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Claiming Crown 2013Changes Announced for 2014 Claiming Crown

August 28, 2014 -- The 2014 Claiming Crown will be held at Gulfstream Park on December 6, 2014, the opening day of Gulfstream’s Championship meet. This year’s addition of the Claiming Crown features several changes. There will be no separate Trainer Nomination deadline as there was in recent years. Instead the Nomination deadline for horses will be November 8, 2014 and the supplemental horse Nomination deadline will be December 3, 2014.

The eight Claiming Crown races will still have total purse money of $1 Million dollars. The “Iron Lady” has been replaced with the “Canterbury”, a five furlong turf sprint for horses that have been entered to be claimed for $25,000 or less since January 1, 2013. The “Glass Slipper”, for fillies and mares three and up was changed to a one-turn mile (from seven furlongs) and the race is open to horses that have been entered to be claimed for $12,500 (instead of $16,000). Both the Canterbury and the Glass Slipper have a purse of $110,000. Nomination Forms, the Summary of the Individual Race Conditions and the Summary of Conditions can be found on the Claiming Crown’s web site, www.claimingcrown.com

According to Gulfstream Park’s CEO Tim Ritvo, "Gulfstream is proud to kick off its 2014-2015 Championship Meet with the Claiming Crown. Interest continues to grow in the Claiming Crown with both horsemen and bettors. We believe the streamlined nominating process will help horsemen, and the changes in the condition of the two races will further enhance the event and bring more opportunity to bettors."

Phil Hanrahan, the CEO of the National HBPA, Inc., said “The new five furlong turf sprint should be an attractive race for owners and trainers and should provide a great wagering opportunity for handicappers.” Hanrahan added, “Our goal is to have eight competitive races with full fields and this was the reason we decided to change the Glass Slipper to a one-turn mile.”

Kent Stirling, Executive Director of the Florida HBPA, added “We changed the name of the new race we added to the Claiming Crown last year from the Iron Lady to the Canterbury to honor Minnesota HBPA’s Tom Metzen and Canterbury Park’s Randy Sampson. Without their tireless efforts, the Claiming Crown would never have gotten off the ground and been as successful as it has been over the last fifteen years.”

Dan Metzger, the President of TOBA, stated, “We are extremely appreciative of the support of the owners and trainers who support the Claiming Crown and believe the change in the nomination process and the addition of the Canterbury will have a positive impact on the event, both for the fans and horsemen.”

The Claiming Crown is a “joint venture” between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The Claiming Crown was created to be the claiming horse owner’s Breeders’ Cup; a special racing event, created for the “average owner,” and featuring some of the most competitive horses in the country. The Claiming Crown has been held annually since 1999.

TOBA (www.toba.org), based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA’s mission is to “improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders.” Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.

The National HBPA, Inc. (www.nationalhbpa.com), based in Lexington, Kentucky, is the largest Thoroughbred racing horsemen’s representative association in North America, with 29 affiliate organizations in the United States and Canada and approximately 29,000 owner and trainer member horsemen. The NHBPA’s mission is to improve and preserve Thoroughbred horseracing. Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Equineline.com, Finish Line Horse Products, Inc. and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA.

GULFSTREAM PARK is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry. For more information contact David Joseph at david.joseph@gulfstreampark.com or call 954.457.6451.

The Florida HBPA (www.fhbpa.com), based in South Florida, is one of the largest affiliates of the National HBPA with close to 6,000 members. The FHBPA is a not-for-profit corporation organized to promote and support Thoroughbred horse racing in the State of Florida. The FHBPA serves as a liaison between racetracks and Thoroughbred owners and trainers while serving as an advocate for the health and safety of the race horse. Benefits it offers to its members and their employees include medical, dental, eye-care, educational assistance as well as economic aid for those in need of emergency assistance. The FHBPA also has a charitable arm, the Florida Horsemen’s Charitable Foundation, Inc., and operates the horsemen’s bookkeeper through the Florida Horsemen’s Bookkeeper Corporation.



Claiming Crown 2013Nevada Kid Gives Zito Another Crowning Achievement in $200,000 Jewel to Cap $1 Million Claiming Crown

December 7, 2013 -- Trainer Nick Zito notched another crowning achievement at Gulfstream Park Saturday.

Zito, who built his Hall of Fame career on success in the Triple Crown, ruled the day in the $1 million Claiming Crown by saddling Nevada Kid for a victory in the $200,000 Jewel, the last and richest of eight races run in honor of Thoroughbred racing’s most enduring competitors, the claiming horse.

Zito has been a considerably more frequent participant in the Triple Crown, having saddled two Kentucky Derby winners (Strike the Gold and Go for Gin), a Preakness winner (Louis Quatorze) and two Belmont winners (Birdstone and Da’Tara). Taking advantage of a rare opportunity in the Claiming Crown, he instructed jockey Luis Saez to send Nevada Kid to the lead from the rail post position in hopes of earning a front-running score in the 1 1/8-mile feature for horses that had started for a claiming price of $35,000 or less at least once.

The strategy worked out perfectly. Although stalked closely by Dominant Jeannes along the backstretch and far turf, the 4-year-old son of Silver Train was able to set comfortable fractions of :24.44, :48.33 and 1:12.43 for six furlongs. Turning for home, Nevada Kid drifted off the rail while turning back the challenges of both Dominant Jeannes and 9-5 favorite Bernie the Maestro and drew away to win by 2 ¼ lengths as the 5-1 fourth betting choice.

“He likes to run that way. We talked about it. The fence looks pretty good right now. I love it when the drift because the change leads and get into that second gear. They catch their breath. (Saez) did a great job doing that. I love it when they do that,” Zito said. "(Eddie) Belmonte used to do that. I’m dating myself. I used to watch Belmonte ride like that. (Saez) He actually reminds me of Belmonte."

Nevada Kid ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.41 to earn $110,000 for the Hurricane Boys and Richard Pell. Dominant Jeannes, who was ridden by Paco Lopez, held second by a nose over late-charging Flatter This and jockey Eduardo Nunez.

“I was thrilled to death. My horse ran great, just terrific. I’m really happy. We just couldn’t get to the winner,” said Dominant Jeannes’ trainer Jason Servis. “My horse hadn’t run in a while, and for whatever reason I couldn’t get a race in the middle. I wanted to make this his third race off the layoff but I couldn’t get it done. But we’re thrilled to death. It was a big race. We’re real happy.”

Nevada Kid became eligible for the Jewel at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 27, 2012, when he posted a front-running 4 ¾-length victory while carrying a $30,000 claiming tag.

Zito started his first horse in the Claiming Crown at Gulfstream in last year Jewel, saddling Tuvia’s Force for a sixth-place finish. He started two horses in the Jewel Saturday: Nevada Kid and Sinorice, who tracked the pace in fourth before fading to eighth under Jose Lezcano.

The Jewel capped a most eventful Claiming Crown:

*Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who visited the winner’s circle four times during last year’s Claiming Crown, made two trips this year with Major Marvel ($5.40) after the $125,000 Emerald and with Deanaallen’skitten ($3.80) after the $125,000 Tiara. Julien Leparoux was aboard Major Marvel, while Javier Castellano rode Deanaallen’skitten to victory.

*The Ramseys now lead all owners with 12 Claiming Crown successes. Trainer Mike Maker, who saddled Major Marvel for his ninth victory in 10 starts since finishing second in last year’s Emerald, padded his all-time Claiming Crown total to 12.

*Ribo Bobo ($3) came back from only 10 days rest to impressively capture the $110,000 Express, toying with 10 rivals during a front-running performance that produced a handy 2 ½-length victory under Paco Lopez.

*Miller Racing and trainer Marty Wolfson won the $110,000 Glass Slipper, a seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, for a second straight year. Centrique ($3.80), a 1 ¼-length winner under Castellano, followed in the hoof prints of Starship Truffles.

*Carolina Lizard ($71.80) kicked off the Claiming Crown in the inaugural running of the $110,000 Iron Lady, capturing the 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares under Pedro Monterrey Jr.

*Goodtimehadbyall ($12.80) was guided to victory in the $110,000 Rapid Transit, a seven-furlong sprint, by Kendrick Carmouche.

*Point Finish ($9.60) gave Paco Lopez his second Claiming Crown win of the day in the $110,000 Iron Horse.


Equibase Launches Free Claiming Crown Handicapping Contest

December 5, 2013 -- Equibase has launched a free handicapping contest challenging players with the eight Claiming Crown races on Saturday, December 7, at Gulfstream Park. The contest will award a total of $1,000 in prize money with $500 for first, $300 for second and $200 for third. Players must select one horse in each of the eight races and standings will be based on a mythical $2 win and $2 place bet on each selection. The contest is now open and can be accessed by clicking here.


Claiming Crown Featured on The Blood-Horse's "That Handicapping Show"

December 5, 2013 -- The Blood-Horse's "That Handicapping Show" features a look at the $1 million Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park. Tom LaMarra and Claire Novak offer their handicapping insights into the contentious races. The video can be viewed by clicking here.


Ramseys May Rule Again in $1 Million Claiming Crown

Claiming Crown 2013December 4, 2013 -- The first major event of Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet will take place Saturday with the Claiming Crown, a collection of eight stakes races worth a total of $1 million.

In 2012, horses sporting the red-and-white silks of Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey and trained by Mike Maker swept four of the seven Claiming Crown events, including the $200,000 Jewel with Parent’s Honor. They also came within a head of winning a fifth with Major Marvel in the Emerald. The popular couple currently lead all owners in 2013 earnings with over $11.8 million. They will have a chance to go one better in this year’s Claiming Crown with contenders entered in five of the eight races on Saturday.

