Q-Racing JournalMay 23, 2014
Champion Prospect To The Top has won the two most recent All American Gold Cups, which is now a Grade 1.
A special AQHA Racing Council vote has upgraded the All American Gold Cup from its Grade 3 status to Grade 1 status, effective for 2014 and 2015.
Ruidoso Downs this year announced the race’s purse would be upgraded to $200,000. In addition, Los Alamitos announced the race would be among those whose winner received an automatic berth to its prestigious $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) on December 13. The All American Gold Cup replaced the Zia Park Championship (G1), due to schedule conflicts, and at the time of the announcement was the only non-Grade 1 race on the list.
The Graded Stakes Committee reviewed the race and recommended the change. A subsequent vote by the Council passed the measure, and it was confirmed by the AQHA Executive Committee.
“Upgrading the All American Gold Cup is a testament to Ruidoso Downs and the horsemen as they continue to improve and strengthen their race program for all ages,” said AQHA Executive Director of Racing Trey Buck. “Approving this race for Grade 1 status shows that the industry recognizes and supports these efforts, and I look forward to watching this race on Labor Day weekend.”
In both 2012 and 2013, champion Prospect To The Top ($992,670) won the All American Gold Cup, and did so while defeating the likes of champions Noconi ($1,348,900) and Feature Mr Bojangles ($899,434), Grade 1 winner DM Streakn Thru Fire ($558,398), Grade 1-placed Jess Lips ($398,529) and Restricted Grade 1-winner A Toss Up ($385,557) The race offered a $40,000 purse both years.
Run nearly every year since it was introduced in 1982, the All American Gold Cup was a Grade 1 from 1985-1994. In 1983, it offered an all-time high purse of $1,500,583 and was won by American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame member Dashingly ($1,754,323). The $200,000 purse will be the richest since 1988, when Bully Bullion won the race worth $249,373.
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