The AQHA office is closed Thursday, December 25, Friday, December 26, and Thursday, January 1.

Sunland Opens December 7

Sunland Park opens 76-day meet on December 7, institutes strict medication policy.

Edited Press Release
December 5, 2012

Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino unveils an impressive $16 million live racing season that opens on Friday, December 7, and continues through April 16 for both Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds.

The 76-day meet provides a purse distribution of over $16 million with average daily purses exceeding the $210,000 level.

Sunland also instituted a policy barring trainers with rulings for Class 1 or Class 2 medication violations. Read more at the Daily Racing Form.

The 12th running of the $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park (G1) takes place on December 30. World champion Cold Cash 123 won last year’s Championship.

New Mexico-bred Quarter Horses compete for $85,000 purses in the Jess Burner Memorial Handicap (RG1) on December 9; the Challenger Six Handicap at 870 yards on December 15; the Lou Wooten–Sydney Valentini Handicap (RG2) on December 16, The NMHBA Stakes (RG2) on February 17, the Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap (RG2) on March 10 and the Sunburst Stakes on April 13 are also worth $85,000.  Foals of 2010 run in the $275,000 estimated Shue Fly Stakes (RG2) at 400 yards on January 5. 

The $100,000-added Bank of America New Mexico Challenge (G2) at 440 yards and the $275,000-est. New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2) at 300 yards will both be run on Sunday, April 7.

The $250,000-est. West Texas Futurity (G1), featuring the nation’s elite 2-year-olds, is set for April 14.
 
Live racing will be held on a Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday basis for most of the season. Racing on Wednesday, Dec. 26 and Thursday, January 31, 2013 are the only exceptions. There will be no live racing on Tuesday, December 25 (Christmas), and Sunday, February 3 (Super Bowl Sunday).  Post time is 12:25 p.m.

Here is the list of stakes races for the upcoming season:
 
Saturday, Dec. 8 - Jess Burner Memorial Handicap. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. 3 year olds.
and up. New Mexico-breds. 400 yards.  
 
Saturday, Dec. 15 - Challenger Six Handicap. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. 3 year olds
and up. New Mexico-breds. 870 yards.

Sunday, Dec. 16 - Lou Wooten–Sydney Valentini Handicap. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. 3 year olds and up.
Fillies and mares. New Mexico-breds. 400 yards.
 
Friday, Dec. 28 – Sunland Park Winter Futurity. Purse $175,000 estimated, $50,000-added.
  2year olds. 400 yards.
 
Saturday, Dec. 29 - Sunland Park Winter Derby. Purse $50,000-added. 3 year olds.
400 yards.

Sunday, Dec. 30 - The Championship at Sunland Park. Purse $350,000 Guaranteed.
3 year olds and up. 400 yards.
 
Saturday, Jan. 5 - The Shue Fly. Purse $275,000 estimated. Foals of 2010. New Mexico-breds.
400 yards.

Sunday, Jan. 20 - KOFX – Radio Handicap. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. 3 year olds and up.
350 yards.

Sunday, Feb. 17 - NMHBA Stakes. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. 3 year olds.
New Mexico-breds. 400 yards.
 
Saturday, March 2 - West Texas Maturity. Purse $65,000-added. 3 year olds and up. 400 yards.
 
Sunday, March 10 - Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. 3 year olds and up. New Mexico-breds. 350 yards.

Saturday, March 30 – West Texas Derby. Purse $175,000 estimated, $65,000-added. 3 year olds. 400 yards.
 
Sunday, March 31 - Red Cell Sunland Distance Challenge. Purse $50,000-added. 3 year olds and up. 870 yards.

Saturday, April 6 - New Mexican Spring Fling. Purse $50,000-added. 2 year olds. New Mexico-breds. 300 yards.

Sunday, April 7 – Bank of America Sunland Championship Challenge. Purse $100,000-added. 3 year olds and up. 440 yards.
 
Sunday, April 7 - New Mexican Spring Futurity. Purse $275,000 estimated, $100,000-added. 2 year olds. New Mexico-breds. 300 yards.
 
Saturday, April 13 - West Texas Juvenile Stakes. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. 2 year olds. 300 yards.
 
Saturday, April 13 – Sunburst Stakes. Purse $85,000 Guaranteed. 3 year olds.Fillies. New Mexico-breds. 350 yards.
 
Sunday, April 14 - West Texas Futurity. Purse $250,000 estimated, $100,000-added. 2 year olds. 300 yards.
 
Tuesday, April 16 - The Getaway Stakes. Purse $50,000 Guaranteed. 3 year olds. 870 yards.