Sunland Park Sunday: Stakes Quartet in New Mexico

Sunland Park to host 4 stakes races on 2/27/22

Sunland Park is home to the Sunland Derby and Oaks which are qualifying races for Churchill Downs. This Sunday they host 4 non-prep stakes races.

New Mexico Racing

While Sunland Park may not be one of the A level track like Churchill Downs, Saratoga, Gulfstream or Santa Anita, the track has found a nice niche in the racing world.

Once struggling like so many North American tracks it was saved largely thanks to the approval of racino. Racino is a term used for horse tracks largely supported by other gaming ventures, most frequently slot machines.

Sunland Park is a mixed bred track running both thoroughbred and quarter horse races during their racing meet.

The Sunland Oaks and Derby

Without question the biggest event at the track is Sunland Derby Day. The grade III event offers Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The Derby’s sister race, the Sunland Oaks, is a prep for the Kentucky Oaks as well.

Although the track doesn’t usually draw big names, these two events can often be very appealing to west coast runners who have little interest in shipping all the way to Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, or New York just to earn points.

Sunday Analysis

Sunland Park Race 1- Quarter Horses

Post: 12:25 PM MT; Purse: $19,600 Maiden, 350 Yards on Dirt; Entries: 12

  • #1 STUFFINYOURPOCKETS (5-2) looks really good here. This one has the top speed index and has run against the toughest company thus far.
  • #2 JESS GETTIN DOWN (15-1) has been close at this distance before and if it gets hooked with the #1 maybe we get an upset winner or at least a nice exacta.
  • #5 HEZ MORE LETHAL (12-1) is an interesting price play. I will want to see this one sharp in the pre-race festivities.
  • #9 RELENTLESS DEAN (4-1) is another one who has hit the board at this distance before. Maybe today is the maiden breaking day.

Selections: 1-2-5-9

All remaining races on the card are thoroughbred races.

Sunland Park Race 2

Post: 12:51 PM MT; Purse: $10,600 Maiden Claiming, 5 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 6

  • #1 FAST AND FEVEROUS (7-2) comes into the race looking ready to run an effort worth of beating this field.
  • #4 NICOLE'S TALES (2-1) is well bred and should be considered a major contender in this spot.
  • #2 ZIPPING BOMBASTIC (7-2) has faced the toughest thus far, but that is relative to other maiden fields so take it with a grain of salt.
  • #6 BROADWAY ROMANCE (9-2) has run the best speed figures thus far and wouldn’t be a major surprise across the wire first.

Selections: 1-4-2-6

Sunland Park Race 3

Post: 1:17 PM MT; Purse: $13,500 Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 6

  • #1 SHELLY D'ORO (5-1) looks like a potential upsetter in this spot with the top speed figures and a projected edge in the flow of the race.
  • #5 QUESTA (2-1) will be forward early and may just be too tough to run down in the late stages of the race.
  • #6 BYE BYE JILL (9-5) goes out for connections in this spot that likely play a bigger part in the morning line than the horse’s actual talent. I prefer more value here.
  • #4 CAUGHT STEALING (8-1) gets a little class relief in this spot, but will have to improve the the figures to beat this field.

Selections: 1-5-6-4

Sunland Park Race 4

Post: 1:43 PM MT; Purse: $32,600 Allowance, 5 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 6

  • #1 ZENFULLY ZESTY (6-1) is a wire to wire threat. Although the track is speed favoring, the wire to wire bias isn’t as pronounces as at some tracks. Nevertheless, there is a real possibility this one just slips away and never looks back.
  • #2 MAJORWAYHOME (6-1) is another horse at 6-1 that I could make a legitimate case for in what seems an open field.
  • #3 GO RED RASCAL (9-2) is a speed figure play in this spot. The recent run lines suggest this one is in solid form and could be expected to put up a good effort.
  • #6 SUNNY JEWEL (7-2) is a total connections play. Once again, without other significant factors backing this one up the highest I want this one is as my fourth pick.

