SUNLAND DERBY 2018
Over $1.5 million in purses will be offered on Sunland Derby (Gr. III) day – Sunday, March 25, 2018. The 15th running of the $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) at one and one-eighth miles is the richest and most impactful race of the meet for three-year-old Thoroughbreds seeking a berth in the 2018 Kentucky Derby. The winner of the Sunland Derby (Gr. III) receives 50 critical qualifying points for entry into the Kentucky Derby. 2017 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) winner Hence went on to win the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows. Irap, fourth-place finisher in last year’s Sunland Derby (Gr. III), raced on to win the Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. II), the Ohio Derby (Gr. III) and the Indiana Derby (Gr. III) and was third in the Grade I Travers Stakes.
The 2015 Sunland Derby (GR III) winner, Firing Line, ran second to eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the 2015 Kentucky Derby. Sunland Derby (GR III) winners Chitu (2014), Governor Charlie (2013), Daddy Nose Best (2012) and Twice the Appeal (2011) all ran in the Kentucky Derby. In 2009, Mine That Bird parlayed a fourth-place finish in the Sunland Derby to a victory in the Kentucky Derby at 50-1 odds.
In addition to the Sunland Derby (GR III), the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks, $100,000 Harry W. Henson Handicap, $100,000 Bill Thomas Memorial Handicap, $100,000 La Coneja Stakes, $100,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Oaks and $100,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Derby will help propel Sunland Park’s greatest day on March 26. Looks to be a very exciting day at Sunland Park that day.