Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino to resume live horse racing on Dec. 31

SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico — After a lengthy break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino announced Monday that it would resume live horse racing on New Year’s eve.

Post time to start the $15 million 62nd racing season at Sunland Park will be 12:25 p.m. on Dec. 31.

Officials also announced planning was underway for highly-anticipated $500,000 Sunland Park Derby. The 17th edition of the Kentucky Derby prep race will be held on March 27 of next year.

Other upcoming 2021-22 season racing highlights:

  • Jan. 1 – $100,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap and the $65,000 KLAQ Handicap for Thoroughbred Sprinters.
  • Jan. 2 – World’s finest Quarter Horses converge in the $350,000 Grade 1 Championship.
  • Jan. 30 – $65,000 Borderplex Stakes and the $100,000 Riley Allison Derby.
  • Feb. 27 – $100,000 Mine That Derby and the $75,000 Island Fashion Stakes.
  • Apr. 2 – $100,000 Sunland Park Handicap.
  • Apr. 3 – $250,000 New Mexican Spring Futurity and $250,000 West Texas Futurity for two-year-old Quarter Horses.

For a further look at the racing calendar, click here.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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