Champion of Champions Gets Purse Increase

The 2017 race will be worth $750,000.

Edited press release

The purse of this year's Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos has been increased to $750,000.

The purse for this year's Grade 1, 440-yard Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos Racecourse has been increased from $600,000 to $750,000.

This year's Champion of Champions, American Quarter Horse racing's richest and most prestigious race for older horses, will be run on December 16.

“The Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos is and has always been the most important race in the country for older Quarter Horses,” said track owner Ed Allred. “The race represents the top of the sport, and as such we wanted to give it a significant purse increase to accentuate that fact.

"We want to catch the attention of those that own the best Quarter Horses in the sport," he added. "The Champion of Champions is one of the events that makes Los Alamitos a special place to race.”

The Champion of Champions has been an institution at Los Alamitos since 1972, when world champion Mr Jet Moore earned the winner's share of a $50,000 purse. The purse was increased to $100,000 in 1977, when the race was won by two-time world champion Dash For Cash.

The Champion of Champions purse was increased to $250,000 in 1990 and $500,000 in '01. Six years later, the purse was boosted to a stakes-record $1 million. From 2008-12, the Champion of Champions purse was $750,000, and it was $600,000 from 2013 through last year.

The 2014 edition of the Champion of Champions was cancelled by track management due to a widely publicized Clenbuterol controversy. Los Alamitos instituted hair testing guidelines for the 2015 Champion of Champions, guidelines which remain in place for this race and most of the track's major stakes.   

Los Alamitos has also raised purses for four key races in the distaff division for 2017, led by the Grade 1, 400-yard Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap, which was increased to $125,000 up from $100,000. The Grade 3 Miss Princess Handicap, Grade 3 Las Damas Handicap, and the Ivan Ashment Handicap (R) for Cal-Breds also received purse increases.

In addition, Los Alamitos Race Course is home to three Grade-1 futurities with purses of $1 million or more: the 350-yard Ed Burke Million Futurity in June, the 400-yard Golden State Million Futurity in November and the 400-yard Los Alamitos Two-Million Futurity in December. 

The following races offer automatic starting berths to this year's Champion of Champions:

Los Alamitos Winter Championship (February 17): Won by BH Lisas Boy
Remington Park Championship (June 3)
Vessels Maturity (July 2)
All American Derby (September 3)
Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap (September 24)
Albuquerque Fall Championship (September 24)
Bank of America Challenge Championship (October 14)
Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship (October 15)
Los Alamitos Super Derby (November 12)
Z. Wayne Griffin Directors' Trials (November 19)

If an additional berth should open up, the winner of the September 3 Go Man Go Handicap at Los Alamitos will receive the berth.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.