LARC NEWS Posted: 12/23/2022 3:39:26 PM




        Los Alamitos Race Course will host 14 Grade 1 Quarter Horse stakes races as part of an outstanding stakes schedule worth an estimated $11 million in purse money during the upcoming race meet.

        The track’s 73rd season of racing will kick off on Saturday, December 31 with the running of the Holiday Handicap for 2-year-olds. The meet will run at Los Alamitos on Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, December 17, 2023. Following the opening night card, the track’s first of 14 Grade 1 races will be held on Sunday, January 1st with the running of the $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap for mares.

         The Quarter Horse stakes schedule will be headed by the track’s staple of three Grade 1 futurities projected to be worth over $1 million each and by the 51ST running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions. The track will host a total of 24 stakes races that will feature purses of $100,000 or more. Eight of those will have purses of $300,000 or more. The entire stakes schedule is available at

       The richest race of the 2023 season will be the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity to be held on Sunday, December 10. The Champion of Champions, the nation’s most prestigious race for older horses, will be an evening earlier on Saturday, December 9. The track’s richest derby, the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby is projected to have a purse of around $1,000,000 and will be held on Sunday, November 5. The two other million dollar futurities during the meet are the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity on Sunday, June 18 and the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Golden State Million Futurity on Sunday, October 29.

       All in all, Los Alamitos will host a nation’s best 32 graded stakes races in 2023, which will include the 14 Grade 1 races. The $500,000 estimated Los Alamitos Oaks for 3-year-old fillies has been upgraded to Grade 1 status beginning with this year’s running on Saturday, March 25.

     The biggest races for California-breds during the meet will held as part of California Breeders Champions Weekend on July 29-30. Stakes events on this weekend will include the RG1 $100,000 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap, RG2 $400,000 estimated Governor’s Cup Futurity, RG2 $225,000 estimated Governor’s Cup Derby, and RG3 $40,000 California Breeders Matron Stakes.


       The winter portion of the meet will be headed by three major Grade 1 races. The $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap, which has been won the last two years by champion aged mare Kiss Thru Fire, will feature the top mares on the grounds racing at 400 yards on Sunday, January 1. The Grade 1, $200,000 projected Los Alamitos Winter Derby at 400 yards on Saturday, February 18 and the Grade 1, $160,000 projected Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship at 400 yards on February 19 are the two other Grade 1 events to be held during the winter part of the meet. 




        Los Alamitos’ great derby tradition continues in 2023. In addition to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby and Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby, the Orange County oval hosts the Grade 2 Golden State Derby on August 13 and Grade 2 Southern California Derby on closing night, Sunday, December 17. Other derbies to be contested include the Grade 2 El Primero Del Año Derby for colts and geldings on Sunday, March 26 and the Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Derby on Saturday, September 30.


        In 2023, Los Alamitos continues its commitment to the fillies and mares division with the most expansive stakes series in the nation for female Quarter Horses. In addition to the Charger Bar, Los Alamitos will host two races for distaffers worth over $100,000 each. The Abigail Kawananakoa Stakes will be held on June 11, while the Grade 1, $125,000 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap is set for Saturday, September 16. The track will host a total of 20 stakes events in the female division – featuring various stakes conditions - during the meet. There will be something at every stakes level in the distaff division this year.


        Los Alamitos has a Quarter Horse stakes program for aged runners that is tops in the nation. In addition to the Champion of Champions, Winter Championship, and Spencer Childers, Los Alamitos will host four other Grade 1 races for older horses in 2023: the Grade 1, $150,000 Vessels Maturity on Sunday, July 2; the Grade 1, $100,000 Go Man Go Handicap on Sunday, August 27; and the Grade 1, $125,000 Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship on Saturday, October 7.


         Eight straightaway stakes races received purse increases of $5,000 each for 2023. The stakes with the upgraded purse amounts are: the $40,000 Virginia Hyland Stakes, the $40,000 Moonist Stakes, the $30,000 James Smith Memorial Handicap, the $30,000 Dashing Folly Stakes, the $40,000 Kaweah Bar Handicap, the $30,000 Independence Day Handicap, the $30,000 Town Policy Stakes, and the $30,000 Justanold Love Stakes. In addition, trial races in Grade 1 events for older horses will now feature a purse of $10,000 per trial. These include the Brad McKinzie Winter Championship trials and the Vessels Maturity trials.




        Six major graded futurities are scheduled at Los Alamitos in 2023. In addition to the three Grade 1 futurities with million-dollar purses and the Restricted Grade 2 Governor’s Cup Futurity, Los Alamitos will also host the Grade 2 Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity, named in honor of the legendary Hall of Fame jockey.


       The futurity schedule will also feature the Grade 2, $400,000 projected PCQHRA Breeders Futurity on Sunday, October 1 and the $100,000 projected Wild West Futurity on Sunday, October 22 for horses from the Intermountain, Northwest regions plus Arizona, Nevada, and Canada.


       Los Alamitos will also host regionals stakes races as part of the AQHA Bank of America Racing Challenge.  These events include the Bank of America California Challenge Championship, the John Deere California Juvenile Challenge, the Adequan California Derby Challenge, the AQHA Distaff California Distaff Challenge.




         The Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes for 3-year-olds and the Los Alamitos Claiming Stakes for 2-year-olds both return in 2023, as will the 1,000 Yards Summer and Winter Series for Mixed-Breed horses and Quarter Horses.  The 1,000 Yards Series will feature events for open horses and a division for fillies and mares as well. The open final in the summer will have a $50,000 purse, while the open final in the winter will feature an increase purse of $75,000, up from $50,000. The final for fillies and mares in the summer and winter have both been increased to $40,000, up from $30,000 in 2022.


          For more information on the Los Alamitos Stakes Schedule, please contact or Los Alamitos Director of Racing Scott Craigmyle at For stakes nomination payments contact Patricia Secrist at For California-bred races and the Ed Burke Million Futurity and PCQHRA stakes series, please contact 714-236-1755.




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