Clip courtesy Sunland Park

Video+Story: Sunland Park this week with Tom Dawson – Week 8

Sunland Park’s Tom Dawson talks about this Sunday’s card, with four big stakes races including the $100,000 Mine That Bird Derby, which is the last local prep for the Sunland Derby.

The $75,000 Island Fashion serves the same purpose for fillies looking towards running the Sunland Park Oaks.

There will also be a pair of $100,000 stakes run for New Mexico breds in the Dominguez Memorial and the Red Hedeman Mile.

Nationally, Risen Star Stakes favorite Anneau d’Or was nowhere to be found at the Fair Grounds as long-shots Modernist, Major Fed and NY Traffic took the top three spots and picked up valuable Kentucky Derby points.

On Saturday, “Bourbon & Whiskey at The Park” returnis to the Borderland area this Saturday, Feb. 22 from 6 to 11 p.m. El Paso and Southern New Mexico area residents have the opportunity to experience the flavors of over 60 different bourbons, whiskeys, and scotches, including many premium brands.

The festival takes place at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino, inside the Turf Club & Franklin’s Lounge. The event is open to the public and will feature live music entertainment.

“We invite everyone to come out to sip and savor a wide-variety of high-quality, premium spirit beverages,” said Ethan Linder, director of marketing for Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino. He added that “every time we hold this event, it attracts large crowds, especially after a day of live horse racing.” The racetrack is currently in its 61st racing season.

The popularity of this event may also be attributable, at least in part, to millennials. CNBC recently reported that sales of Irish whiskey have grown 61% in the United States over the last five years, thanks to the “willingness” of adults in that age group to spend more for higher quality alcohol.

To entertain everyone in attendance, live music acts performing during the festival will include the following artists:

Unlike other tasting events in the area, admission is free for adults 21 and older. Parking is also free. However, guests are encouraged to drink responsibly and to use taxi cabs, ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft, or to have a designated driver.Beverage sampling will cost $20 for 10 tickets, which also includes a souvenir glass with every 10 tickets purchased. Sample tickets will be sold at the door.

For more information, please visit the Bourbon & Whiskey at The Park Facebook event page.
**For the record:  Officials with Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino shared that Mike Smith will NOT Race at Sunland Park this Weekend. What follows is their official statement:
We regret to inform you that native New Mexican and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will not ride Exaulted at this weekend’s $100,000 Mine That Bird Derby at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino on Sunday, Feb. 23.

Exaulted has scratched from the race. Our apologies to you, as well as all of the racing fans expecting their appearance.

Exaulted is a Triple Crown nominated thoroughbred, therefore, we here at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino have high hopes of seeing him possibly run at this year’s Sunland Derby on March 22.