There's a pretty good chance you'll have plenty of company when you're watching races at SunRay Park and Casino this weekend for the first of 33 racing days, even if you choose to sit by yourself in the grandstand or watch and wager from any number of outlets.
In addition to local and regional race tracks and sports books around the country, the simulcast signal of SunRay Park has gone global, with as many as a dozen other nations taking in the action which opens on Saturday with a strong 10-race program.
When you step up to the windows to make a wager, you'll be putting your racing expertise to the test with horseplayers from as far away as Sweden, Norway, Great Britain and Spain.
It's all about the technology that's available from simulcast wagering, and SunRay Park's signal has given local racing fans the chance to compete with handicappers (also referred to as "punters") from across the globe.
In addition to dozens of simulcast outlets in America, races are also available on television networks like TVG, as well as online wagering platforms like TwinSpires and assorted others across most of Western Europe and Asia.
The advent and accessibility to simulcast wagering has been both a blessing and a curse for horse racing.
Advocates point to the ease of being able to watch and wager from anywhere, while those against the proliferation of simulcasting point to decreasing attendance figures for the actual on-track experience.
Regardless of where you may stand on the issue, the fact remains that your wagering dollar is part of a potentially international pool, which may intrigue some horse players who enjoy a challenge.
Basic Information for the 2017-18 Season
Post Times: Mondays and Fridays, 3pm & Saturdays and Sundays 1:15pm
Wagering Menu includes:
* 10 cent superfectas
* 50 cent trifectas, pick threes, pick four and the pentafecta
* $1 exactas
* $2 doubles and win/place/show bets
A pair of solid wagering opportunities exist on the opening day program, in the 8th and 9th races on the card.
Race 8 is a 350-yard quarter horse affair where Sunland Park's leading trainer Wes Giles will send out the talented Seeyalateralligator. A five-time winner and lifetime earner of more than $368,000 will likely go off favored in the 7-horse field, and for good reason, taking a big drop in class off a moderate effort against stakes company last time out at Sunland Park.
The son of Winners Version has run well over this course in the past, and has run well when coming back from layoffs. If he fires off the bench today, he could be set for a winning effort.
In the 9th and featured event on the opening day program, we're going to try and beat the morning line favorite Mt Veeder with hopefully a big performance from Funny Munny.
A six-time winner from 30 lifetime starts, the Adam Archuleta-trained son of Munnings has run well over this course in the past, (5 starts, 2 seconds and 2 thirds) is drawn close to the fence where he can save a bit of ground and should be on or near the lead turning for home.