Saturday’s first post is at 12:40 p.m. The Claiming Crown will kick off with the Iron Lady as the third race. The third race will also kick off the 10-cent Ultimate 8, which has a mandatory payout of a minimum of $100,000. The South Florida forecast is for clear skies throughout the remainder of the week.

"Racing fans across the country will enjoy this great afternoon of racing," said Gulfstream President Tim Ritvo. "The horsemen have supported the Claiming Crown once again with full fields and some of the country's most popular horses. We're looking forward to a big day."

Said Phil Hanrahan, CEO of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, “Gulfstream was gracious in offering to host the Claiming Crown last year, and it was a phenomenal success. Based on nominations and after looking at the overnight and how full the races got, it looks like this year is going to be another really good year.”

The Ramseys' Claiming Crown wins 12 months ago included the seven-furlong Rapid Transit with Bernie the Maestro, and the 6-year-old gelding by Bernstein will tackle the Jewel this year. The 5-2 morning-line favorite is coming off a victory in the Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes at Indiana Downs on October 5. He will face a maximum of nine rivals in the Jewel.

The $125,000 Emerald at 1 1/16 miles on the grass attracted an overflow of 20 horses when entries were taken on Wednesday morning, but it will be limited to 14 starters. Major Marvel narrowly missed in last year’s Emerald for the Ramseys and Maker, and he is currently on a six-race winning streak. The 7-year-old scored in the Unbridled Stakes at Louisiana Downs on September 7 and followed that with a win in a tough $100,000 optional claimer at Churchill Downs on November 9.

The Ramsey colors were carried to victory in the $125,000 Tiara by Starsilhouette in 2012, and the leading owners will be represented by Deanaallen’skitten in Saturday’s renewal of the 1 1/16-miles contest. The 6-year-old daughter of Kitten’s Joy has hit the board in each of her six starts on the Gulfstream turf course. She ships south off a game success in Aqueduct’s Trevita Stakes for trainer Chad Brown on November 6.

Brother Bird prevailed for the Ramseys in last year’s Iron Horse, a 1 1/16-miles contest that is restricted to runners who have started for a $7,500 or less. The half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and the ill-fated Dullahan recently returned from a nine-month break for trainer Mike Maker. He is coming off a fifth-place finish to stablemate and fellow Iron Horse entrant Horned Frog in a $5,000 starter allowance on the Keeneland Polytrack on October 18.

The $110,000 Rapid Transit is a seven-furlong affair for runners that have been offered for a tag of $16,000 or less. Among the 12 horses entered is Grande Shores, a homebred for Fred Brei’s Jacks or Better Farm. The half-brother to Grade I-winning sprinter Jackson Bend was out of action for 12 months and could have been had for as little as $8,000 last February, but he has rounded into form recently. After two victories at Calder this summer, the 5-year-old Florida-bred ran second in the Montbrook Stakes going a mile at Gulfstream September 14.

The $110,000 Express lured a field of 11 horses that had started for $7,500 or less, and the six-furlong race will see Ribo Bobo attempt to take his winning streak to 10. Claimed in three straight starts at Gulfstream last winter, the 5-year-old hasn’t been offered for a tag since Mr. Amore Stable and trainer Jason Servis snapped him up for $6,250 in March. His steady rise up the class ladder includes a win in the Maryland Million Sprint Handicap at Laurel on October 19 and a second-place finish November 27 in the Fabulous Strike at Penn National.

Fillies and mares will get a chance to strut their stuff going seven panels in the $110,000 Glass Slipper. Last year’s heroine Starship Truffles went on to win the Grade I Princess Rooney Handicap and sold for $1 million last month in Kentucky, a far cry from the maximum $16,000 claiming price required to be eligible to run in this spot. Trainer Marty Wolfson, who saddled Starship Truffles last year, will lead over Centrique and Lexington Pearl on Saturday. Centrique, a well-bred daughter of Malibu Moon, was claimed twice in 2012, but has been competing in tougher company this season with a trio of stakes placings.

This year’s Claiming Crown features the inaugural running of the $110,000 Iron Lady, a 1 1/16-miles race for fillies and mares that have started for $7,500 or less. Eight fillies and mares were entered, and if Winiliscious runs to form, the real race may be for second. Previously trained by Chuck Spina, the 4-year-old earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure when romping by 16 ¾ lengths in a starter allowance at Laurel on October 12. Trainer Steve DiMauro has taken over her care on behalf of owner Top Shelf Stable.

The Claiming Crown was established in 1999 to celebrate the blue-collar runners that are the backbone of the racing industry. It is run under starter allowance conditions and is open to horses that have started for a specified claiming price in the last 24 months.


$1 Million Claiming Crown Highlights Weekend at Gulfstream Park

Claiming Crown 2013December 3, 2013 -- Gulfstream Park's 75th anniversary of Thoroughbred racing kicks into high gear this weekend with the $1 million Claiming Crown and guaranteed pools on its 20-cent Rainbow 6 and 10-cent Ultimate 8.

The 15th Claiming Crown, to be held at Gulfstream for the second consecutive year Saturday, will feature eight races with total purses for the first time of $1 million. The Claiming Crown is designed to recognize and celebrate the sport's most enduring and competitive horses. Entries for the Claiming Crown, highlighted last year when owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker won four of the seven races, will be taken Wednesday.

Post time Friday, Saturday and Sunday is 12:40 p.m. Fans buying a seat in Silks, the Fountain Club, Ten Palms or the grandstand Saturday will receive a free Claiming Crown polo shirt.

The 20-cent Rainbow 6 will have a $50,000 guaranteed pool Friday afternoon. If there is no unique winning ticket on the Rainbow 6 Friday, the $50,000 guarantee will roll over to Saturday.

The Ultimate 8, a 10-cent wager on Saturday's eight Claiming Crown races, will have a guaranteed pool of $100,000.

This year's Claiming Crown will have an additional race, the $110,000 Iron Lady, for fillies and mares. The eight Claiming Crown races, all for 3-year-olds and up who have started for a specific claiming price or less since January 1, 2012, are:

*$200,000 Jewel, 1 1/8 miles, $35,000 claiming price
*$125,000 Emerald, 1 1/16 miles (turf), $25,000 claiming price
*$125,000 Tiara, 1 1/16 miles (turf), fillies and mares, $25,000 claiming price
*$110,000 Rapid Transit, 7 furlongs, $16,000 claiming price
*$110,000 Glass Slipper, 7 furlongs, fillies and mares, $16,000 claiming price
*$110,000 Express, 6 furlongs, $7,500 claiming price
*$110,000 Iron Horse, 1 1/16 miles, $7,500 claiming price
*$110,000 Iron Lady, 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares, $7,500 claiming price

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The Claiming Crown was created to be the claiming horse owner’s Breeders’ Cup; a special racing event created for the “average owner” and featuring some of the most competitive horses in the country. The Claiming Crown has been held annually since 1999.


$1 Million Claiming Crown Attracts 232 Nominations for Eight-Race Showcase Dec. 7

Claiming Crown 2013November 19, 2013 -- Full, highly competitive fields are expected for the 15th Annual Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 7 after horsemen from throughout the East Coast and Midwest produced 232 nominations for the $1 million, eight-race showcase for the country’s top claiming horses.

Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Michael Maker are gearing up to build upon their unprecedented successes last year, when the Claiming Crown was renewed for the first time at Gulfstream Park. The Ramseys, the event’s all-time leading owners with 10 trips to the winner’s circle, made 19 nominations, while Maker, the event’s leading trainer with 11 victories, made 27 nominations. The Ramseys and Maker teamed to win four of seven Claiming Crown stakes at Gulfstream last year, including the Jewel (Parent’s Honor), the Tiara (Starsilhouette), Iron Horse (Brother Bird) and Rapid Transit (Bernie the Maestro).

Bernie the Maestro and Brother Bird are expected to be back this year, with the former nominated to the $200,000 Jewel, the $125,000 Emerald and the $110,000 Rapid Transit and the latter made eligible for the $110,000 Iron Horse and the $110,000 Rapid Transit.

The Claiming Crown’s first stop at Gulfstream Park was so well received by horsemen, racing fans and bettors last year that track management signed an agreement with the partnership of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association to host the event for three years. Building on last year’s success, an eighth race and $150,000 in purse money have been added for the event that honors the blue-collar horses that are the very foundation of the racing industry nationwide. Horses that have raced for a claiming price of $35,000 or lower since Jan. 1, 2012 are eligible to participate in the Claiming Crown, whose races have price limits of $7,500, $16,000 and $35,000.

The Jewel, a 1 1/8-mile race for horses that have started for a claiming price of $35,000 or lower, drew 22 nominations, including Bernie the Maestro, the winner of his last two starts for the Ramseys and Maker, who also nominated Malibu Way, Tater Downs and Volcano Run. The Ken McPeek-trained Flashy American, a 4-year-old filly who finished fourth in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita last time out, was also nominated to the Jewel, as well as the $125,000 Tiara, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares who have started for a claiming price of $25,000 or lower. The Ramseys nominated the Chad Brown-trained Deanaallen’skitten, a recent Aqueduct stakes winner, to the Tiara, which attracted 34 nominations.

The most popular race among the horsemen was the $125,000 Emerald, which received 55 nominations. The 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for horses who have raced for a claiming price of $25,000 or lower attracted Scarlet Stable’s Grade 1 stakes winner King David, who finished fourth in the Emerald last year and is coming off an allowance win at Churchill Downs.

The $110,000 Glass Slipper for fillies and mares and the $110,000 Rapid Transit will both be run at seven furlongs for horses who have raced for a claiming price of $16,000 or lower.

