||Sam Houston Race Park Awarded 2004 MBNA
America® Challenge Championships
The American Quarter Horse
Association announced on Thursday, September 4, that Sam Houston Race
Park has been selected to host the 12th Running of the MBNA America®
Challenge Championships slated for Saturday evening, November 6, 2004.
The Challenge Championships will offer more than $1 million in purses
and awards to the owners of the 58 horses competing in one of six championship
events. American Quarter Horses qualify for the rich Challenge Championships
by competing in regional races held during the year throughout North America.
"We couldn't be happier bringing this prestigious event to racing
fans in Houston," said Bill Brewer, AQHA Executive Vice President.
"Sam Houston Race Park has been a tremendous friend to American Quarter
Horse racing and the fans have supported us enthusiastically. We are excited
to bring the Challenge Championships and North America's top sprinters
Under the normal rotation schedule, the Challenge Championships would
have gone to Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie. However, because the Dallas-area
track is hosting the 2004 Breeders' Cup, alternate arrangements were made.
Los Alamitos, host of the 2003 Challenge Championships scheduled for Saturday,
November 1, had agreed to host the event both this year and next.
However, when the new dates were approved for Texas racing, awarding Sam
Houston an extended American Quarter Horse season, there was unanimous
consent to bring Championship Night back to Texas.
"Sam Houston Race Park has made a commitment to supporting live
Quarter Horse racing since we opened in 1994," said Bob Bork, President
and General Manager. "We are thrilled to host this nationally acclaimed
event and look forward an exciting night of racing featuring the top Quarter
Horses in the country. "
The MBNA America Quarter Horse Racing Challenge is horseracing's richest
Inaugurated in 1993, today a total of 71 races take place in 10 regions
across the United States, Canada and Mexico throughout the year. American
Quarter Horses compete in one of six different types of races, depending
on their age and ability.
The season-ending MBNA America Challenge Championships take place with
a total of six championship events.
Including all regional races as well as the championships, each year
the MBNA America Racing Challenge rewards some $5 million in purse and
Championship Day Races are:
- $300,000 MBNA America Challenge Championship (Gr. I)
3-year-olds & up, 440 yards
- $175,000 Bayer Legend Challenge Championship (Gr. I)
3-year-olds, 400 yards
- $150,000 American Airlines Challenge Championship (Gr. I)
- $100,000 Ford Challenge Championship (Gr. I)
3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, 400 yards
- $100,000 John Deere Challenge Championship (Gr. I)
3-year-olds and up, 870 yards
- $75,000 Professional's Choice Challenge Championship
3-year-olds and up, 350 yards (For horses that have started for
a claiming price of $7,500 or less in the 12 months prior to entry deadline
for the trials)
About MBNA America
An AQHA Corporate Partner since 1993, MBNA America is the official financial
services provider of AQHA. MBNA is the world's largest independent credit
card issuer. The company, which has operations throughout the United States
and in Canada, Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom, also provides retail
deposit, consumer loans and insurance products.
MBNA America offers AQHA members the Platinum Plus, Gold and Preferred
MasterCard credit cards in two distinctive card designs; Racing and Classic.
MBNA also proudly offers preferred CD and Money Market rates. If your
are a business owner and are in need of a financial tool, MBNA offers
the AQHA Platinum Plus for Business MasterCard credit card.