RUIDOSO DOWNS, New Mexico (May 23, 2014) – The $200,000 All American Gold Cup at Ruidoso Downs has been awarded Grade 1 status for 2014 and 2015 by the American Quarter Horse Association.
The Grade 1 rating is the highest ranking a race can attain. It joins the $2.6 million All American Futurity and the $2 million All American Derby as Grade 1 races run on Labor Day weekend at Ruidoso Downs.
The All American Gold Cup and the All American Derby also offer invitations to the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions run in December at Los Alamitos Race Course in Southern California.
“We’re honored to have the All American Gold Cup receive Grade 1 status,” said Ruidoso Downs’ general manager Shaun Hubbard. “This helps attract the sport’s premier older horses to compete.”
In both 2012 and 2013, champion Prospect To The Top won the All American Gold Cup and did so while defeating the likes of champions Noconi and Feature Mr Bojangles.
“Upgrading the All American Gold Cup is a testament to Ruidoso Downs and the horsemen as they continue to improve and strengthen their race program for all ages,” said AQHA executive director of racing Trey Buck. “Approving this race for Grade 1 status shows that the industry recognizes and supports these efforts, and I look forward to watching this race on Labor Day weekend.”
Run nearly every year since it was introduced in 1982, the All American Gold Cup was a Grade 1 stakes from 1985-1994. It was a Grade 3 race last year when the purse was $40,000.
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