Horses that have raced for a claiming price of $7,500 or lower are eligible for three races: the $110,000 Iron Lady, a 1 1/16-race for fillies and mares which was added to the Claiming Crown this year; the $110,000 Iron Horse, carded for 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds and up; and the $110,000 Express, a six-furlong sprint.

To view a complete list of nominations and past performances, along with other information about the event, go to www.claimingcrown.com.


Claiming Crown Draws Record 283 Trainer Nominations

Claiming Crown 2013October 3, 2013 -- A record 283 trainers throughout North America have made themselves eligible to nominate horses for the eight-race, $1 million Claiming Crown scheduled to be hosted for the second time by Gulfstream Park on Saturday, Dec. 7.

The list of nominated trainers includes Mike Maker, Todd Pletcher, Nick Zito, Doug O’Neill, Dale Romans, Allen Jerkens, Kiaran McLaughlin, Graham Motion, Richard Mandella, Wayne Catalano, Ken McPeek, Wesley Ward, John Sadler, Eddie Plesa Jr., Marty Wolfson, David Jacobson, Mark Casse, Roger Attfield, Ian Wilkes, Ralph Nicks, Michael Matz, Chad Brown and Peter Walder.

Maker saddled the winners of four of seven Claiming Crown races run last year at Gulfstream, all for the event’s leading owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey. Maker leads all trainers with 11 Claiming Crown victories.

For the second time in the 15-year history of the Claiming Crown, trainers were asked to pay a $100 fee to be eligible to nominate any horse or horses in their stables for the Claiming Crown, which will offer purses ranging from $110,000 to $200,000. The deadline for eligible trainers to nominate specific horses for the Claiming Crown races is Nov. 15.

"Once again the response from horsemen throughout North America to the Claiming Crown at Gulfstream has been fantastic," said Gulfstream Park President Tim Ritvo. "We were able to set Claiming Crown records last season due to the competitive fields and our great fans and we're looking forward to another great event on December 7."

Held at Gulfstream for the first time last Dec. 1, the Claiming Crown was a rousing success with $12.8 million wagered on the Opening Day card of the 2012-2013 Champion’s Meet, representing a 66-percent increase over the prior year’s opener.

“I want to thank all the trainers who submitted nominations for this year’s Claiming Crown. With one million dollars in purses this year, the Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park will be bigger and better than ever,” said Phil Hanrahan, CEO of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA). “I want to encourage nominated trainers and owners to review the race conditions for each of the eight Claiming Crown races, which can be found at the Claiming Crown’s website, www.claimingcrown.com, and to enter their existing horses or to claim eligible horses before the Nov. 15 regular nomination deadline.”

The Claiming Crown, created to be the claiming horse owner’s Breeders’ Cup, is a partnership between the HBPA and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

“We’re very pleased by the response from the trainers,” said Dan Metzger, President of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. “There are a number of new names from around the country on the list of nominees and that illustrates the expanding reach of the Claiming Crown. This show of support from the trainers should enable us to card full, competitive fields and provide fans with a great day of racing.”

“Last year’s Claiming Crown was a big success, and it looks like it will be even better this year,” said Phil Combest, the Florida HBPA President. “Horsemen from around the country have nominated, and there’s a lot of buzz.”


Claiming Crown Purses to Hit $1 Million, Event to Be Held at Gulfstream through 2015

Claiming Crown 2013August 15, 2013 --The 2013 Claiming Crown will return to Gulfstream Park for the second consecutive year December 7 with a record $1 million in purses and an additional race for fillies and mares.

In addition, Gulfstream Park, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA), the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) and the Florida HBPA announced today the Claiming Crown will be run at Gulfstream through 2015.

There will be eight races including the debut of the new $110,000 Iron Lady for fillies and mares who have started for a claiming price of $7,500 or less since January 1, 2012, going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Four of the Claiming Crown races with $100,000 purses last year were boosted to $110,000 this year. The eight Claiming Crown races in 2013, all for 3-year-olds and up who have started for a specified claiming price or less since January 1, 2012, are:

  • $200,000 Jewel, 1 1/8 miles, $35,000 claiming price
  • $125,000 Emerald, 1 1/16 miles (turf), $25,000 claiming price
  • $125,000 Tiara, 1 1/16 miles (turf), fillies and mares, $25,000 claiming price
  • $110,000 Rapid Transit, 7 furlongs, $16,000 claiming price
  • $110,000 Glass Slipper, 7 furlongs, fillies and mares, $16,000 claiming price
  • $110,000 Express, 6 furlongs, $7,500 claiming price
  • $110,000 Iron Horse, 1 1/16 miles, $7,500 claiming price
  • $110,000 Iron Lady, 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares, $7,500 claiming price

The nominating system will remain the same this year, with the deadline for trainer nominations set for Friday, September 20. For a payment of just $100, a trainer will become eligible to nominate any number of horses through the regular nomination payment. The deadline for horse nominations is Friday, November 15, and the deadline for supplemental nominations is Wednesday, December 4.

"Gulfstream Park and The Stronach Group are proud of the Claiming Crown's record success last winter at our facility," said Gulfstream Park President Tim Ritvo. "Due to that success and our partnerships with NHBPA, FHBPA and TOBA, we were able to negotiate a three-year agreement. Having the Claiming Crown is great for Gulfstream, great for horsemen, great for fans, and super for the industry."

"Thanks to Gulfstream Park and the Florida FHBPA raising the total purses to $1 million and adding the new fillies and mares race, we hope to build on the success of the 2012 edition of the Claiming Crown and attract the best current and former claiming horses to Florida in December," said Phil Hanrahan, CEO of the National HBPA. “The three-year agreement will facilitate the further importance of this day of racing as a target for owners and trainers throughout the United States and Canada.”

Said TOBA President Dan Metzger, "Gulfstream did a fantastic job last winter with what turned out to be a record Claiming Crown. We're excited about returning to Gulfstream these next three years and recognizing and celebrating the claiming horses of North America."

Kent Stirling, executive director of the FHBPA, said, "In the late 1990s, TOBA President, Drew Couto, approached NHBPA President, Bill Walmsley, and NHBPA Executive Director, Scott Savin, with an idea about creating a special day of stakes races just for claiming horses. This TOBA/NHBPA joint venture took place first in Minnesota at Canterbury Park in 1999 with purses of $500,000. It remained at Canterbury for many years under the nurturing and guidance of Canterbury President and CEO, Randy Sampson, and Minnesota HBPA President, Tom Metzen Sr.

"The fifteenth renewal of the Claiming Crown is now a million dollar event locked into a three year deal with Gulfstream Park as one of their premier racing events. This is a fantastic event for our one time “blue collar” claiming horses and their connections, but a great debt of gratitude is owed to those mentioned above who conceived of and brought this concept to fruition as the Claiming Crown."

GULFSTREAM PARK is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry. For more information contact David Joseph at david.joseph@gulfstreampark.com or call 954.457.6451.

TOBA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA’s mission is to “improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders.” Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.

The National HBPA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, is the largest racing horsemen’s representative association in North America, with 29 affiliate organizations and approximately 30,000 member horsemen. Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Equineline.com, Finish Line Horse Products, and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA. For more information contact Phil Hanrahan at 859.259.0451.


Ramseys, Maker Rule Claiming Crown with Four Wins at Gulfstream Park

Claiming Crown 2012 logoDecember 1, 2012 --Following Parent’s Honor’s upset victory in the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel on December 1, the ceremony in the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle might as well have been a coronation for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker.

“I was saying we should be called the King and King and Queen – my wife, we’ve got to put her in – of the Claiming Crown,” said owner Ramsey, who visited the winner’s circle after four of the seven Claiming Crown races run for a total of $850,000 in purses on the opening day card of Gulfstream’s 2012-2013 meeting.

The Ramseys cemented their status as the leading owners in the 14-year history of the Claiming Crown with 10 overall victories, while Maker made it to the top of the trainer standings, opening up a three-win margin over Scott Lake with 11 overall wins in the event that honors the blue-collar horses that are the very foundation of the racing industry, the claimers.

The Claiming Crown, which was staged at Gulfstream Park for the first time and co-founded by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, contributed to a banner opening day, when the total handle of $12.2 million represented a 66 percent increase over last season’s opening day.

“It’s nice to win on the big stage down here on opening day with all the people and all the high purses,” Ken Ramsey said. “It’s fantastic.”

Capping an already big day for his owners and trainer, who had visited the winner’s circle with Starsilhouette ($125,000 Tiara), Brother Bird ($100,000 Iron Horse) and Bernie the Maestro ($100,000 Rapid Transit), Parent’s Honor staged a furious stretch run under jockey Alan Garcia to prevail by three-quarters of a length in the Jewel.

Parent’s Honor, who was sent to post at 16.20-1, won for the first time in three starts for Maker and the Ramseys since being claimed for $35,000 at Saratoga in August.

“I’ve been telling Mr. Ramsey for a while that I’ve been high on this horse, but every time I’ve run him, he was probably shaking his head or rolling his eyes,” said Maker with a smile. “But he came through for me today.”

Parent’s Honor, who finished a distant fifth and ninth in his last two stakes appearances, received a dream trip under Garcia, saving ground around the turn into the homestretch and finding a hole between horses in deep stretch to surge to victory. Dominant Jeannes, who overcame traffic on the turn to grab the lead in mid-stretch under Joe Rocco Jr., finished second, 2 ½ lengths ahead of Flatter This and jockey Jose Lezcano.

Parent’s Honor, who ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.03, earned $110,000 for his victory in the finale of the Claiming Crown.

