Churchill Downs will be the host site for the 2024 Claiming Crown for the second time in three years, returning to Louisville on Saturday, Nov. 16, it was announced today.

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA). Created in 1999 to provide claiming horse owners and trainers their own version of the Breeders’ Cup, the multi-race program gives thoroughbred racing’s workhorses a day in the spotlight in recognition of their importance to filling out race cards across the nation.

“In a year when Churchill Downs celebrates the 150th Kentucky Derby, we are honored to host the Claiming Crown on center stage in the same historic venue,” said TOBA president Dan Metzger. “We look forward to showcasing American racing’s unsung heroes in what promises to be a successful 26th running of the event.”

Churchill Downs was the Claiming Crown host for the first time in 2022. Last year’s Claiming Crown was staged at the Churchill Downs Inc.-owned Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Each running also involves the support of the HBPA affiliate representing horsemen at the host track.

“We’re most appreciative of Churchill Downs Inc.’s support of the Claiming Crown, and we’re excited about the return to Louisville,” said National HBPA president Dr. Doug Daniels. “Churchill Downs was a terrific host in 2022, as was the Fair Grounds last year.

“Only 20 horses can make the Derby starting gate, and for most trainers and owners that’s a pipe dream. Not so the Claiming Crown. We look forward to working with our TOBA partners, the Kentucky HBPA and Churchill Downs with the goal of staging an outstanding Claiming Crown.”

Claiming Crown races are conducted under starter-allowance conditions, meaning they are restricted to horses that have competed at least once for a certain claiming level or cheaper during a designated time frame. Races are run on turf and dirt, at both sprint and two-turn distances and for males and females.

“We are thrilled to have the Claiming Crown return,” said Ben Huffman, Churchill Downs Race Track’s vice president for racing.  “We appreciate being a part of the tradition recognizing and rewarding these horses each fall. I loved interacting with the Claiming Crown connections in 2022, some of which had never raced at Churchill Downs. It was a joy to welcome them to the home of the Kentucky Derby — a real treat for everyone.”

While the exact purses have yet to be finalized, the eight Claiming Crown races will have a minimum purse of $100,000, with the signature Claiming Crown Jewel at 1 1/8 miles on dirt worth at least $175,000. Each race will also offer a Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund purse supplement for registered Kentucky-breds, the vast majority of horses competing.

“We embrace bringing the Claiming Crown coming back to Kentucky and Churchill Downs,” said Kentucky HBPA president Rick Hiles. “There’s no better place to have it than the epicenter of what’s become America’s premier racing circuit. I’ve had horses in the Claiming Crown before, and it’s a huge deal for what I’ll call racing’s every-day horsemen. A shout-out to the National HBPA, Dr. Daniels and CEO Eric Hamelback for their work to enhance the Claiming Crown as a showcase event on the racing calendar, one that’s accessible to as many owners, trainers and horses as possible.

“The Kentucky horsemen and I stand ready to help make 2024 the Claiming Crown‘s new gold standard for horsemen and horseplayers.”