09/16/2003 11:00PM

30 stakes races worth at least $100,000


Sunland Park in New Mexico will offer a record $20 million in total purses during its 2003-04 meeting, including 30 stakes worth at least $100,000 each. The 80-day Sunland Park meet begins Nov. 25 and ends April 11, 2004.

The richest race of the meet is the $500,000 WinStar Derby, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds on March 28, 2004. This year's winner of the inaugural WinStar Derby was Excessivepleasure, who went on to win the Iowa Derby. The day before the WinStar Derby, 3-year-old fillies will run for $250,000 in the one-mile Sunland Park Oaks. Island Fashion won the Oaks this year, and with wins in the Delaware Oaks and Grade 1 Alabama she has become one of the top 3-year-old fillies in the country.

The top 2-year-old race of the meet is the $175,000 (estimated) Riley Allison Futurity, a 6 1/2-furlong race to be run Dec. 27.

Top Quarter Horse races during the meet include the Grade 1, $400,000 Championship at Sunland Park (Dec. 27) and the Grade 1, $300,00 (estimated) West Texas Futurity on closing day, April 11.

Sunland Park will race Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays for most of the meeting.