The Ramseys’ Major Marvel came up a head short of giving his trainer and owners a fifth Claiming Crown victory on the day in the $125,000 John Deere Emerald, the race prior to the Jewel won by Nikki’s Sandcastle ($6.80). The David Kassen-trained winner received a ground-saving trip under jockey Corey Lanerie before wearing down Major Marvel through a protracted stretch duel.

Nikki’s Sandcastle, who was eligible for the 1 1/16-mile turf race with an appearance in a $25,000 claiming race on July 3, 2011, was clocked in 1:43.13 while breaking a three-race string of second-place finishes in open stakes races.

“It’s been a little frustrating to see him finish second the last three times, but this makes up for it,” Kassen said, who trained the winner for breeder Richard Sherman. “He runs hard every time on any surface – dirt, turf, Polytrack – although I think he’s a little better on turf.”

Ken Ramsey, who led each of his winners into the winner’s circle, had horses in six of the seven Claiming Crown races and would have had a starter in all seven if not for a late scratch.

“He’s easy to train for. He tells it like it is and he places them where they’re competitive,” Maker said. “He loves the game. It makes my job easy.”

Although he has had much success in major stakes races and stands the successful stallion Kitten’s Joy, Ken Ramsey still enjoys dabbling in claiming horses.

“The claiming horses are like what Abe Lincoln once said: ‘God must have loved the common man because he made so many of them.’ The same can be said of claiming horses,” Ramsey said.

Starsilhouette ($15.40), who had won three races over the Gulfstream turf course during the 2011-2012 meeting, closed with a rush under Garcia to capture the $125,000 Tiara. The 5-year-old daughter of Orientate ran 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:42.85 to win the race for fillies and mares who raced for a claiming price of $25,000 or less by 1 ¼ lengths.

Brother Bird ($9.80) overcame the No. 12 post position under a perfectly executed ride by Joel Rosario to register a ¾-length triumph in the $100,000 Iron Horse, a race for horses that raced for a claiming price of $7,500 or less.

The Maker-trained 5-year-old half brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.58. Brother Bird, who once raced for a $5,000 claiming price, was claimed three starts back by the Ramseys.

One race later, the Maker-Ramsey team visited the winner’s circle with Bernie the Maestro, who captured the $100,000 Rapid Transit by 2 ¾ lengths under Rosario. The 5-year-old gelding ran seven furlongs in 1:21.60.

Both Brother Bird and Bernie the Maestro wore the No. 13 saddle towel.

“Thirteen is not an unlucky number if you have a horse good enough to wear it…and a jockey good enough,” Ramsey exclaimed.

In the $100,000 Glass Slipper, Chasing Tails Stables’ Starship Truffles ($12.20) won for the sixth time in eight starts since being claimed for $6,250 on July 4. The Marty Wolfson-trained 3-year-old filly ran seven furlongs in 1:22.26 under Luis Saez to prevail by four lengths in the race for fillies and mares that have raced for a claiming price of $16,000 or less.

Joey Merritt’s Tiban ($6.20) employed a strong rally through the stretch run to post a half-length victory in the $100,000 Express to get the Claiming Crown underway. Ridden by three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel, Tiban ran six furlongs in 109:91 in the race for horses that started for a claiming price of $7,500 or less.

Trained by Tim Glyshaw, Tiban captured his fourth race since being claimed for $7,500 on May 19.


$100,000 10-cent Claiming Crown Pick Tops Gulfstream Wagering Menu

Claiming Crown 2012 logoNovember 30, 2012 --The $850,000 Claiming Crown will highlight Saturday’s Opening Day of the 2012-2013 Gulfstream Park meeting, and racing fans will have the opportunity to take part in a special wager to celebrate the occasion.

The 10-cent Claiming Crown Pick 7 will offer a $100,000 guaranteed pool and a mandatory payout on the first of 90 racing programs of the Thoroughbred season that will run through April 5. Offered on the last seven races of a 10-race program, which will include all seven Claiming Crown races, the 10 cent-base wager will require bettors to pick the winners off all seven races. A bettor or bettors with the most winners will hit or share the jackpot.

For Opening Day only, the 10-cent Claiming Crown Pick 7 will take the place of the popular and innovative 10-cent Rainbow Pick 6 that has generated wagering excitement at Gulfstream Park and throughout North America for the past two racing seasons. For the remaining 89 programs, the Rainbow Pick 6 will be offered on the last six races each day. Bettors must pick all six winners to have a chance to hit the jackpot. A bettor must hold the only ticket with all six winners to be eligible for the jackpot. If there are multiple ticketholders with six winners, they will split 60 percent of that day’s wagering pool, while 40 percent will be added to the jackpot carryover. Like the Claiming Crown Pick 7, the Rainbow Pick 6 will have a 20-percent pari-mutuel takeout.

One lucky player with a unique winning ticket hit a $791,364 jackpot with a $2.40 investment on April 1, 2012. In 2011, the jackpot swelled to over $5 million.

In addition to the Rainbow Pick 6, as well as win, place and show wagering, a full menu of multi-race wagers will once again be available to Gulfstream players. In addition to rolling Daily Doubles and Pick 3s throughout the program, Exactas, Trifectas and Superfectas will be offered on every race. Two Pick 4 wagers will also be offered each day. The Daily Double and Exacta will have a $1 base wager. The Trifecta and Pick 4 bets will have a base wager of 50 cents, while the Superfecta will be a 10-cent base bet.

Along with the 10-cent Rainbow Pick 6, the 50-cent Pick 5 and the $1 Super Hi 5 will once anchor the daily programs this year. The 50-cent Pick 5 will require bettors to pick the winners of the last five races, while the Super Hi 5 requires bettors to pick the first five finishers of the last race in exact order. Bettors have found the 15-percent takeout to be an incentive for betting both the Pick 5 and Super Hi 5.


Ramsey Team has Bases Covered in Claiming Crown at Gulfstream

Claiming Crown 2012 logoNovember 29, 2012 -- Prolific owners-breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey have emerged as a major players in Thoroughbred racing with their red and white colors prominent at all levels of the sport from the Breeders’ Cup down to the claiming ranks.

The Ramseys will show their support and enthusiasm for the latter on Saturday’s Opening Day program of Gulfstream Park’s 2012-2013 meeting, represented by contenders entered Wednesday in all seven Claiming Crown races worth a total $850,000.

The 14th edition of the event will be run for the first time at Gulfstream Park after previously being held at Canterbury Park, Philadelphia Park, Ellis Park and Fair Grounds.

“I think Gulfstream is a wonderful place to have the Claiming Crown,” Ken Ramsey said. “Sometimes when they’ve run it other places, all the races didn’t even fill. We’ll have at least one horse in all seven races and another horse or two in other races on the card if the right races fill.”

Ramsey goes into Saturday’s renewal as the leading owner of Claiming Crown winners with six, two more than Richard Englander.

“We’ve won the six races with just nine starters,” noted Ramsey.

Maker sends out all of the Ramsey runners and will bid to overtake trainer Scott Lake on that leader board as the latter leads 8-to-7 going into Saturday. Lake does not have any horse entered here Saturday.

“I’ll be coming down on Friday with my farm manager Mark Partridge,” Ramsey said from his Nicolasville, Ky. farm. “Then back home to Kentucky through the holidays until after the first of the year, before coming down for the whole meet through early April. We have a winter home in Sunny Isles Beach. It doesn’t take long to get to Gulfstream from there.”

The $200,000 Jewel at 1 1/8 miles is the richest race on the Claiming Crown menu with Three Diamonds Farm’s 4-year-old gelding Private Tale among the likely choices in a wide-open field of 12. The Jewel will have to share the spotlight atop the marquee with the $125,000 John Deere Emerald, a 1 1/16 mile turf race with lots of star appeal.

Trainer Mike Maker will send out Ramsey’s 6-year-old gelding Major Marvel in the Emerald but will also saddle the probable favorite, Scarlet Stable’s King David. The 3-year-old colt was claimed for $35,000 out of a winning race at Belmont Park on Sept. 13 and wheeled back to post a 28-to-1 upset in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap over the Belmont course on Oct. 6.

A son of Hat Trick, King David will be ridden by Edgar Prado in the full field of 14 with four others on the ‘also-eligible’ list. King David came back after the Jamaica to finish a fast-closing second in the Commonwealth Turf (G3) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 17 and is prominent among 13 horses Maker has entered in the seven Claiming Crown events.

Jockey Javier Castellano will be aboard Major Marvel, a close-up second in a high-price optional allowance last out over the Churchill Downs course on Nov. 4. Claimed for $10,000 at Keeneland in April, the son of Bernstein won his next four starts, including the $100,000 West Virginia Speakers Cup on turf at Mountaineer Park in early August.

Finishing a solid second in the Jamaica behind King David was Gerald and Susan Kresa’s 3-year-old gelding King Kreesa, who will come back in the Emerald with jockey Joel Rosario in the saddle for trainer Jeremiah Englehart. The New York-bred son of King Cugat broke his maiden at Aqueduct in early April in his second career start while racing for a $25,000 claiming tag with no takers.

King Kreesa set the pace in the nine-furlong Jamaica as a 24-to-1 longshot before giving way grudgingly to be beaten a half-length by King David. He subsequently finished fourth as the favorite in the Monserrat Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 4, beaten only 1 ¼ lengths for it all.

Another solid contender in the Emerald that will get plenty of support is Richard Sherman’s 5-year-old gelding Nicki’s Sandcastle, who’ll be ridden by Corey Lanerie for trainer David Kassen. The Kentucky homebred raced for a $25,000 tag early in his career with no takers but has emerged this season as a solid stakes performer, most recently finishing a game second in the Fayette Stakes (G2) on Polytrack at Keeneland on Oct. 27.

