Sunland Park Racetrack ended its 55-day Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse season on Sunday, April 7.

Dick Cappellucci led all Thoroughbred trainers with 30 wins from 116 starters, three more than runner-up Todd Fincher, who saddled the winners of 27 races from 94 starters. However, Fincher led all Thoroughbred trainers in starter earnings at $1,429,914.

Alfredo Juarez Jr. was Sunland Park’s leading Thoroughbred jockey with 34 wins from 150 mounts, three more than runner-up Alejandro Medellin, who won 31 races from 174 mounts. Christian Ramos was the meet’s leading Thoroughbred rider in mount earnings at $882,384.

Alfred Alvarado topped all Sunland Park Thoroughbred owners with 11 wins from 36 starters, three more than runner-up Dick Cappellucci, who won eight races from 24 starters. J. Kirk and Judy Robison of El Paso, Texas, led all Thoroughbred owners in purse earnings at $558,782.

On the Quarter Horse side, Wes Giles was Sunland Park’s leading trainer with 18 wins from 87 starters, five more than runner-up Eric Valenzuela, who prepped the winners of 13 races from 72 starters. Valenzuela was the track’s leading Quarter Horse trainer in starter earnings at $539,051.

Sunland’s leading Quarter Horse jockey, Adrian Ramos (pictured), rode the winners of 20 races from 119 mounts, one more than runner-up Christian Ramos, who won 19 races from 130 mounts. Noe Garcia Jr. topped all Quarter Horse riders in mount earnings at $600,018.

Adrian Zapata and La Feliz Montana Ranch LLC led all Quarter Horse owners with five wins each, Zapata from 10 starters and La Feliz Montana Ranch from 27 starters. Valeriano Racing Stables was Sunland Park’s top Quarter Horse owner in purse earnings at $182,616.

Once again, Sunland Park’s signature Thoroughbred race was the 1 1/16-mile, $400,000 Sunland Park Derby (G3) for 3-year-olds on February 18. New Mexico’s lone graded Thoroughbred stakes and the only race in the state offering Kentucky Derby (G1) qualifying points, the Sunland Park Derby was won by Stronghold, a Kentucky-bred Ghostzapper colt trained by Phil D’Amato and ridden by Antonio Fresu for owners Eric M. Waller and Sharon Waller. Stronghold won the Grade 1, 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby in his next start, stamping him as a prime contender for the Triple Crown races.

Also, Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Recharge earned Kentucky Oaks (G1) qualifying points with her victory in the February 18, $250,000 Sunland Park Oaks for sophomore fillies. Joel Rosario rode the Kentucky-bred Gun Runner filly for trainer Steve Asmussen.

The February 18 Sunland Park Derby card drew an announced crowd of 15,446. Wagering handle for the day reached $3,116,006, of which $293,490 was bet on track and $2,822,516 was wagered off track.

Sunland Park also presented a strong series of stakes restricted to New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds, topped by the two richest, the 1 1/16-mile, $250,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Derby (R) for 3-year-olds, and the 1 1/16-mile, $250,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Oaks (R) for 3-year-old fillies, both of which were contested on Friday, March 29.

Community Leader, a homebred son of the Artax stallion Diabolical trained by Todd Fincher and ridden by Felipe Valdez for owners J. Kirk and Judy Robison, won the New Mexico Breeders’ Derby. The chestnut gelding covered the 8 1/2-furlong distance in 1:46.20 while earning his ninth win in 10 starts and sixth stakes victory.

Dilly Dilly Racing’s Honky Tonk Honey won the New Mexico Breeders’ Oaks. Ridden by Irwin Rosendo for trainer Simon Buechler, the homebred Kentucky Wildcat filly went 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.02 while posting her second win four outs and first stakes victory.

Sunland Park’s signature Quarter Horse race, the 440-yard, $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park (G1) on January 7, was won by Flash Bak, a 6-year-old Moonin The Eagle gelding who was just four weeks removed from winning American Quarter Horse racing’s richest and most prestigious race for aged runners, the December 9, $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos Racecourse. Francisco Calderon rode Flash Bak for trainer Heath Taylor.

Pavel won Sunland Park’s richest Quarter Horse race for New Mexico-breds, the April 6, $354,522 New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2). Owned and trained by Jorge Luis Sanchez Jr. and ridden by Luis Martinez, the gelded son of the Corona Cartel stallion Czar Cartel MV and fastest qualifier went 300 yards in :15.030 while earning his second win in three races and first stakes victory. Pavel was a $6,000 yearling purchase at last year’s New Mexico-Bred Sale at Ruidoso Downs.