SunRay Park and Casino Kicks Off 2021 Racing Season

5/18/2021

SunRay Park and Casino in Farmington was chosen to officially open New Mexico’s 2021 horse racing season--with its small race track and big-hearted staff. By Donna K. Hewett. Sponsored by Three Rivers Brewing and Boons Family Thai Barbecue

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And we're off to SunRay Park and Casino for a fun-filled family adventure that combines the thrill of live horse racing, the enjoyment of gambling, and the smack of spicy food at this spring's largest local event. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Three Rivers Brewery and Boon's Family Thai Barbecue. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. The New Mexico horse racing commission chose SunRay Park in Farmington to kick off its 2021 season. Quite an honor for a diamond in the rough race track, modest in size compared to most, measuring only six furloughs long, it was designed mainly for quarter horse racing as opposed to thoroughbred racing.

The thoroughbreds run longer. They usually run from 220 yards, which is one furlong, and I've seen them run as far as a mile and nine sixteenths. So, one of them's a sprinter and the other ones are usually distance horses.

The wind in San Juan County can gust so intensely at this time of year, Bolen says the direction can affect his horse's performance.

It will affect the thoroughbred horses more today than it will any of the quarter horses because the quarter horses are all going to be running with it. The thoroughbred horse is going down the backside to begin running against it.

Horse trainer Beatriz Sanchez-Carrillo of Santa Fe says the windy weather adds to the challenge and excitement of attending the first meet of the year.

Just coming out and running your horses. It's a good thing. And having them exercise and get them going.

Out of seven starts, Carrillo's horses have one five firsts. Her purse so far totals more than $98,000. You can view Carrillo's champion ponies and the rest of the live spectacle up close and personal from the sidelines or with binoculars from the covered two-story stadium. Not a fan of wagering in the wind? Move inside to the Sports Arena bar and grill where huge teleview screens silently play the latest race and friendly waitstaff serve hot plates of Mexican-American food. The track offers 10 races every Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon through May. They're free to the public. Post times are at 2:15. SunRay Casino offers year-round simulcast horse racing, and more than 400 state-of-the-art slots. COVID-safe precautions are practiced. For directions and more information about the slots or the races go to SUNRAYGAMING.COM. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy-.

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