Albuquerque Downs has released its track-record 34-race, $3.647 million stakes schedule for its 2019 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet, which opens Friday, June 28.
Of The Downs’ 34 stakes races, 16 will be for Thoroughbreds and 18 for Quarter Horses. The track’s Thoroughbred stakes will be worth an estimated $1.165 million, and its Quarter Horse stakes will be worth a track-record estimated $2.482 million, enhanced primarily by the American Quarter Horse Association Bank of America Challenge Championships on Oct. 26.
Last year’s Challenge Championships were run at Los Alamitos Racecourse near Los Angeles. This will mark the first time Albuquerque Downs will host the Challenge Championships, and it will mark the first time since 1993 that the event will be held in New Mexico (then at Sunland Park).
Ten Quarter Horse stakes will be contested at Albuquerque Downs on Challenge Championships night. The 440-yard, $250,000 Challenge Championship offers its winner a starting berth in the Dec. 14, $600,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos Racecourse, Quarter Horse racing’s richest and most prestigious race for older horses.