The Claiming Crown, inaugurated in 1999, is a series of seven races run under starter allowance conditions, with purses ranging from $50,000 to $150,000. It is seen as a ‘’blue collar” Breeders' Cup series for claiming horses. Any claiming horse owner can participate subject to stipulated conditions.
The Claiming Crown, held under the auspices of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, has for much of its existence been run at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota. The track last held the event in 2006. In 2002, the Claiming Crown was held at Philadelphia Park Racetrack. In 2007, it took place at Ellis Park Racecourse in Henderson, Kentucky.
The Claiming Crown returned to Canterbury Park on August 2nd of 2008 with new conditions meant to entice more horses to participate. Until 2007, the cut-off for which a horse needed to have run for a certain claiming price to qualify was almost a year in advance of the Claiming Crown series. In 2008, the conditions for entry were similar to those of starter allowance races held at most tracks around the country.
In 2008, the 10th running of the Claiming Crown, the races were for horses that have started for $7,500 to $35,000 in 2007 and 2008. The new conditions shortened the cut-off for eligibility by almost seven months.
Since its inception, the Claiming Crown has been Canterbury Park’s biggest day of racing. At Ellis Park, it set a record for total handle.
The Seven Races
Race name Claiming Price Distance/Surface Restrictions Purse The Iron Horse $7,500 8.5 furlongs - dirt 3-year-old & up $50,000 The Express $7,500 6 furlongs - dirt 3-year-old & up $50,000 The Glass Slipper $16,000 6 furlongs - dirt 3-year-olds & up (f&m) $75,000 The Rapid Transit $16,000 6 furlongs - dirt 3-year-old & up $75,000 The Tiara $25,000 8.5 furlongs - turf 3-year-old & up (f&m) $100,000 The Emerald $25,000 8.5 furlongs - turf 3-year-olds and up $100,000 The Jewel $35,000 9 furlongs - dirt 2-year-old $150,000
(The host track and host horsemen’s group put up most if not all of the purse money for the races.)
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