04/25/2010 11:00PM

Offtrack numbers help Sunland


A spike in offtrack business helped Sunland Park in New Mexico achieve an increase of more than 5 percent in average daily handle during its 77-date mixed meet for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses that ended April 20.

Sunland handled an average $851,540 a day on its races from all sources, which was up from last season's average of $807,603. At sites offtrack, patrons bet an average $756,809 a day on Sunland, which was up 6 percent. Ontrack, an average $94,731 a day was bet on Sunland's races this meet, which was down 1 percent from last season.

Attendance figures for the meet are not available because there is no admission charge to Sunland, which operates a slots casino. Purses for the meet averaged $300,024 a card, which was down 3 percent from last season's record distribution of $309,696.

Henry Dominguez was the meet's leading trainer, with 43 wins from 207 starts for stable earnings of $1,010,618. Luis Contreras won the riding title with 51 wins from 262 starts, for mount earnings of $1,163,356. The leading owners with 13 wins each were Ramon Gonzalez Jr. and Leslie and Pierre Amestoy Jr.

Endorsement, who on March 28 won the first graded running of the $800,000 Sunland Derby, was named Thoroughbred of the meet. Both he and Conveyance, the Sunland Derby runner-up, are set to race Saturday in the Kentucky Derby.