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Los Alamitos announces 2006 Stakes Schedule


November 14, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

Los Alamitos, Cypress, CA - The money will be flowing for stakes horses at Los Alamitos Race Course in 2006, as the Southern California track has announced its richest stakes schedule ever with over $10.23 million in stakes purse money up for grabs next year.

The Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, the nationís first race for Quarter Horses to guarantee a $2 million purse, highlights the upcoming stakes schedule. The Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity will be held on Friday, December 8, 2006. The stakes schedule will also feature the richest running ever of the Champion of Champions, the sport's most prestigious race for older Quarter Horses.

The Champion of Champions will offer a $600,000 guaranteed purse when this 440-yard classic is run on Saturday, December 9, 2006. This represents a $100,000 increase from the í05 Champion of Champions purse. Another innovation for '06 is the unveiling of the nation's richest event for distaffers - the $250,000 guaranteed Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap to be contested on Friday, September 22.

In addition, Los Alamitos is the only racetrack in the United States to have three $1 million races as part of its annual stakes schedule. The three million dollar races make up the Los Alamitos Bonanza, a program that offers a $1 million cash bonus to the connections of any horse that can sweep the Ed Burke Million Futurity, Golden State Million Futurity and the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

The Bonanza races are expected to be richer than ever in 2006, as the $1 million guaranteed Ed Burke Million figures to be a $1,150,000 event, while the $1 million guaranteed Golden State Million is estimated to feature its richest purse ever at $1.3 million. The Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity will be the richest race ever in the 56-year history of the Orange County oval. The Ed Burke Million is the first leg of the Los Alamitos Bonanza and will be run on Saturday, June 24 with the Golden State Million serving as the second leg when it is run on Sunday, November 5.

With nomination payments taken into account, total stakes purses are expected to exceed $10.23 million, a national Quarter Horse record. A total of 24 races are expected to boast purses of $100,000 or more next season. Nine of those will have purses of $250,000 or more. Simply put, no other Quarter Horse racetrack in the nation will offer as much money for stakes horses than Los Alamitos Race Course in 2006.

RACING SCHEDULE

Los Alamitos will kick off its upcoming season the night after Christmas on Monday, December 26, 2005. First post on opening night will be 5:30 p.m. The opening weekend will feature racing on Thursday, December 29, Friday, December 30 and Sunday, January 1, 2006. There will be no live racing on New Year's Eve, Saturday, December 31. Starting on Thursday, January 5, 2006, Los Alamitos will race on its usual Thursday through Sunday basis. In addition, there will be no live racing at Los Alamitos on Super Bowl Sunday, February 5; Thursday, September 7, and Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23, 2006.

SEASON KICKS OFF WITH CLASSY WINTER STAKES SCHEDULE

To kick-off the track's richest stakes schedule ever, the winter portion of the meet will offer several important races for a variety of racing divisions. The running of the Grade 1 $100,000 added Charger Bar Handicap for mares at 400 yards on January 7; the Grade 3 $20,000 added Moonshiner Handicap at 870 yards on January 28; the Grade 1 $200,000 guaranteed Los Alamitos Winter Derby at 400 yards on February 24; and the Grade 1 $200,000 Los Alamitos Winter Championship at 400 yards on February 25, are some of the highlights for the winter part of the meet.

SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS

The 56th year of racing at Los Alamitos will once again feature the running of one of the richest derbies in Quarter Horse racing - the $700,000 estimated Los Alamitos Super Derby on Saturday, November 12. The weekend of December 8 through 10, 2006 will feature four of the best Grade 1 races in the country. The Grade 1 $2 million guaranteed Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Friday, December 8, the Grade 1 $600,000 Champion of Champions on Saturday, December 9 and the Grade 1 $150,000 estimated Southern California Derby and Grade 1 $100,000 Marathon National, the sport's richest 870-yard race, on Sunday, December 10.

The 6th annual California Breeders Champions Night, featuring an all-Quarter Horse stakes program for Cal-Breds, is set for Saturday, July 29. One of the most important events on the stakes schedule, Champions Night features the $400,000 estimated Governor's Cup Futurity, $130,000 estimated Governor's Cup Derby, and the $150,000 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship.

The complete 2006 stakes schedule will be available at www.losalamitos.com.

ROAD TO THE CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS

Eight automatic starting berths to the $600,000 Champion of Champions will be up for grabs during the 2006 racing season at Los Alamitos. The Road To The Champion of Champions gets underway with the running of the $200,000 guaranteed Los Alamitos Winter Championship on February 25. The $150,00 Vessels Maturity (on June 23); $100,000 Go Man Go Handicap (September 16); $200,000 Los Alamitos Invitational Championship (October 14); and Los Alamitos Super Derby (November 3) will offer automatic starting berths to the Champion of Champions.

The All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico, the MBNA America Challenge Championship at Lone Star Park and the Refrigerator Handicap will also carry an automatic starting berth to the Champion of Champions. The final two berths will be decided at Los Alamitos in the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials on Saturday, November 18, 2006.

SIX MAJOR FUTURITIES ON THE DOCKET

Six major Grade 1 futurities are scheduled for 2006 at Los Alamitos, beginning with the $200,000 estimated Kindergarten Futurity on Saturday, May 20. The $1,150,000 estimated Ed Burke Million follows on June 24 with the (RG1) Governor's Cup Futurity for Cal-Breds set for July 29. The $425,000 estimated PCQHRA Breeders Futurity will be held on Saturday, October 7 with the $1,300,000 Golden State Million set for November 5. The Los Alamitos Million wraps up the futurities on Friday, December 8.

GREAT DERBIES AND DISTANCE RACES

Three year olds will enjoy a plethora of stakes races, as the stakes schedule includes 24 races strictly for sophomores and 26 additional stakes races for 3-year-olds and upward. Of the aforementioned 24 races for 3-year-olds, eight are graded derbies contested at 400 yards plus the Grade 3 Gold Rush Derby, which is contested at 870 yards. The derby action begins with the Grade 1 $200,000 guaranteed Los Alamitos Winter Derby on Friday, February 24. The trials to that derby are set for Friday, February 3. The other derbies are: La Primera Del Ano for fillies; El Primero Del Ano for colts and geldings; Governor's Cup; Golden State; PCQHRA Breeders; Los Alamitos Super Derby; Southern California; and Gold Rush at 870 yards.

Horses with an affinity for the 870 yard distance can take advantage of the 10 stakes races for 3-year-olds and upward on the schedule, the first of which being the Moonshiner Handicap on Saturday, January 28. These 10 distance stakes races offer combined purses of approximately $277,000.

MAIDEN STAKES RETURNS

The 2006 Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes will feature the biggest purse of any maiden stakes in the nation. The Maiden Stakes for 3-year-old Quarter Horses will feature a $100,000 guaranteed purse, however, the final to be held on Saturday, March 4, 2006 is expected to be worth approximately $125,000. The Maiden Stakes was a popular event at Los Alamitos in 2005, as the $100,000 guaranteed race turned into a $123,500 final.

Non-winners as of December 1, 2005 are eligible for the 350-yard race for foals of 2003. Nominations for the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes will close on Thursday, December 1, 2005 with a $500 payment due at that time. Contact Nominations Director Melodie Knuchell at 714-820-2801 for more information.