The Grade All American Gold Cup purse will be raised 500 percent to a guaranteed $200,000 in 2014 through cooperation between Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico Horsemen’s Association and the New Mexico Racing Commission.
The $200,000 purse, which is an increase from $40,000 in 2013, was approved by the New Mexico Racing Commission at their meeting on October 31.
“Once again, this purse increase shows how cooperation between shareholders in New Mexico racing works to give our customers, the fans, a better racing product. I want to especially thank the owners and breeders who continually support our racing program,” said Ruidoso Downs’ general manager Shaun Hubbard.
The $200,000 All American Gold Cup is part of a record-setting stakes lineup on Labor Day weekend at Ruidoso Downs. This year, the Grade 1, $2.8 million All American Derby offered the all-time largest purse in quarter horse racing history and the Grade 1, $2.6 All American Futurity paid the largest purse in North America to a two-year-old of any breed.
This past summer, the Rainbow Derby reached a record $1,055,000, the Rainbow Futurity was a record $1 million, the Ruidoso Derby was a record $822,000 and the Ruidoso Futurity was a record $750,000.
The 2014 All American Gold Cup offers the highest purse for the stakes since 1988.
The All American Gold Cup purse increase is another example of Ruidoso Downs supporting increased opportunities for older horses and should attract a stellar field.
Quarter horse racing’s number-one horse Ochoa, dominating winner of the Grade 1, $150,000 Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Championship, won the Mr Jet Moore at Ruidoso Downs last summer and would be a prime prospect for the All American Gold Cup. The Sleepy Gilbreath-trained gelding has Grade 1 wins at Ruidoso Downs in the All American Futurity, All American Derby and Rainbow Derby. He is the all-time leading money earner at $2,762,615.
Cold Cash 123, the 2011 world champion, would be another prime contender. He summered at Ruidoso Downs in the Gilbreath barn, but did not start.
Joining top-ranked Ochoa in the Gold Cup, could be three other horses ranked in the top-five older horses this week. All American Derby winner Feature Hero is the third-ranked horse, Remington Park Championship winner and 2012 Rainbow Derby runner-up Priceless Feature is the fourth-ranked horse, and Ruidoso Derby and Rainbow Derby Winner Wicked Courage is the fifth-ranked horse.
All of these horses have excelled in Grade 1 races at Ruidoso Downs and the All American Gold Cup should now also attract Grade 1 horses from across the country.
The 2014 Ruidoso Downs season begins on May 22 with two days for trials to the Grade 1, $700,000 Ruidoso Futurity.