$350,0000 Championship at Sunland Park (Gr. I) kick starts opening weekend

Opening weekend offers up $350,00 Championship at Sunland Park (Gr. I) on Saturday, Dec. 31

New Year’s Day program features $65,000 KLAQ Handicap and $100,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap

Opening day at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino is Friday, December 30, and the first weekend of the meet will be a blockbuster.

The $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park (Gr. I) on Saturday, Dec. 31 presents a world class including last year’s Quarter Horse

of the Year Danjer.

The sensational Quarter Horse star is coming off a valiant second place run to Empressum in the $750,000 Champion of Champions (Gr. I)

Held at Los Alamitos on December 10. Danjer was coming off comprehensive wins in the Challenge Championship finale held at

Horseshoe Indianapolis and the Downs at Albuquerque Fall Championship.

The six-year-old Fdd Dynasty gelding outran world class horses like Bomb Cyclone, Apollitical Pence and A Polllitical Candy V in the Champion

of Champions.  The sensational juggernaut has shined over the long haul earning over $2.7 million from 19 win in 32 career starts.

In his only career start at Sunland Park, Danjer finished second beaten a neck to Valiant Tiberias in the 2019 Championship at Sunland Park.

He is owned by in partnership by Dean Frey, Downtime Enterprises LLC, and Billy G. Smith. Dean Frey doubles as his trainer.

Defending Championship at Sunland Park winner Instygator, 2021 All American Futurity winner KJ Desperado, millionaire winner of the Zia Quarter

Horse Invitational Flash Bak and Famous Chief are also probable runners in this year’s Championship at Sunland Park.

Bella Dona, the impeccable New Mexico-bred stakes star, may run in the $100,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap on New Year’s

Day. The incredible race mare has rattled off 12 wins from 13 career starts in her two-year campaign and is unquestionably the finest New Mexico-bred

female to come along in many years.

The 10-time stakes winner trained by Simon Buechler has amassed over $750,000 in earnings and is coming off a dominant win in the New Mexico

Classic Cup Oaks Championship at Zia Park last October. Bella Dona is a perfect 7 for 7 in 2022. The New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap

would be her first race against older fillies and mares and is contested at five and one-half furlongs.

Flaco Cappellucci’s Competitive Idea is a potential starter in the $65,000 KLAQ Handicap at 5 furlongs. The hard charging sprinter enjoyed an upset

win in the Zia Park Sprint Championship last month.

Racing will be held on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday basis with 9 races daily. Post time is 12:25 p.m.