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Friday, March 21, 2014 - 12:51pm
Sunland Park, NM (KDBC) — About 20,000 people are expected to flock to the Sunland Park Racetrack this weekend for the 12th running of the Sunland Derby.
The race is a qualifier for the Kentucky Derby in May.
It's one of the biggest sporting events in our area.
"It’s kind of a super bowl atmosphere in a way because we're getting the best of the best to participate," said Eric Alwan with the Sunland Racetrack.
The Sunland Derby is attracting the best trainers, jockeys and horses from across the country.
"Not only are horses coming from California, but they're also coming from New York, Florida and the Midwest. So we really have a lot of depth," he said.
That makes Alwan's job as an analyst more challenging, but after doing his research and taking a pick.
"I think that midnight hawk is going to get it a lot of support. Bob Baffert has been a three-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer. He trains this horse. He's won our race twice. The horse is exceptionally quick," said Alwan.
But no matter who wins, Alwan said people from our area should be proud of the unique experience.
"It will allow a horse that maybe we've seen with our own eyes up close and personal here at Sunland be running in that majestic Kentucky derby the first Saturday in May."
The Sunland Derby is at about 5:40 p.m. Sunday.