to Sunland Park, back in 1970, sorry to say I don't remember much of that visit.