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Apollitical Pence will look  three-peat in the Champion of Champions on Dec. 10.jpg

Apollitical Pence will look three-peat in the Champion of Champions on Dec. 10



Ed Burgart has seen his share of Champion of Champions runnings, but the morning line maker at Los Alamitos Race Course believes the 2022 running will be special. Recently, Burgart said the following on his Twitter page @qheddie:

November 7

I was fortunate to call 39 Champion Of Champions but Michael Wrona will announce the strongest field ever IMO (in my opinion) for the 440-yard race 12/10. Last year’s world champ Danjer, defending champion Apollitical Pence and current standouts Bomb Cyclone and Empressum are set to clash.

To be held for the 50th time in its history, the Grade 1, $750,000 Champion of Champions at 440 yards will be one of the greatest matchups in the history of Quarter Horse racing and perhaps the best Quarter Horse race so far in the 21st century. The superstars and storylines in this year’s running are outstanding:

After becoming the first back-to-back winner in the Champion of Champions since SLM Big Daddy in 1998-98, Dunn Ranch’s Apollitical Pence will look to become only second three-time winner of the Champion of Champions. He’ll hope to join the legendary Refrigerator in this most exclusive of clubs.

Reigning AQHA World Champion Danjer, owned by Downtime Racing, Billy Smith, and Dean Frey, will make his Los Alamitos debut in the Champion of Champions while looking for a second straight World Champion title.

Steve Holt and Jeff Jones’ Empressum, the AQHA champion 3-year-old in 2021, will look to strengthen his case for the world title in the Champion of Champions. His wins in the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity and Grade 1 Go Man Go Handicap are among the most impressive victories at Los Alamitos in recent years.

Rosenthal Ranch’s Bomb Cyclone, who is undefeated in his four career starts at Los Alamitos, will look to become the first horse ever to win the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, Los Alamitos Super Derby, and Champion of Champions during his career.

Bomb Cyclone’s full-brother and stablemate, Powerful Favorite, will make his final career start in the Champion of Champions. Powerful Favorite has won five-grade one races and over $1.2 million his career. He’s won 10 stakes race during his great career. This will be his swan song.

Robert Harrison’s Pattys Saint won the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap in her Los Alamitos. She’ll look to become the first mare to win this race since Dash For Speed in 1990.

Valeriano Racing Stables’ A Pollitical Candy V enters with a stellar record in his sophomore campaign. He won the All American Derby and Rainbow Derby at Ruidoso Downs and exits after displaying strong finishes in both his Super Derby trial and Super Derby final, in which he finished fourth. He won the All American at 440 yards by 1 ¾ lengths.

Valeriano Racing Stables will also be represented by Sweet Dasha Fire, a 3-year-old filly purchased by the racing operation earlier this year. The winner of the PCQHRA Breeders Derby earlier this year, Sweet Dasha Fire is a full sister to 2015 Champion of Champions winner Heza Dasha Fire. She’ll look to become the first filly to win this race since AQHA World Champion Blues Girl Too in 2007.

Link Newcomb’s Cattail Cove is class personified. A two-time stakes winner at Los Alamitos this year, Cattail Cove was second in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity in 2019 and will now be making his 22nd appearance of his career in a stakes race.

Sergio Castillo’s Jessapolliticalgirl is the other mare in this race. She’s a six-time winner and multiple graded stakes place runner. Her lone stakes win came in Pitre GMC Distaff Stakes in Albuquerque. If she defeats this powerful field, it would be one of the biggest upsets in Champion of Champions history.

The Champion of Champions will be held on Saturday, December 10. The next night on Sunday, December 11, Los Alamitos will host California’s richest race, the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.


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 winners have been crowned World Champion by the AQHA, including the 2015 Champion of Champions winner 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 more on the Champion of Champions please visit the updated Los Alamitos Stakes book at or call 714-820-2788.