Javier Castellano gets the call on Private Tale in the Jewel for trainer Michael Trombetta after finishing fourth last out in the seven-furlong Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) at Belmont on Oct. 27. The son of Tale of the Cat broke his maiden for a $25,000 claiming tag at Parx in mid-February and went on to win four more races.

The Ramsey-Maker team will be represented in the Jewel by Parent’s Honor, a son of Elusive Quality to be ridden by jockey Alan Garcia.

Another contender that will attract support in the Jewel will be Blackacre Farm’s 5-year-old Flatter This with Jose Lezcano getting the call for trainer Kathleen O’Connell. The chestnut son of Flatter is a multiple-stakes winner, finished third in the Spend a Buck Handicap (G3) at Calder in mid-October and won a starter allowance there two weeks later.

Completing the Claiming Crown stakes program line-up:

• $125,000 Tiara for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf: The Rudy Rodriguez-trained Silver Screamer, owned by Michael Imperio and Donald Olson, looms as the 4-year-old filly Silver Screamer as the horse to beat in this full field of 14. The roan/gray 4-year-old daughter of Cozzene is highly consistent with a 5-3-2 record in 11 starts on turf, finishing third in the Noble Damsel Stakes (G3) at Belmont in September and winning the Lady Baltimore last out at Laurel Park on Oct. 27.

• $100,000 Glass Slipper for fillies and mares at seven furlongs: Brinker Hill Farm’s 5-year-old mare Tamarind Hall has been a solid filly and Mare sprint stakes performer the last two seasons, winning the Bed o’ Roses (G3) at Belmont last year and most recently an even fourth in the Classy Mirage at Belmont on Oct. 14. Trained by David Fawkes, the daughter of Graeme Hall breaks from the far outside post 13.

• $100,000 Express for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs: Frank Calabrese’s 5-year-old gelding Cover Price rates high in the field of 10 drawn for this race after romping in a Calder allowance on Oct. 18 by 10 ¾ lengths for trainer Luis Ramirez.

• $100,000 Rapid Transit for 3-year-olds and up at seven furlongs: Michael and Paige Hui’s 5-year-old gelding Homeboykris, who won the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont as a 2-year-old, enters the 14-horse race in winning form for trainer Ron Moquette. The son of Roman Ruler won a starter allowance at Churchill Downs last on Nov. 14 after being claimed for $30,000 at Delaware Park in his previous start.

• $100,000 Iron Horse for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles: Elena Arocha’s 3-year-old He’s Spectacular has gotten good at the right time for trainer Humberto Toledo and should be well-backed in this field of 14 with another on the ‘also-eligible’ list. A son of Alphabet Soup, He’s Spectaculer won three straight early in the fall at Calder, finished second in the Carl Rose Classic in November and fourth last out in the Fred Hooper Handicap (G3) last Saturday.


Gulfstream Claims the "Crown" for Opening Day

Claiming Crown 2012 logoNovember 28, 2012 -- The racing world is forever on the lookout for the emergence of Thoroughbred stars that possess the talent and charisma to attract the public’s attention to the “Sport of Kings.”

Gulfstream Park’s $10.1 million stakes program, highlighted by the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 30, will produce a good number of rising stars that will generate heightened interest and wagering during the 2012-2013 meeting.

Yet, it is fitting that the launch of the 61-race stakes program will pay homage to the unsung hero of the racing industry – the claimer, the everyday warrior that provides the foundation for every racetrack’s racing program. While the racing world waits for their stars to emerge, the claiming horse provides the uninterrupted daily action in relative anonymity.

Some of the biggest stars in Thoroughbred racing history had roots in the claiming ranks, including the legendary Seabiscuit, who had raced in a $2,500 claiming race, two-time Horse of the Year John Henry, who had raced for a $25,000 claiming tag, and Hall of Famer Stymie, who was claimed for $1,500 and went on to become a multiple Grade 1 stakes winner.

The $850,000 Claiming Crown, a program of seven races for horses that have competed at least once in claiming races, will be held for the first time at Gulfstream Park Saturday, Dec. 1, the first day of the 90-date meeting that will run through April 5. More than 200 trainers throughout the country have nominated their respective stables to the Claiming Crown to make their claiming stock eligible for such rare lucrative opportunities.

"We're ecstatic to play host to the 14th running of the Claiming Crown on our opening day," said Gulfstream President Tim Ritvo. "Horses competing in the claiming ranks are many of the toughest in the world. They're game and they build loyal followings within the Thoroughbred community, whether with fans, owners or trainers. I think this is a great opportunity for Gulfstream to help showcase these Thoroughbreds. It's also a great way to kick off what we believe will be a memorable winter meeting."

When Gulfstream Park Racing Secretary Dan Bork inquired about the possibility of hosting the Claiming Crown at the South Florida Thoroughbred showcase, the Thoroughbred Owners And Breeders Association (TOBA) and National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), the co-founders of the series, quickly explored their options. With the enthusiastic support of Gulfstream management and the South Florida horsemen, the Claiming Crown had found a new home.

“Gulfstream recognizes that the claiming horses are the backbone of industry,” said Dan Metzger, the President of the TOBA. “It’s a great way to pay back to those owners who have a hard-knocking claimer and gives them a chance to have a special day in the sun.”

Gulfstream had too much too offer the 14-year-old series not to pursue a venue switch, notably a strong horse population from which to draw.

“You have the South Florida trainers that are there year-round and you also have the Eastern trainers, the New York-based trainers and the Midwest-based trainers who go to Gulfstream for the winter. And you also have Tampa Bay Downs,” said Metzger said.

Gulfstream represents the most high profile venue that has ever staged the Claiming Crown, which had previously been held at Canterbury Park, Parx, Ellis Park and, last year, Fair Grounds.

“To hold it on Opening Day puts it into a spotlight it’s never been in before,” Metzger said. “The move to Gulfstream Park this season has resulted in dramatic purse increases, as well as an expansion from five to seven races over a year ago.”

The $200,000 Jewel will anchor the program of seven stakes that carry a minimum purse of $100,000. Horses that have started for a claiming price of $35,000 or lower will clash at 1 1/8 miles.

The Claiming Crown provides lower-priced horses to compete for big bucks, as well. The $100,000 Iron Horse (1 1/16 miles) and $100,000 Express (6 furlongs) will be open to horses that have started for a claiming price of $7,500 or lower. Horses that have raced for a $16,000 claiming tag or lower are eligible for a pair of $100,000 seven-furlong stakes, the Glass Slipper (fillies and mares) and the $100,000 Rapid Transit. A pair of $125,000 1 1/16-mile turf races – the Tiara (fillies and mares) and the Emerald – are open to horses that carried claiming prices of $25,000 or lower.

The Claiming Crown brings together horses that have blossomed in the claiming ranks, many becoming allowance and stakes competitors who are still eligible to take part in the special program. Furthest Land, who finished fourth in the Claiming Crown Jewel in 2009, went on to win the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile later that season.


Claiming Crown Generates Enthusiasm at Gulfstream

Claiming Crown 2012 logoNovember 19, 2012 -- The 14th edition of the $850,000 Claiming Crown promises to make Opening Day at Gulfstream Park an even more special occasion on Dec. 1, judging from the long and talented list of nominees for the seven-race series that will be renewed for the first time at the Hallandale Beach racetrack.

The horsemen’s enthusiastic response to the event that offers rare lucrative opportunities for horses that have run in claiming races resulted in an aggregate of 232 nominations, including a number of horses nominated for more than one race.

"The response and cooperation from horsemen for the Claiming Crown has been exceptional," said Gulfstream Park Racing Secretary Dan Bork. "Everyone is eager for Opening Day at Gulfstream."

The quantity of nominations may only be surpassed in excellence by the quality of nominees, which includes several Grade 1-stakes performers.

Willy Beamin, who captured the King’s Bishop (G1) at Saratoga in August, tops the list of 25 nominees for the $200,000 Jewel, the richest of the Claiming Crown races open to horses that have run for a claiming price of $35,000 or less. Claimed for $25,000 at Belmont Park in May, the 3-year-old colt won five straight races, culminating in the King’s Bishop score, for new owner James Riccio and trainer Richard Dutrow before finishing a close second in the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park.

Dutrow also nominated Associate, a former $25,000 claimer who finished third in the Bold Ruler (G3) at Belmont last time out and third in the Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita last December. Homeboychris, whom Dutrow saddled for a victory in the 2009 Champagne (G1) at Belmont, was nominated to the Jewel by new trainer Ron Moquett, who saddled him for a victory in a starter allowance at Churchill Downs last time out.

Jewel nominee Second City, who ran in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita in his last start, is owned by J. Paul Reddam, who campaigned 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another.

The $125,000 Emerald, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for horses that started for a claiming price of $35,000 or less, has also attracted Grade 1 talent. King David, who captured the Jamaica Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park in October less than a month after being claimed for $35,000, tops a list of 50 nominees for the Jewel. Trainer Michael Maker has saddled seven Claiming Crown winners, one fewer than leader Scott Lake.

King Kreesa, a New York-bred stakes winner who broke his maiden under a $25,000 claiming tag, finished just a half-length behind King David in the Jamaica and has been nominated for a possible rematch in the Emerald.

The Maker-trained Juanita, a multiple Grade 2-stakes winner with Grade 1 experience, heads a list of 39 nominees for the $125,000 Tiara, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares that ran for a claiming price of $25,000 or less. The 4-year-old daughter of Mineshaft was claimed for $25,000 in 2011.

