FORMAT SET FOR 2016 CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS
The race format to the Grade 1 Champion of Champions remains unchanged for 2016 with eight Grade 1 races offering automatic starting berths to the sport's most prestigious race for older horses to be held on December 10.
The eight races offering automatic berths into the Champion of Champions are: the Los Alamitos Winter Championship, which was held on February 14 and won by the multiple AQHA champion and current number one ranked older Quarter Horse Moonist, The Remington Park Championship on June 4, The Vessels Maturity on July 3, The All American Derby on September 4, The Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap on September 25, The Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship on October 9, The Bank of America Challenge Championship to be held at Los Alamitos Race Course on October 29, and The Los Alamitos Super Derby on November 6.
The final two starting berths will be offered in the Z.Wayne Griffin Directors Trials to be held on November 13. The horses with the two fastest times in the trials will advance to the Champion of Champions. The 44th running of the Champion of Champions will feature a $600,000 purse and will be contested at 440 yards. The winner of the Champion of Champions will earn $300,000.
If there is a dead heat for first in any of the eight automatic berth races, there will be a shake to determine the Champion of Champions qualifier. In the event that a 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.
As in recent years, the Grade 1 $100,000 Go Man Go on September 4 also remains part of the Champion of Champions format. If any horse wins more than one race with an automatic berth to the Champion of Champions,that berth will go to the winner of the Go Man Go (as long as there were no dead-heats for first place in any of the other qualifying races). 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(again as long as there are no dead heats in any of the other qualifying races). Any other available berths would be decided in the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials.
Horses are eligible to run in the Z. Wayne Griffin Trials 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. Races for 2-year-olds or races at 870 yards are not considered. In order to collect purse money a horse must actually start in the Champion of Champions and there will be no also eligible list.
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 43 winners have been crowned World Champion by the AQHA, including last year's Champion of Champions winner and World Champion Heza Dasha Fire. Easy Date, Dash For Cash, Refrigerator, SLM Big Daddy, Tailor Fit and Blues Girl Too are among the World Champions that have won the sport's most prestigious race for older horses.
For complete rules and requirements please visit the updated Los Alamitos Stakes book at losalamitos.com or call 714-820-2788.