Selections: 1-2-3-6

Sunland Park Race 5

Post: 2:09 PM MT; Purse: $39,400 Allowance, 5 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 8

  • #8 LARIAT (6-1) comes into this race in solid form. There is a chance this one could get the setup to do a bit of damage late, but will it be enough? At 6-1 I can pay to take that chance.
  • #6 HOLLYWOOD HENRY (3-1) will be on or near the lead and that isn’t like to change at any point during the race. I think this one is an absolute must use on any trifecta ticket.
  • #1 DIABOLICAL RULER (7-1) knows how to hit the board at 5 furlongs. This one wouldn’t be a total surprise but there are other more logical choices.
  • #2 NO PASA NADA (8-1) has run against tougher and may enjoy the race flow here. Perhaps the class relief carries this one to victory.

Selections: 8-6-1-2

Sunland Park Race 6

Post: 2:37 PM MT; Purse: $100,000 Albert and Henry Dominguez Memorial H., 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 12

  • #2 JET N G (6-1) is a speed figure player in this spot. I don’t have a good handle on these runners so I like taking a logical price on top.
  • #1 EVACUEE (4-1) has the top overall power rating in the group and should be well prepared to run a competitive effort.
  • #5 STORM BAYOU (10-1) This one is a front runner against easier competition. That can often be a recipe for an upset at a big number.
  • #7 SEA EMPEROR (15-1) loves this distance. Maybe this one can factor into the verticals for a little extra value.

Selections: 2-1-5-7

Sunland Park Race 7

Post: 3:04 PM MT; Purse: $75,000 Island Fashion S., 1 Mile on Dirt; Entries: 10

  • #7 TYLER'S DREAM (5-1) has speed figures on par with the tops in this group.
  • #8 MANORELLI (8-1) also has solid speed figures and figures to be involved in the race from the onset.
  • #9 LANDSLID (3-1) is the class of this group and could just be better than a lot of these.
  • #3 SOARING (8-1) has the top Brisnet Prime Power rating of any of the horses in the field.

Selections: 7-8-9-3

Sunland Park Race 8

Post: 3:31 PM MT; Purse: $100,000 Red Hedeman Mile S., 1 Mile on Dirt; Entries: 8

  • #4 MASSIVE ROAR (4-1) looks really tough to beat. This one should be forward and edges this field in speed and class. This is a morning line that has me questioning what I am missing, because this horse looks like it should be favored by post time.
  • #1 DIABOLICAL STORM (9-2) should have no issue with the mile distance, especially given the current form.
  • #5 WHERES BRAYDEN (3-1) is a logical player, but I prefer the #1 and #4 to win the race.
  • #3 JET SET WARRIOR (5-1) is another horse who has been solid in recent performances. A likely factor in the mutuel payoffs.

Selections: 4-1-5-3

Sunland Park Race 9

Post: 3:59 PM MT; Purse: $100,000 Mine That Bird Derby, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 8

  • #7 AMERICAN XPERIMENT (4-1) will be forward early and runs faster than many of these. Couple that with the horses this one has been running against and you have a recipe for success.
  • #6 STRAIGHT UP G (3-1) has competitive speed figures and overall ratings at the distance. I won’t fall out of my chair if this one gets it done.
  • #8 CLASSIC MOMENT (9-2) may get a great setup to at least hit the board in this spot.
  • #1 FOWLER BLUE (7-1) is a form play and comes into the race looking really consistent of late.

Selections: 7-6-8-1 (Best Bet: #7 AMERICAN XPERIMENT )

By Chris Adams

Chris first got introduced to horse racing in 2009 at Canterbury Park (Shakopee, MN). Along with handicapping and betting, Chris has worked as a teller at his local track and participated in ownership partnerships. He now enjoys sharing his passion with his wife and two young daughters who love going out to the track each and every summer.