Homeboykris, a Jewel nominee, was also made eligible for the $100,000 Rapid Transit, a seven-furlong sprint for horses that started for a $16,000 claiming price or less.

Ainsley, multiple stakes-placed filly who was claimed for $12,500 at Gulfstream in February, has been nominated for the Tiara, as well as the $100,000 Glass Slipper, a seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares who raced for a claiming price no higher than $16,000.

The $100,000 Express (a six-furlong sprint) and the $100,000 Iron Horse (slated for a 1 1/16-miles), both for horses that started for a claiming price of $7500 or less, round out the seven races dedicated to the unsung heroes of the racing industry.

The Claiming Crown, which was co-founded by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association and the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, has been hosted by four other tracks, Canterbury Park, Parx, Ellis Park and Fair Grounds, since 1999.


Claiming Crown Draws 274 Trainer Nominations

Claiming Crown 2012 logoSeptember 13, 2012 -- Lexington, KY -- There are 274 trainers eligible to nominate horses to the Dec. 1 Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park, officials said Sept. 13. Click here to view the full list of trainers.

For the first time in the 14-year history of the Claiming Crown, trainers this year were asked to pay a $100 fee to be eligible to nominate any horse in their barn to the Claiming Crown, which will offer seven races with purses ranging from $100,000 to $200,000. The event, with features races with starter allowance conditions, is scheduled for opening day of the 2012-13 meet at the Florida racetrack.

"We're extremely pleased with the interest and support shown by trainers throughout North America," Gulfstream racing secretary Dan Bork said. "We look forward to Nov. 9 when regular nominations are due. We've received tremendous feedback from horsemen who are excited about the Claiming Crown coming to Gulfstream Park."

Some of the trainers who paid the nomination fee are Todd Pletcher, Steve Asmussen, Mike Maker, Mike Mitchell, Roger Attfield, Wesley Ward, Dale Romans, Kiaran McLaughlin, Scott Lake, Rudy Rodriguez, David Jacobson, Chad Brown, Jamie Ness, Larry Rivelli, Marty Wolfson, Wayne Catalano, Allen Jerkens, Anthony Dutrow, John Sadler, Nick Zito, Bill Kaplan, and Mark Casse.

"I am extremely pleased with the significant number of trainer nominations as well as the spectrum of trainers who submitted their nomination," said Phil Hanrahan, chief executive officer of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. "The National HBPA appreciates the support of these trainers and their owners as well as the support of the Florida HBPA and Gulfstream Park."

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National HBPA and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The event was launched in 1999 at Canterbury Park in Minnesota.


Claiming Crown Announces New Nomination Process

Claiming Crown 2012 logoJuly 24 , 2012 -- Lexington, KY -- Claiming Crown Limited today announced a new nomination process for the 2012 Claiming Crown to be held at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, December 1. The new nomination process for the seven races with a total of $850,000 in purses has been streamlined and changed so that both trainers and horses must be nominated to the event.

“Rather than having trainers nominating horses this far out from the Claiming Crown, we felt it would be easier to change the nominating process,” said Dan Bork, racing secretary at Gulfstream Park. “Trainers who nominate a horse in August for the event may not have that horse by December 1. We believe this also gives trainers the ability to get a horse for one of the Claiming Crown’s seven races or make a horse they currently have eligible for the event. We think this will also continue to create interest in the Claiming Crown.”

The first important date in the new process is August 31. On or before that date trainers must pay a $100 fee to be eligible to nominate horses to the 2012 Claiming Crown. Similar to a seat license, this fee enables a trainer to nominate horses by Regular Nomination. Trainers not making this payment will only be able to nominate horses through Supplemental Nomination.

Eligible trainers may nominate horses to Claiming Crown races on or before November 9. In a change from prior years, both the horse and Claiming Crown race must be named at the time of nomination. Forms are now available by clicking here.

Supplemental nominations and entries will be taken on November 28.

For further details on the event’s race lineup, purse structure, nomination and entry deadline schedule and eligibility dates please contact Andy Schweigardt at andys@toba.org or Kevin Meyocks at Kevin.meyocks@gulfstreampark.com.

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The Claiming Crown was created to be the claiming horse owner’s Breeders’ Cup; a special racing event, created for the “average owner,” and featuring some of the most competitive horses in the country. The Claiming Crown has been held annually since 1999. For more information about Claiming Crown please visit www.claimingcrown.com.

TOBA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA’s mission is to “improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders.” Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member. Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) is the charitable arm of TOBA.

The National HBPA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, is the largest racing horsemen’s representative association in North America, with 30 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen. Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Equineline.com, Finish Line Horse Products, Inc. and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA.


Gulfstream Park to Host 2012 Claiming Crown on Opening Day

Claiming Crown 2012 logoMarch 13, 2012 -- Lexington, KY -- Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will host the 14th running of the Claiming Crown on the opening day of its 2012-2013 meet, Saturday, December 1, 2012. The 2012 event will see a significant increase in purses to $850,000 for seven races with the individual race purses ranging from $100,000 to $200,000. In addition to the six Claiming Crown races conducted at the 2011 event, the Tiara for fillies and mares on the turf will return this year. 

“We’re ecstatic to play host to the 14th running of the Claiming Crown on opening day December 1,” said Gulfstream Park President and General Manager Timothy Ritvo. “Horses competing in the claiming ranks are many of the toughest in the world. They’re game and they build loyal followings within the Thoroughbred community, whether with fans, owners or trainers.

“This is an important event to our chairman, Mr. Frank Stronach, and we’re very excited about kicking off our 2012-2013 season with the Claiming Crown. The management and staff at Gulfstream look forward working with the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.”

“The Florida HBPA Board of Directors thought that the purses for the Claiming Crown had become quite outdated and stale over its 13-year history, and thus, chose to significantly increase them. The Board felt that if the Claiming Crown were to come to Gulfstream Park, it needed to be the best Claiming Crown ever,” said Florida HBPA Executive Director Kent Stirling. “We are proud to join with Gulfstream Park, the National HBPA and TOBA to revitalize this great day for our claiming horses. Claiming horses are the backbone of our industry and deserve to be celebrated on their day with higher purses, and what we expect to be record setting live handle and simulcasting numbers.”

“We are excited and honored that Gulfstream Park has agreed to host the 2012 Claiming Crown,” said TOBA president Dan Metzger, who also serves as chairman of Claiming Crown Limited. “The enthusiasm and purse commitment from both Gulfstream Park and the Florida HBPA has been extraordinary and we believe that this year’s event promises to be our best yet.”

“The National HBPA is extremely pleased that this year the Claiming Crown will be hosted by Gulfstream Park and the Florida HBPA. Their commitment to purses and a quality day of racing certainly elevates the Claiming Crown to a new level and will position it among the premier racing days of the year anywhere in the United States,” said Joe Santanna, President and Chairman of the National HBPA, one of the co-partners of the Claiming Crown. “The Gulfstream Park Claiming Crown races provide horsewomen and horsemen across the country with an exceptional opportunity.”

Patterned after the Breeders’ Cup, Claiming Crown was designed to reward Thoroughbred racing’s “blue-collar” horses and will offer races at varying distances on both dirt and turf. 

This will mark the first time Gulfstream Park has hosted the event, which debuted at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota in 1999. Canterbury has hosted 10 of the first 13 renewals of the event. The Claiming Crown was held at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 2002, at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky in 2007 and Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2011.

Further details on the event’s race lineup, purse structure, nomination and entry deadline schedule and eligibility dates to be released soon.

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The Claiming Crown was created to be the claiming horse owner’s Breeders’ Cup; a special racing event, created for the “average owner,” and featuring some of the most competitive horses in the country. The Claiming Crown has been held annually since 1999.

TOBA (www.toba.org), based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA’s mission is to “improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders.” Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.

The National HBPA (www.nationalhbpa.com), based in Lexington, Kentucky, is the largest racing horsemen’s representative association in North America, with 30 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen. Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Equineline.com, Finish Line Horse Products, Inc. and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA.



39 Entered in Five 2011 Claiming Crown Races for Saturday

Claiming Crown 2011 logoNovember 30, 2011 -- Lexington, KY -- A total of 39 horses were entered today in the five races that will comprise the 2011 edition of the Claiming Crown. The event will be held this Saturday, December 3 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

The 2011 Claiming Crown was originally expected to be a six-race event, but the $75,000 Rapid Transit Stakes failed to garner enough entries to be carded for Saturday.

Click here to see the entries for Saturday at Fair Grounds, which includes the five Claiming Crown races.

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Patterned after the Breeders’ Cup, the Claiming Crown was designed to reward Thoroughbred racing’s “blue-collar” horses and offer races at varying distances on both dirt and turf. This will mark the first time Fair Grounds has hosted the event, which debuted at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota in 1999. Canterbury has hosted 10 of the first 12 renewals of the event. The Claiming Crown was held at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 2002 and at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky in 2007. For more information about Claiming Crown please visit www.claimingcrown.com.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 10 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 84-day 140th Thoroughbred racing season, running November 24, 2011 to April 1, 2012, is highlighted by the 99th renewal of the Grade II, $1 million Louisiana Derby on closing day. Information about Fair Grounds can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.

TOBA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA's mission is to "improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders." Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.

The National HBPA (www.nationalhbpa.com), based in Lexington, Kentucky, is the largest racing horsemen’s representative association in North America, with 30 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen.  Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Equineline.com, and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA.

For more information, contact Jason Boulet, Racing Secretary, Fair Grounds Race Course at (504) 948-1246 or Jason.Boulet@fgno.com.


