Champion of Champions at Los Al: Meet the Contenders

The most important American Quarter Horse Race for the older horses springs from the gate Saturday night at Los Alamitos with the Grade 1 $750,000 Champion of Champions. This race brings together major stakes winners across the country in a unique format where you truly have to win to get in. Post time will be 11:48 pm ET for Race 8 (8:48 pm PT locally).

Let’s Meet the Contenders:

1-Bomb Cyclone:
Unbeaten in 4 local starts, including the Los Al Two Million Futurity in 2021 and most recently November’s Los Al Super Derby, he’s won 5 of his last 6 starts. The 440-yard distance is the hurdle as he’s 1-for-3 lifetime at the trip and failed to carry his speed in the All American Derby on Labor Day weekend.

Pronounced ‘danger,’ he’s the reigning AQHA World Champion and most recently defended his title in the AQHA Challenge Championship final at Horseshoe Indianapolis. He rides a 4-race win streak into his first attempt at Los Alamitos. His 19 career victories are matched only in this field by Powerful Favorite.

3-Cattail Cove
Longshot was no match for Empressum in the Go Man Go Handicap and would need a career-best to light the board against this group.

Four straight losses since a summer allowance win at Ruidoso Downs. Third behind Danjer at Albuquerque might be her ceiling.

5-Powerful Favorite
Matches Danjer’s 19 career victories, but notably here is that 16 of them have come at Los Alamitos. Six-year-old does not appear to have lost any step. Third in this race in 2002 and fifth a year ago, he comes into a third bid with 3 wins in his last 4 starts.

6-Apollltical Pence
Seeks 3-peat in Champion of Champions after 2020 and 2021 scores. One of only five horses to win this race twice, joining legendary names like Dash for Cash, Refrigerator, SLM Big Daddy and Tailor Fit. Only the ‘Fridge’ has won 3 editions to date (1992-’94). He’s 5-for-5 this year and carries a 7-race winning streak into season finale.

7-A Pollitical Candy V
This year’s Rainbow and All American Derby winner had a fabulous summer on the road in New Mexico, but has been based at Los Al most of his career. Tardy breaks have cost him in recent starts, something to keep an eye on. No flaw in a 4-for-4 record at the demanding 440-yard classic distance.

8-Pattys Saint
Queen of the Pacific Northwest has won 13 of 19 lifetime, and is a neck away from crossing the wire first in 9 straight outings. This will be a major rise in class, though she proved her Los Al mettle in winning the Mildred Vessels against top mares.

9-Sweet Dasha Fire
Sophomore filly has yet to run a race that inspires confidence against so many top-flight players, but her runner-up behind Powerful Favorite last out was encouraging at 24-1. She’s made all 14 starts locally, winning 4.

Hard to fault 16-for-22 lifetime with 7 straight high-quality efforts. Since arriving at Los Al in June, he’s won the Vessels Maturity and Go Man Go and narrowly missed as the favorite in the Los Al Championship. His 5 wins at 440 yards trail only the 6 by Danjer in this field.

continue reading