March 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 website (, 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

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

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,, 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