Rapid Redux Tops 2011 Claiming Crown Pre-Entries

Claiming Crown 2011 logoNovember 23, 2011 -- Lexington, KY -- Pre-entries for the 2011 running of the $500,000 Claiming Crown closed on Monday, November 21. Topping the list of pre-entries was Robert Cole's Rapid Redux, who the same night pre-entries closed won his 20th consecutive race to eclipse the consecutive win record held previously by Zenyatta and Pepper's Pride. This year's six-race Claiming Crown will be contested on Saturday, December 3 at Fair Ground Race Course & Slots.

A total of 52 horses were pre-entered in the six 2011 Claiming Crown races. Final entries for the races will be taken on Wednesday, November 30.

Click here to see the pre-entries for the 1 1/16-mile, $50,000 Iron Horse Stakes.

Click here to see the pre-entries for the 6 furlong, $50,000 Express Stakes.

Click here to see the pre-entries for the 6 furlong, $75,000 Rapid Transit Stakes.

Click here to see the pre-entries for the 6 furlong, $75,000 Glass Slipper Stakes for fillies and mares.

Click here to see the pre-entries for the 1 1/16-mile $100,000 Emerald Stakes on the grass.

Click here to see the pre-entries for the 1 1/8-mile $150,000 Jewel Stakes.

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Patterned after the Breeders’ Cup, the Claiming Crown was designed to reward Thoroughbred racing’s “blue-collar” horses and offer races at varying distances on both dirt and turf. This will mark the first time Fair Grounds has hosted the event, which debuted at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota in 1999. Canterbury has hosted 10 of the first 12 renewals of the event. The Claiming Crown was held at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 2002 and at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky in 2007. For more information about Claiming Crown please visit www.claimingcrown.com.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 10 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 84-day 140th Thoroughbred racing season, running November 24, 2011 to April 1, 2012, is highlighted by the 99th renewal of the Grade II, $1 million Louisiana Derby on closing day. Information about Fair Grounds can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.

TOBA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA's mission is to "improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders." Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.

The National HBPA (www.nationalhbpa.com), based in Lexington, Kentucky, is the largest racing horsemen’s representative association in North America, with 30 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen.  Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Equineline.com, and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA.

For more information, contact Jason Boulet, Racing Secretary, Fair Grounds Race Course at (504) 948-1246 or Jason.Boulet@fgno.com.


Rapid Redux Tops 128 Nominees for the 2011 Claiming Crown

Claiming Crown 2011 logoOctober 25, 2011 -- Lexington, KY -- Nominations closed on Friday, October 21 for the 2011 running of the $500,000, six-race Claiming Crown, which is scheduled for Saturday, December 3 at Fair Ground Race Course & Slots. A total of 128 horses were nominated, topped by Rapid Redux. Click here to see a full list of the nominees.

Rapid Redux, a five-year-old gelding owned by Robert Cole and trained by David Wells, will be attempting to tie 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta and New Mexico-bred standout Peppers Pride for most consecutive wins (19) by a U.S.-based horse since 1900 in a seven furlong starter allowance race this Thursday at Laurel Park. Claimed for $6,250 last fall by Wells and Cole, the son of Pleasantly Perfect has won 18 straight in the starter allowance ranks at seven tracks across the Mid-Atlantic.

Supplemental nominations (five percent of the race’s purse) will be accepted for the Claiming Crown races through Friday, November 18, 2011.

Pre-Entries for the six 2011 Claiming Crown races will be taken on Monday, November 21, at which time nominated horses must be declared for a specific race. Final entries for the races will be taken on Wednesday, November 30.

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Patterned after the Breeders’ Cup, the Claiming Crown was designed to reward Thoroughbred racing’s “blue-collar” horses and offer races at varying distances on both dirt and turf. This will mark the first time Fair Grounds has hosted the event, which debuted at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota in 1999. Canterbury has hosted 10 of the first 12 renewals of the event. The Claiming Crown was held at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 2002 and at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky in 2007. For more information about Claiming Crown please visit www.claimingcrown.com.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 10 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 84-day 140th Thoroughbred racing season, running November 24, 2011 to April 1, 2012, is highlighted by the 99th renewal of the Grade II, $1 million Louisiana Derby on closing day. Information about Fair Grounds can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.

TOBA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA's mission is to "improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders." Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.

The National HBPA (www.nationalhbpa.com), based in Lexington, Kentucky, is the largest racing horsemen’s representative association in North America, with 30 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen.  Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Equineline.com, and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA.

For more information, contact Jason Boulet, Racing Secretary, Fair Grounds Race Course at (504) 948-1246 or Jason.Boulet@fgno.com.


2011 Claiming Crown Nomination Deadline is Friday, October 21; Two NHC Berths Up for Grabs in TwinSpires.com Handicapping Contest

Claiming Crown 2011 logoOctober 13, 2011 -- Lexington, KY -- Next Friday, October 21 is the nomination deadline for 2011 running of the $500,000, six-race Claiming Crown, which is scheduled for Saturday, December 3 at Fair Ground Race Course & Slots.

Friday, October 21 is also the deadline by which any horses made eligible to the 2011 Claiming Crown via open nomination must be named by the owner or his authorized agent. Open nominations for which no horse has been identified by 12:00 midnight EDT on Friday, October 21, 2011 are invalid.

Supplemental nominations (five percent of the race’s purse) will be accepted through Friday, November 18, 2011.

The nomination schedule and forms for the 2011 running of the $500,000 Claiming Crown are available on the Claiming Crown website at www.claimingcrown.com.

TwinSpires.com will be holding an online handicapping tournament in conjunction with the Claiming Crown on December 3, and among the prizes are berths to the $2 million (estimated) Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) for the top two tournament finishers.
 
Entry fee is $200 on the day of the tournament. Players can also qualify in $25 “satellite” tournaments on any of the three days prior, November 30-December 2. The satellite tournaments give players an opportunity to qualify at a fraction of the regular cost. For every eight entrants, one entry to the Saturday contest will be awarded.
 
The Claiming Crown tournament will require players to submit $2 win and place wagers on designated contest races, all from the Fair Grounds’ Claiming Crown card. Winnings per race are capped at $52 to win and $26 to place. Order of finish is determined by highest total winnings.
 
Claiming Crown tournament players must be TwinSpires.com account holders in a state where wagering is available.

The top two finishers in the TwinSpires.com Claiming Crown tournament will earn berths to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (including travel and lodging), which will be held in Las Vegas in January of 2012. Third through fifth place finishers will earn berths to the Horse Player World Series. All of the top five finishers receive $300 to go toward travel expenses.
 
Complete rules will be available at TwinSpires.com soon.

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Patterned after the Breeders’ Cup, the Claiming Crown was designed to reward Thoroughbred racing’s “blue-collar” horses and offer races at varying distances on both dirt and turf. This will mark the first time Fair Grounds has hosted the event, which debuted at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota in 1999. Canterbury has hosted 10 of the first 12 renewals of the event. The Claiming Crown was held at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 2002 and at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky in 2007. For more information about Claiming Crown please visit www.claimingcrown.com.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 10 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 84-day 140th Thoroughbred racing season, running November 24, 2011 to April 1, 2012, is highlighted by the 99th renewal of the Grade II, $1 million Louisiana Derby on closing day. Information about Fair Grounds can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.

TOBA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA's mission is to "improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders." Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.

The National HBPA (www.nationalhbpa.com), based in Lexington, Kentucky, is the largest racing horsemen’s representative association in North America, with 30 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen.  Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Equineline.com, and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA.

For more information, contact Jason Boulet, Racing Secretary, Fair Grounds Race Course at (504) 948-1246 or Jason.Boulet@fgno.com.


August 26 $100 & Open Nomination Deadline for 2011 Claiming Crown Approaching, Twinspires.com to Host Event Handicapping Contest

Claiming Crown 2011 logoAugust 12, 2011 -- Lexington, KY -- The Friday, August 26 deadline for regular ($100) and open ($250) nominations to the 2011 running of the $500,000 Claiming Crown is approaching quickly. Additionally, TwinSpires.com will be hosting a handicapping contest in conjunction with the 13th renewal of the Claiming Crown, which will be held on Saturday, December 3, 2011 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans.

Two spots in the $2 million (estimated) Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) will be up for grabs in the TwinSpires.com Claiming Crown handicapping contest. Additional details on this exciting contest will be announced soon.

After August 21, the cost to nominate a horse to the 2011 Claiming Crown will increase to $500, and the deadline to submit nominations at the $500 cost is Friday, October 21. Nominators must also identify the horse(s) they made eligible through any open nominations by Friday, October 21.

With an open ($250) nomination, the nominating owner or his authorized agent need not identify either a specific horse for nomination or the intended Claiming Crown race at the time of nomination. The nominating owner or his authorized agent must identify the nominated horse no later than 12:00 midnight EDT on Friday, October 21, 2011. Open nominations for which no horse has been identified by 12:00 midnight EDT on Friday, October 21, 2011 are invalid.

Supplemental nominations (five percent of the race’s purse) will be accepted through Friday, November 18, 2011.

The nomination schedule and forms for the 2011 running of the $500,000 Claiming Crown are available on the Claiming Crown website at www.claimingcrown.com.

For more information, contact Jason Boulet, Racing Secretary, Fair Grounds Race Course at (504) 948-1246 or Jason.Boulet@fgno.com.


2011 Claiming Crown Nomination Schedule and Forms Now Available on Redesigned ClaimingCrown.com

Claiming Crown 2011 logoMarch 24, 2011 -- Lexington, KY -- The nomination schedule and forms for the 2011 running of the $500,000 Claiming Crown are now available on the newly redesigned ClaimingCrown.com website (www.claimingcrown.com), and nominations are now being accepted by Claiming Crown, Ltd. The 13th renewal of the Claiming Crown will be held on December 3, 2011 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans.

