Forget Churchill Downs and that blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Thoroughbred competition last weekend. The real horse race is pounding in the Permian, where oil and gas operators are filing for drilling permits faster than Authentic in the home stretch. Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest news from the nation’s most prolific energy basin as producers scramble to secure their permits ahead of Nov. 3. With the presidential election a mere 53 days away, E&Ps with federal land assets in Texas and N.M., are hedging their bets six ways to Sunday. Permitting there is up 80% over the last three months. New Mexico this year has seen 85% of its well permits on federal lands vs state and private lands, with Matador and EOG bringing in the lion’s share. But, hey, you gotta hold on to what you’ve got. Matador expects to have 300 federal permits in N.M., by the end of the year; EOG has 2,500 on federal lands in four states.