AA Gold Cup Added to Champion of Champions Format
Ruidoso Downs race will take the place of Zia Park Championship for 2014.
May 10, 2014
The All American Gold Cup (G3) at Ruidoso Downs has been added to the qualifying format for the 2014 $750,000 guaranteed Champion of Champions (G1) it was announced earlier this week at Los Alamitos Race Course.
The All American Gold Cup will replace the Zia Park Championship (G1) as a qualifying race due to the tight scheduling between the running of the Zia Park Championship on November 26 and the running of the Champion of Champions on December 13. The All American Gold Cup will now feature a $200,000 purse and will be held in late summer in New Mexico. The All American Gold Cup was first won by the great millionaire Higheasterjet in 1982 and has a tremendous stakes history. Past winners of the All American Gold Cup include greats like 1983 world champion Dashingly, Mr Master Bug, 1984 world champion Dashs Dream, Heavenly, 1990 world champion Dash For Speed, 1991 world champion See Me Do It, 1992 world champion Special Leader, multiple champion Noconi and multiple champion and 2012-2013 winner Prospect To The Top.
The races now offering automatic berths into the 2014 Champion of Champions are: the Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1), which was recently held on February 18 and won by the talented mare Nellie Delaney, Remington Park Championship (G1), Vessels Maturity (G1), All American Derby, Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1), Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship (G1), Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1), Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) and the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials. The Champion of Champions will be held for the 43rd time on Saturday, December 13.
If there is a dead heat for first in any of the nine automatic berth races, there will be a shake to determine the Champion of Champions qualifier. In the event that a second berth to the Champion of Champions becomes available, the horse that finished in a dead heat would be offered the berth instead of it reverting to the Z. Wayne Griffin. Regardless of the different possible scenarios, the Z. Wayne Griffin will always have a minimum of one berth to the Champion of Champions.
As in recent years, the Grade 1, $100,000 Go Man Go on September 20 also remains part of the Champion of Champions format. If any horse wins more than one race with an automatic berth to the Champion of Champions, that berth will go to the winner of the Go Man Go (as long as there were no dead heats for first place in any of the other qualifying races). If the connections of a horse with a starting berth decline their spot in the Champion of Champions, that berth would also revert to the winner of the Go Man Go (again, as long as there are no dead heats in any of the other qualifying races). Any other available berths would be decided in the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials.
The format to the Z. Wayne Griffin Trials remains similar to that of past years. Horses eligible will be those that finish first, second or third in a Grade 1 race, first or second in a Grade 2 race and first in a Grade 3 race. Races for 2-year-olds or races at 870 yards are not considered. A horse not meeting those requirements can enter the Z. Wayne Griffin by paying a $5,000 fee. That $5,000 fee will be put into the purse of the Champion of Champions, making up the difference between the added money and the guaranteed $750,000.
Horses receiving an automatic berth to the Champion of Champions or qualifying via the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trial will now be required to pay a $12,500 entry fee. In order to collect purse money a horse must actually start in the Champion of Champions and there will be no also eligible list. The winner of the Champion of Champions will earn $375,000.
The Champion of Champions has been contested at Los Alamitos every year since 1972 when Mr Jet Moore edged champions Kaweah Bar and Charger Bar. Since then, 27 of its 42 winners have been crowned world champion by the AQHA. Easy Date, Dash For Cash, Refrigerator, SLM Big Daddy, Tailor Fit and Blues Girl Too are among the world champions that have won the sport's most prestigious race for older horses. For complete rules, refer to the Los Alamitos Stakes book or call (714) 820-2788.
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