Ten Things You Should Know: Claiming Crown
By Kevin Martin, Hello Race Fans Contributing Editor

Originally published on November 21, 2011

Gulfstream Park paddock
Gulfstream Park paddock on Claiming Crown day 2014 (Eclipse Sportswire)

1) The Claiming Crown is open to horses who have run in claiming races. Claiming races are the most common condition in American racing. All horses in a claiming race are available for sale. For example, in a $35,000 “claimer”, all horses can be bought by a registered buyer for $35,000. Most claims are made by trainers for a specific owner.

2) The Claiming Crown is a joint partnership between the National Horsemen’s Benevolence and Protection Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association with the intention of providing a day for working class horses.

3) The Claiming Crown was established in 1999 and offers claiming horses the unique opportunity to run for purses that range from $110,000 to $200,000.

4) Horses that have run for claiming prices from $7,500 to $35,000 after January 1st of the previous year are eligible to run in the Claiming Crown. The higher the claiming price, the higher the Claiming Crown purse they are eligible for.

5) In 2012, the Claiming Crown was held for the first time at Gulfstream Park in Florida and will continue to be held there through 2018. For most of its history, it was hosted by Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota with the exception of 2002 (Philadelphia Park), 2007 (Ellis Park) and 2011 (Fair Grounds).

6) The 2016 Claiming Crown is comprised of nine races including the new Distaff Dash at 5 furlongs on the turf.

7) Three of the four races run over one mile also have the largest purses. The Emerald and Tiara are run at a 1 1/16 miles over the turf and are worth $125,000. The Jewel is at a 1 1/8 miles on the main track with a $200,000 purse.

8) In 2012 trainer Mike Maker broke the previous record of three wins on a single Claiming Crown card by winning four races. All four wins were for owners Sarah and Kenneth Ramsey, the current leading Claiming Crown owners with wins. Maker is the current leading Claiming Crown trainer with 13 wins.

9) In 2015 jockey Javier Castellano won four of the nine Claiming Crown races.

10) Three horses have won two Claim Crown races: Al’s Dearly Bred (2001 and 2006 Emerald), Antrim County (2008 Jewel – 2009 Iron Horse) and Royal Posse (2015 – 2016 Jewel).

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