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, and jockeys Victor Espinoza and Martin Garcia each have a pair of Sunland Derby victories.
- Race Number: 11
- Date of Race: March 23, 2014
- Current Purse: $800,000
- Location: Sunland Park, N.M.
- Track: Sunland Park
- Distance: 1 1/8 miles
- Surface: Dirt
- Horse Age: 3-year-olds
|Track ▼||Location ▼||Today's Races ▼|
- Fastest Time (since 1976): 1:42:84
- Greatest Winning Margin (since 1976): 5 lengths
- Past Winners:
Date Horse Trainer Jockey 03/24/2013 Govenor Charlie Bob Baffert Martin Garcia 03/25/2012 Daddy Nose Best Steven M. Asmussen Julien R. Leparoux 03/27/2011 Twice the Appeal Jeff Bonde Christian Santiago Reyes 03/28/2010 Endorsement Shannon Ritter Robby Albarado 03/29/2009 Kelly Leak Michael Machowsky Mike E. Smith 03/16/2008 Liberty Bull Thomas M. Amoss Gerard Melancon 03/18/2007 Song of Navarone Henry Dominguez Victor Espinoza 04/01/2006 Wanna Runner Bob Baffert Victor Espinoza 04/02/2005 Thor's Echo Doug F. O'Neill Corey S. Nakatani 03/28/2004 Hi Teck Man Johnnie L. Nall Ricardo Jaime 03/30/2003 Excessivepleasure Doug F. O'Neill Pat Day