Over $1.4 million in purses will be offered on Sunland Derby Day – Sunday, March 22, 2020.

The 17th running of the $700,000 Sunland Derby (GR III) at one and one-eighth miles will be the richest and most important race of the meet for three-year-old thoroughbreds seeking a berth into the 2020 Kentucky Derby. The winner of the Sunland Derby receives 50 critical qualifying points for entry into the Kentucky Derby. Qualifying points are also awarded to the next three finishers – 20 points for 2nd, 10 for 3rd, and 5 for 4th place. A record crowd of 19,081 fans came to witness the 2015 edition of the Sunland Derby.

The 2015 Sunland Derby winner, Firing Line, ran second to eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the 2015 Kentucky Derby. Sunland Derby winners Hence (2017), 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 an improbable victory in the Kentucky Derby at 50-1 odds. Bird then went on to finish 2nd in the Preakness and 3rd in the Belmont Stakes that year.

In addition to the Sunland Derby, the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks, $100,000 Harry W. Henson Handicap, $100,000 Bill Thomas Memorial Handicap, $120,000 New Mexico State University Stakes, $120,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Oaks and $120,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Derby will help propel Sunland Park’s biggest live racing day on March 22.


03/24/2019 Cutting Humor Todd A. Pletcher John R. Velazquez 1-1/8 mile $800,000
03/25/2018 Runaway Ghost Todd W. Fincher Tracy J. Hebert 1-1/8 mile $800,000
03/26/2017 Hence Seven M. Asmussen Alfredo J. Juarez Jr. 1-1/8 mile $800,000
03/22/2015 Firing Line Simon Callaghan Gary L. Stevens 1-1/8 mile $800,000
03/23/2014 Chitu Bob Baffert Martin Garcia 1-1/8 mile $800,000
03/24/2013 Govenor Charlie Bob Baffert Martin Garcia 1-1/8 mile $800,000
03/25/2012 Daddy Nose Best Steven M. Asmussen Julien R. Leparoux 1-1/8 mile $800,000
03/27/2011 Twice the Appeal Jeff Bonde Christian Santiago Reyes 1-1/8 mile $800,000
03/28/2010 Endorsement Shannon Ritter Robby Albarado 1-1/8 mile $800,000
03/29/2009 Kelly Leak Michael Machowsky Mike E. Smith 1-1/8 mile $800,000
03/16/2008 Liberty Bull Thomas M. Amoss Gerard Melancon 1-1/8 mile $600,000
03/18/2007 Song of Navarone Henry Dominguez Victor Espinoza 1-1/8 mile $600,000
04/01/2006 Wanna Runner Bob Baffert Victor Espinoza 1-1/8 mile $600,000
04/02/2005 Thor's Echo Doug F. O'Neill Corey S. Nakatani 1-1/8 mile $500,000
03/28/2004 Hi Teck Man Johnnie L.Nall Ricardo Jaime 1-1/16 mile $500,000
03/30/2003 Excessivepleasure Doug F. O'Neill Pat Day 1-1/16 mile $500,000

* 2003 – WinStar Derby inaugural running.
* 2009 – Name is changed to Sunland Derby.
* 2010 – Achieved a Grade III stakes rating.
* 2016 – Canceled due to EHV-1 virus outbreak.
* 2020 – Canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic.