2018 Champion of Champions Format Announced

This year's Champion of Champions is set for December 15 and will offer a $600,000 purse.

Press release

Los Alamitos Racecourse has announced the qualifying races for this year's 440-yard, $600,000 Champion of Champions.

Eight Grade 1 races will qualify horses to the Grade 1, $600,000 Champion of Champions for 3-year-olds and upward to be held on Saturday, December 15 at Los Alamitos Race Course.

The eight races offering berths into the Champion of Champions are: the Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship, which was held on February 11 and won for the second straight year by Bill Hoburg’s BH Lisas Boy; the Remington Park Championship on June 2; Vessels Maturity on July 8; All American Derby on September 2; Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap on September 23; Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship on October 14; Bank of America Challenge Championship to be held at Los Alamitos Race Course on November 17; and Los Alamitos Super Derby on November 11.

The final two starting berths to the Champion of Champions will be offered in the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials to be held on November 18 at Los Alamitos. The horses with the two fastest times in the trials will advance to the 46th running of the Champion of Champions to be contested at 440 yards. The winner of the Champion of Champions, which is regarded as the most prestigious Quarter Horse race for older horses, will earn $300,000.

As in recent years, the Grade 1 $100,000 Go Man Go on September 2 remains part of the Champion of Champions format. If any horse wins more than one race with a starting berth to the Champion of Champions, that berth will go to the winner of the Go Man Go. 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.

If there is a dead heat for first in any of the eight original races offering berths in this format, there will be a shake to determine the Champion of Champions qualifier. In the event that an additional berth to the Champion of Champions becomes available, the horse that finished in a dead heat would be offered the berth. Regardless of the different possible scenarios, the Z. Wayne Griffin will always have a minimum of two berths to the Champion of Champions. Any other available berths will be decided in the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials.

Horses are eligible to run in the Z. Wayne Griffin Trials for 3-year-olds and upward if they 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. Horses not meeting those requirements can still enter the Z. Wayne Griffin Trials by paying a $5,000 fee. Races for 2-year-olds or races at 870 yards are not considered.   

Horses receiving a berth to the Champion of Champions either through the aforementioned Grade 1 races or the Z. Wayne Griffin Trials will be required to pay a $10,000 entry fee. In order to collect purse money in the Champion of Champions a horse must actually start in the race. There will be no also eligible list.

Horses racing in the Champion of Champions must be on the grounds three weeks prior to the race. All participants will be hair tested. In addition to any other race condition(s) that may apply individually to this race, the eligibility of horses nominating to, entering into, and/or competing in this race is expressly restricted, conditioned, and/or limited to horses that have not been administered and/or which do not test positive for the presence of Clenbuterol, Albuterol, Zilpaterol, and Ractopamine, in either pre or post-race test samples, whether conducted under testing authorized by the California Horse Racing Board, or pursuant to a contract between Los Alamitos Race Course and the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association. The Champion of Champions berths are subject to review by Los Alamitos Race Course management. Horses and/or connections (owners/trainers) who have had a history of violations for drug usage may be denied a stall which would preclude them from participation in a race.  

The Champion of Champions was first contested at Los Alamitos in 1972 when Mr Jet Moore edged champions Kaweah Bar and Charger Bar. Since then, 28 of its 45 winners have been crowned World Champion by the AQHA. Heza Dasha Fire, Easy Date, Dash For Cash, Refrigerator, SLM Big Daddy, Tailor Fit and Blues Girl Too are among the AQHA World Champions that have won the Champion of Champions.

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.