Sunland Derby 2019

March 29, 2019
1200 Futurity Dr., Sunland Park NM

Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
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Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
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Sunland Park’s most important prep race for the Kentucky Derby is the Sunland Derby, contested on the dirt main track at a distance of 1 1/8 miles (9 furlongs). The race gives the top four finishers points toward a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate. The race was first run in 2003 and achieved Grade 3 status for the 2011 edition, shortly after Mine That Bird ran fourth in the 2009 race in preparation for his 50-1 upset in the Kentucky Derby.

Eventual Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner and Eclipse champion Thor’s Echo won the 2005 Sunland Derby. Bob Baffert has won the race three times, most recently in 2014 with Chitu, Jockeys Victor Espinoza and Martin Garcia each have a pair of Sunland Derby victories. In 2016 the race was canceled with plans to return in 2017.

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