RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (May 11, 2014) — Los Alamitos Race Course has announced that the winner of the $200,000 All American Gold Cup at Ruidoso Downs will receive an invitation to compete in the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions on December 13 at Los Alamitos.
The 440-yard Champion of Champions is the most prestigious race for older runners in quarter horse racing. A total of 27 of the 42 Champion of Champions winners have been honored as world champion by the American Quarter Horse Association.
The addition of the All American Gold Cup to the Champion of Champions invitation list means that Ruidoso Downs will be the only track to offer two major stakes with Champion of Champions invitations on the same weekend. The All American Gold Cup and the Grade 1, $2.3 million (est.) All American Derby are raced on Labor Day weekend. The 440-yard All American Derby also carries a Champion of Champions invitation.
The All American Gold Cup will be held on Saturday, August 30 while the All American Derby is slated for Sunday, August 31. The Grade 1, $2.6 All American Futurity is the season’s culminating event on Monday, September 1. The All American Futurity is for two-year-olds and, therefore, not eligible for a Champion of Champions invitation.
The purse for the All American Gold Cup has been raised to $200,000 from $40,000 this year.
“We are honored and thankful to have the All American Gold Cup offering a Champion of Champions invitation,’ said Ruidoso Downs’ general manager Shaun Hubbard. “This adds more luster to Labor Day weekend and recognizes the strides made in the older horse division at Ruidoso Downs.”
The addition of the Champion of Champions invitation further ensures that championship caliber older horses will be competing in the All American Gold Cup.
The purse increase and the Champion of Champions invitation for the All American Gold Cup are part of the improvements to the Ruidoso Downs stakes schedule this summer.
The new $100,000 races for three-year-olds are the First Down Dash, Corona Cartel and the Mr Jess Perry. The First Down Dash (August 31) is a 440-yard stakes with preference for horses who raced in the All American Derby trials. The Corona Cartel (July 19) is a 440-yard race with preference for horses who competed in the Rainbow Derby trials. The Mr Jess Perry (June 7) is a 400-yard race with preference for horses who ran in the Ruidoso Derby trials.
The New Mexico-bred program also shows a major enhancement. The Zia Festival, which offers more than $1 million to state-bred quarter horses and thoroughbreds, will now be held over two days: July 26 and 27. The largest purse during the two days, the $400,000 (est.) Zia Futurity for quarter horses, will run on Sunday, July 27.
The summer season begins on Thursday, May 22 with the first of two days of trials to the Grade 1, $700,000 Ruidoso Futurity. Trials to the Grade 1, $900,000 (est.) Ruidoso Derby will be held on Saturday, May 24.
For complete Ruidoso Downs’ information, go to www.raceruidoso.com, visit the Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino Facebook page and follow the Ruidoso Press Box (@RuiPressBox) on Twitter.