Big weekend ahead for Sunland Park Racetrack

Friday, April 4, 2014 - 11:47pm

With only 8 days to go in the 2013-14 Sunland Park racing season, meteoric trainer Justin Evans is placing the track’s training record out of sight. Entering Friday’s card, Evans has 87 Thoroughbred wins from 270 starters for an unbelievable strike rate of 31 percent. His horses have amassed over $1.4 million in earnings. His nearest rival, Henry Dominguez, has 34 wins.

Through his torrid streak, Evans has smashed his own record for wins in the Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino era dating back to 1999. Evans won 63 races from 256 starters during the 2012-13 Sunland Park campaign.

Prior to last year, the most training wins at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino came in 2007 when Chris Hartman won 51 races and in 2006 with Henry Dominguez winning 50 races.

With these numbers in perspective, Evans is rattling though the most dominant training season ever at Sunland Park and could very well win over 100 races. He is ranked in the top 5 nationally among the leading trainers in the country for races won.

On the jockey side, Ry Eikleberry is also enjoyed a tremendous campaign with one of the greatest Sunland Park seasons ever. With 89 wins from 328 mounts, Eikleberry has a commanding lead in the standings and is near a record pace. Last year, Eikleberry won the 2012-13 Sunland Park riding title with 55 wins from 317 mount for a strike rate of 17 percent. This year, he is winning at a 27 percent rate. He could easily win over 100 races this meet.

Multiple Sunland Park riding champion Ken Tohill holds the Sunland racino record for races won during the 2004-05 meet when he won 110 races from 463 mounts. He also won 94 races in 2007 and 91 races in 2006. Eikleberry is quickly approaching some of those terrific performances.

The $50,000 Czaria Handicap at 6 furlongs is the Saturday feature. Warrens Venedalucy, Hard to Resist and Cottagecupcake are the high profile contenders.

Defending champion Feature Mr Who runs in the $100,000-added Bank of America NM Challenge on Sunday. Quemados Version is the top qualifier for the $208,965 New Mexican Spring Futurity. Post time on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Friday is 12:55 p.m. The live racing season continues through Tuesday, April 15.

The 12th annual Sports and Get Fit Expo will be held on Sunday at 10 a.m. in the Signature Showroom. Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams and Baseball Hall of Famer Goose Gossage are the headliners.


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