August 20, 2015 — The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders announced today that a Claiming Crown Horse of the Year will be awarded at the 30th annual TOBA National Awards Dinner. This new award will be presented by the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association at the dinner on September 11 at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Lexington, Ky.
The Claiming Crown, a joint venture between TOBA and the National HBPA, is racing’s $1.1 million showcase for the country’s best claiming horses. The National HBPA’s Industry Awards Committee reviewed the 2014 past performances of all horses that ran in the 2014 Claiming Crown and evaluated the victories of those who won the eight races in the December event at Gulfstream Park. The committee narrowed down three finalists, and ultimately selected St. Borealis as the inaugural Claiming Crown Horse of the Year. Owned by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey and bred in Kentucky by R-Cher Family Farm LLC, St. Borealis won three of her six starts and earned $96,152. Her three 2014 wins were under the Ramseys’ ownership, and her most notable win was a 1 3/4-length victory in the Claiming Crown’s $125,000 Tiara Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
“The $1.1 million Claiming Crown is an important event, not only to the National HBPA, but to our industry as a whole,” said Eric Hamelback, chief executive officer of the National HBPA. “Claiming horses fill the vast majority of race cards at tracks everyday across North America, and the Claiming Crown was designed to showcase and reward those hard-working horses along with the owners and trainers who campaign them. We developed this award to further honor a deserving horse who exemplified excellence throughout the year culminating with the Claiming Crown.”
“We are very proud to recognize the Claiming Crown Horse of the Year at the TOBA National Awards Dinner,” said Dan Metzger, president of TOBA. “The dinner honors outstanding achievements in our sport and the Claiming Crown Horse of the Year award is very much deserved.”
The dinner is sponsored by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, Stoll Keenon Ogden, Stronach Group and Adena Springs, H.E. “Tex” Sutton Forwarding Company, Jackson Family Wines (Official Wine Sponsor of the 2015 National Awards Dinner), Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Woodford Reserve, Zoetis, National HBPA, FLAIR Nasal Strips, NTRA Advantage, Daily Racing Form, The Horse and Blood-Horse.