The 2011 Claiming Crown will consist of six stakes races with starter allowance conditions for horses that have started for a claiming price since January 1, 2010 in a race restricted to Thoroughbreds at a recognized North American racetrack. Each race is associated with a specific claiming level, and to be eligible for that event, a horse must have started at the associated claiming level or lower at least once since January 1, 2010.

The 2011 Claiming Crown races will be (associated claiming level in parenthesis):

  • $50,000 Iron Horse: for three-year-olds and up going 8.5 furlongs on dirt ($7,500)
  • $50,000 Express: for three-year-olds and up going 6.0 furlongs on dirt ($7,500)
  • $75,000 Glass Slipper: for three-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, going 6.0 furlongs on the dirt ($16,000)
  • $75,000 Rapid Transit: for three-year-olds and up going 6.0 furlongs on the dirt ($16,000)
  • $100,000 Emerald: for three-year-olds and up going 8.5 furlongs on the turf ($25,000)
  • $150,000 Jewel: for three-year-olds and up going 9.0 furlongs on the dirt ($35,000)

Regular ($100) and open ($250) nominations for the 2011 Claiming Crown close on Friday, August 26, while $500 nominations close on Friday, October 21. Also on October 21, nominators must identify the horse(s) they made eligible through any open nominations. Supplemental nominations (5 percent of the race’s purse) will be accepted through Friday, November 18.

Patterned after the Breeders’ Cup, Claiming Crown was designed to reward Thoroughbred racing’s “blue-collar” horses and offer races at varying distances on both dirt and turf. This will mark the first time Fair Grounds has hosted the event, which debuted at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota in 1999. Canterbury has hosted 10 of the first 12 renewals of the event. The Claiming Crown was held at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 2002 and at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky in 2007.

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The Claiming Crown was created to be the claiming horse owner’s Breeders’ Cup; a special racing event, created for the "average owner," and featuring some of the most competitive horses in the country. The Claiming Crown has been held annually since 1999. For more information about Claiming Crown please visit www.claimingcrown.com.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 10 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 139th Thoroughbred Racing Season runs through March 27, 2011, highlighted by the 98th running of the Grade II, $1 million Louisiana Derby on March 26. Information about Fair Grounds can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.

TOBA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA's mission is to "improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders." Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.

The National HBPA (www.nationalhbpa.com), based in Lexington, Kentucky, is the largest racing horsemen’s representative association in North America, with 30 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen.  Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Equineline.com, and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA, and TVG is the official television partner of the National HBPA.

For more information, contact Jason Boulet, Racing Secretary, Fair Grounds Race Course at (504) 948-1246 or Jason.Boulet@fgno.com.


Fair Grounds to Host Claiming Crown for First Time in 2011

Fair Grounds logoDecember 20, 2010 -- Lexington, KY -- Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans, Louisiana will host the 13th running of the Claiming Crown on Saturday, December 3, 2011. Patterned after the Breeders’ Cup, Claiming Crown was designed to reward Thoroughbred racing’s “blue-collar” horses and will offer races at varying distances on both dirt and turf.

“Fair Grounds is proud to bring the Claiming Crown to New Orleans,” said Eric Halstrom, Vice President and General Manager of Racing for Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. “One of our stated goals has been to host top end national events at our racetrack, and the Claiming Crown certainly fits very well.  We look forward to teaming with TOBA, the National HBPA and our local HBPA as we try to make the 2011 Claiming Crown a record-setting event.”

“The Louisiana HBPA is happy the National HBPA and TOBA are bringing the Claiming Crown to Louisiana.  We feel the Fair Grounds is a great choice to host this prestigious event.  Claiming Crown rewards the horses that are the backbone of racing,” stated Louisiana HBPA President Larry Robideaux, Jr.

This will mark the first time Fair Grounds has hosted the event, which debuted at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota in 1999. Canterbury has hosted 10 of the first 12 renewals of the event. The Claiming Crown was held at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 2002 and at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky in 2007.

Further details on the event’s race lineup, purse structure, nomination and entry deadline schedule, and eligibility dates will be released soon.

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The Claiming Crown was created to be the claiming horse owner’s Breeders’ Cup; a special racing event, created for the "average owner," and featuring some of the most competitive horses in the country. The Claiming Crown has been held annually since 1999. For more information about Claiming Crown please visit www.claimingcrown.com.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 10 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 139th Thoroughbred Racing Season runs through March 27, 2011, highlighted by the 98th running of the Grade II, $1 million Louisiana Derby on March 26. Information about Fair Grounds can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.

TOBA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA's mission is to "improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders." Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.

The National HBPA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, is the largest racing horsemen’s representative association in North America, with 30 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen.  Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Equineline.com, and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA, and TVG is the official television partner of the National HBPA.

 

 

Important Dates

Saturday, November 8, 2014 - $100 regular horse nominations due

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - Supplemental nominations due, Entry day for Claiming Crown

Saturday, December 6, 2014 - $1 million Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park


In the News

December 1, 2012: Ramsey runners win four in Claiming Crown - The Blood-Horse

December 1, 2012: Jewel victory by Parent's Honor completes four-win day for Maker, Ramseys - Daily Racing Form

December 1, 2012: Gulfstream handle Up after hosting Claiming Crown on Opening Day - Paulick Report

November 29, 2012: Gulfstream Opener: Something borrowed, something new - Horseraceinsider.com

November 28, 2012: Claiming Crown gets big Gulfstream welcome - The Blood-Horse

November 28, 2012: Claiming Crown highlights early opening day - Daily Racing Form

November 16, 2012: Claiming Crown expected to draw big fields for all races - Daily Racing Form

November 6, 2012: Fleur de Lilly gets Claiming Crown prep - Daily Racing Form

November 2, 2012: Major Marvel prepping for Claiming Crown - Daily Racing Form

December 3, 2011: It Happened Again shines in Claiming Crown Jewel - Brisnet.com website

December 3, 2011: It Happened Again takes Claiming Crown feature - Louisville Courier-Journal website

December 3, 2011: It Happened Again wins Claiming Crown Jewel - New Orleans Times-Picayune website

December 3, 2011: Claiming Crown Recap: It Happened Again Wins $150,000 Jewel - SportsNOLA.com website

December 3, 2011: It Happened Again takes Claiming Crown feature - Thoroughbred Times website

December 3, 2011: It Happened Again Wins Claiming Crown Jewel - The Blood-Horse website

December 3, 2011: Fair Grounds: It Happened Again sharp off long layoff in Claiming Crown Jewel - Daily Racing Form website

December 3, 2011: Pedrolino, Atthebuzzer Win Early Claiming Crown Stakes - Fair Grounds Racecourse & Slots website

December 2, 2011: Maker will saddle morning-line favorites in richest Claiming Crown events - Brisnet.com website

December 2, 2011: Fortus: Claiming Crown doesn't provide nearly enough bang for the bucks - New Orleans Times-Picayune website

December 1, 2011: A Look at Weekend Horseracing - UPI website

December 1, 2011: Maker a player again in Claiming Crown - Daily Racing Form website

December 1, 2011: Stakes Advance: Claiming Crown Comes to Fair Grounds Saturday - SportsNOLA.com website

December 1, 2011: Fair Grounds: Claiming Crown at a crossroads - Daily Racing Form website

December 1, 2011: Finley: Pull the Plug on the Claiming Crown - ESPN website

November 30, 2011: New-look Claiming Crown debuts Saturday - Thoroughbred Times website

November 30, 2011: Maker a Triple Threat in Claiming Crown Jewel - The Blood-Horse website

November 30, 2011: Claiming Crown has 39 entrants in five races; Rapid Transit canceled - Daily Racing Form website

November 26, 2011: Rapid Redux will skip Claiming Crown - Daily Racing Form website

November 26, 2011: Rapid Redux to bypass Claiming Crown - Thoroughbred Times website

November 24, 2011: Claiming Crown: 52 pre-entered in six races - Daily Racing Form website

November 24, 2011: Rapid Redux connections leaning toward Claiming Crown - Thoroughbred Times website

November 23, 2011: Rapid Redux considered for Claiming Crown Iron Horse - Brisnet.com website

October 25, 2011: Rapid Redux nominated for Claiming Crown - Thoroughbred Times website

August 11, 2011: Regular, open Claiming Crown nominations close August 26 - Brisnet.com website

December 21, 2010: Fair Grounds to Host Claiming Crown for First Time in 2011 - HorseRace Insider website

December 20, 2010: Fair Grounds to Host Claiming Crown for First Time in 2011 - National HBPA blog

December 20, 2010: Claiming Crown moves to Fair Grounds, will be run in December - Daily Racing Form website

December 20, 2010: Claiming Crown Moves to Fair Grounds for 2011 - The Blood-Horse website

November 19, 2010: Claiming Crown likely to move to Fair Grounds, be held in December - Daily Racing Form website

July 26, 2010: Claiming Crown Handle Plummets - Daily Racing Form website

July 24, 2010: Headache takes Claiming Crown Jewel to cap perfect day for trainer, owners Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey - Shakopee Valley News website

July 24, 2010: Headache gets there in Claiming Crown Jewel - Daily Racing Form website

July 24, 2010: Pounding Headache Gives Maker Key 'Crown Win - The Blood-Horse website

July 24, 2010: Headache Proves Pain for Challengers in Claiming Crown - Thoroughbred Times website

July 24, 2010: Ness Has Profitable Homecoming - Minneapolis Star-Tribune website

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