A partnership between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, the Claiming Crown was envisioned to be the claiming horse owner’s Breeders’ Cup; a special racing event, created for the sometimes-forgotten “average owner,” and featuring some of the most competitive horses in the country. Every horse owner, regardless of the level at which their stable competes, has an equal chance to participate, as the Claiming Crown is open to all claiming horses irrespective of where they were foaled or race.
Claiming horses are the hard-knocking heroes of the turf, having to prove themselves every day the American way: through sweat, muscle, and heart. As the heart, soul, and brawn of American Thoroughbred racing, they are extremely popular competitors. Their stories, and those of their owners, are often easily identified with and appreciated by racing’s fans.
With the Claiming Crown producing competitive, full fields, its races are attractive betting propositions. Adding to the excitement is the “hometown hero” angle, with starters coming from all regions of the country – so called “big” and “little” racing circuits. The local nature of the competitors stimulates regional interest and competition between regions.
The 23rd renewal of the rich and prestigious Claiming Crown will be held on December 4, 2021, at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Florida. It will mark the 10th time the event has been held at the Florida track. Since its debut in 1999, the annual event has been conducted at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota, a total of 10 times. It was also held at Parx Racing (formerly Philadelphia Park) in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, in 2002, Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky, in 2007, and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2011.