Total Handle Increases 5% at Sunland Park

Wagering on New Mexico track's races topped $62 million during 77-day season.

The 2011-12 season at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino ended with a total handle increase of nearly 5%, the track reported April 18.

The 77-day season ended April 17 with a total handle exceeding $62 million, which was up 4.92% from last year’s totals. Director of Racing Operations Dustin Dix was extremely pleased with the results.

“We were happy with our total handle being up 4.92% and the off-track handle rising by 6.39%," Dix said. "A series of positive factors sparked the upward trend. The closing day Solo 6 carryover was $40,000, and the final pool grew to over $125,000. The success of the Sunland Derby (gr. III) continued as we had a record handle of over $3.5 million. Easter fell during our meet this year. Additionally, we had a strong average field size of 9.13 runners per race and increased races and days simulcast into California.”

The Sunland Park season ended with an average daily handle of more than $806,000.

Henry Dominguez won 55 races this season and was the leading Thoroughbred trainer. Dominguez's horses won nearly $1.7 million. He won at a strong 19%. Dominguez led Justin Evans by five wins in the standings.

Miguel Hernandez won his first Sunland Park riding title with 71 wins. His mounts earned nearly $1.5 million with a 24% winning clip. Hernandez had a 14-win lead over Enrique Gomez to claim the championship.

Kirk and Judy Robison of El Paso, Texas enjoyed a stellar meet as the leading Thoroughbred owners at Sunland Park. The Robisons won 15 times with 15 seconds and 3 thirds from 56 starters. The Robison stable won at an amazing 27% clip. Their major stars are Isn't He Clever and Twelve Twenty Two.