They say any horse can win on any given day, and a national assembly of young, majestic thoroughbreds seem to prove that every Spring during the live horse races at SunRay Park and Casino in Farmington, New Mexico. The jam packed 24th season offers 21 days of exhilarating races every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the end of May. You’re watching the Local NEWS Network, brought to you by Boons Family Thai BBQ, and Distil Beer Wine and Spirits. I’m Hayley Opsal. In the stands, the veil lifted on SunRay Park’s opening day weekend 2023. Thomas Corrado from Durango, betting stubs in hand, heads back to his seats for the second race of the day. He’s glowing, but it’s not because he’s winning.
I just like the atmosphere, nice weather, grandstands here. It’s really nice to sit down and have a little bite to eat and a couple of beers and yeah.
We caught up with one veteran jockey in between races outside the stables. Ken Tohill rode his first race in 1979. After decades of trials and tribulations on and off the track, he’s back on top with a horse named, “Wild On Ice”.
His first two races, he won both of those, and really got our hopes up, and then he kind of got a little wound up, and had a couple races that weren’t fantastic, and then come back in the Sunland Derby and he really showed himself and run a really nice race that made him eligible for the Kentucky Derby. If the horse makes it and they let me, I would love to go to the Derby.
SunRay Park and Casino offers year round simulcast horse racing, more than 400 busy state-of-the-art slots, 30 video poker games and five video blackjack games. But it’s the short action of the live races that brings Chris Villejos out every year. For him, it’s all about the ecstasy of the bet at post time.
I’m hoping to win money all the time when I come out here. That’s what I want to do. You know, I don’t come here to lose. You can’t win all the time. You know, either way it’s still luck. But as long as I know how to read a racing form, I can do good.
This year, former director of racing Lonnie Barber is working at SunRay Park as a racing consultant, training his new replacement.
Well, the weather’s finally getting good, and we’re glad of that, and we’re glad to see all the local people out supporting us and we always appreciate that they’ve done it over the last 20 years that I’ve been here. They’ve been great here at Farmington, Aztec, Bloomfield area, Four Corners, basically the whole Four Corners area. And it’s just been a good ride for me.
SunRay Park and Casino offers live concerts and comedy nights, banquet services, great margaritas, fresh Tex Mex, and a very friendly staff. For more information about this and other stories, visit farmingtonlocal.news. Thank you for watching this edition of the Local NEWS Network. I’m Hayley Opsal.