Sunland Park Earns Reaccreditation from NTRA

Mar 20, 2017

Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
Monday, March 20, 2017
Joan Lawrence, NTRA Communications, (646) 335-6833
Dustin A. Dix, Director of Racing Operations, (575) 874-5200


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 20, 2017) – The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino has earned reaccreditation from the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance. Located outside of El Paso in Sunland Park, N.M., the 58-year old racetrack hosts its biggest racing event on March 26 the $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3) offering 85 qualifying points for the G1 Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands.

The reaccreditation of Sunland Park was the culmination of a lengthy process that hosted several meetings with Alliance officials. An on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing operations. Interviews were conducted with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, veterinarians, stewards and regulators.

The inspection team was comprised of Ron Jensen, DVM, veterinary and regulatory consultant, former equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board; Mike Kilpack, security and integrity consultant, past chairman of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators; Dan Fick, racetrack operations consultant and vice chairman of Racing Officials Accreditation Program and Steve Koch, executive director of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance.

Dustin Dix, Director of Racing, says, “Safety of our athletes, equine and human and the integrity of our product are Sunland’s goals. We are proud to be re-accredited and would like to thank the New Mexico Racing Commission and our horsemen in helping us continue to achieve our goals.”

The Safety & Integrity Alliance Code of Standards posted at address an extensive list of safety and integrity concerns within six broad areas: injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; uniform medication and testing; jockey health and welfare; aftercare of retired racehorses; and wagering security.

Sunland Park received its initial Alliance accreditation in 2011. All accreditations and reaccreditations carry an effective period of two years.

Sunland Park is one of 23 racing facilities fully accredited by the Alliance that together host 90 percent of graded stakes and generate 75 percent of North American pari-mutuel handle. The others are Aqueduct Racetrack, Arlington Park, Belmont Park, Canterbury Park, Churchill Downs, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Indiana Grand, Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, Laurel Park, Los Alamitos Race Course, Monmouth Park, Pimlico Race Course

The NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance is horse racing’s key mechanism for implementing racetrack safety and integrity initiatives on a uniform basis nationwide. Information on the Alliance, supported by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, can be found at

About the NTRA
The NTRA, based in Lexington, Ky., is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA owns and manages the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance,, the Eclipse Awards, the National Handicapping Championship, NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program, and Horse PAC, a federal political action committee. NTRA press releases appear on, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (