Los Alamitos Race Course, Cypress, CA - June 14, 2003 - The $915,000 California Champions Night - a showcase event for the finest California-bred runners in training - is set for Saturday, June 21 at Los Alamitos. The event is the product of joint cooperation between the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association and track management at Los Alamitos Race Course.
This year’s California Champions Night will feature 12 stakes races all written for Cal-Bred Quarter Horses. The main event of the night will be the $342,500 Governor’s Cup Futurity, the richest race of any breed for California-bred runners. The $135,000 Governor’s Cup Derby and the $150,000 Spencer L. Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap are among the other top races to be contested. The evening will also feature the first running of the Jens L. List Jr. Memorial California Breeders Stakes. The 350-yard race for 3-year-olds honors the memory of one of the sport's great breeders and owners. This race was previously named the California Breeders Sophomore Stakes.
The 2002 edition of California Champions Night featured the John and Kathie Bobenrieth’s brilliant 2000 World Champion A Ransom, which became the first three-time stakes winner on Champions Night after winning the Spencer Childers Handicap for the second straight year. Dutch Masters III’s Flys R Streakin, who in his next start qualified to the All American Futurity, won the Governor’s Cup Futurity while Spencer Childers’ Last Shall Be First won the Governor’s Cup Derby. Other highlights included world record holder Rock N Strawfly winning the Marathon Stakes and Classic Sassy Chic scoring an impressive win in the Freshman Stakes. Classic Sassy Chic set a world record of her own later in the year after winning the 350-yard American Airlines Challenge Championship at Lone Star Park.
The inaugural California Champions Night, two years ago, also enjoyed great success thanks to some impressive performances. Highlights included Sign Of Lanty’s incredible come-from-behind victory in the California Breeders Marathon and A Ransom’s eye-blinding season debut in the Sprint Stakes. Ridden by Carlos Bautista, who piloted four stakes winners on the night, A Ransom covered the 350 yards in :17.28, one of the fastest clockings ever recorded at Los Alamitos.