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Prolific Winners from Around the U.S. Pointing to 10th Annual Claiming Crown at Canterbury Park


July 21, 2008     E-mail this page to a friend!

The 279 horses nominated to the 2008 Claiming Crown at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota, represent 18 different U.S. states and Canada. But despite the wide geographic distribution of the entrants for this year’s 10th annual event, a partnership of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) and the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), a great many of the nominees do have one crucial characteristic in common-they have made a habit of winning.

Bringing a sharp horse to the Claiming Crown, a $600,000 event saluting North America’s top claiming horses, is always recommended, but this year it would appear to be downright essential. The first Claiming Crown race on August 2 is the $50,000 Iron Horse, open to three-year-olds-and-up who have run for $7,500 or less in 2007-08. The mile-and-a-sixteenth, main track heat will likely showcase at least three horses who win a lot more than they lose. Antrim County has won his last three dirt starts, all at Churchill Downs. The Scott Lake-trained Biblical Scholar has won four of his last five while racing at Philadelphia Park and Delaware Park. And the Maggi Moss-owned House of Usher, campaigning at Hawthorne, Oaklawn Park and Prairie Meadows, is a winner of five of his last seven starts.

The $50,000 Express, for three-year-olds-and-up who have run for $7,500 or less in 2007-08, may make the Iron Horse seem like a soft spot. The six-furlong race on the main track should include Chickster, a $2,500 supplementary nominee who is on a nine-race winning streak, including his last five at Canterbury. Those nine tallies, all in 2008, make this seven-year-old gelding the winningest horse in America this year. Still, Chickster’s task in the Express will be far from easy. Also in the expected field are Laudable, who has won five of his last seven; Mojito Man and Talkforfree, who have both won five of their last six; Raving Rocket, who had won 11 in a row before losing this past Sunday at Ellis Park; and Extra Exclusive, the horse who just defeated Raving Rocket at Ellis.

The $75,000 Glass Slipper, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares who have run for $16,000 or less in 2007-08, should attract A Slick Chic, winner of three of her last four; and Silver Trippi, who has won five of her last seven, including all four of her most recent dirt starts.

The $75,000 Rapid Transit, a six-furlong race for three-year-olds-and-up who have run for $16,000 or less in 2007-08, will likely involve a showdown between Eagle Storm, a winner of his last four starts by margins of at least 4 lengths; Fearless Anthony, who has won four of his most recent six starts thanks to wins at Sunland Park and Lone Star Park; and Tempo Five, a winner of five of seven career starts, including triumphs at Mountaineer Park, Presque Isle Downs, Keeneland and Fair Grounds.

The $100,000 Tiara, a mile-and-a-sixteenth grass event for fillies and mares who have run for $25,000 or less in 2007-08, should include Allnightdance, victorious in four of her last six while racing at Philadelphia Park and Tampa Bay Downs; and the Kentucky-based Promise Me a Prize who has won six of her last nine.

The $100,000 Emerald, a mile-and-a-sixteenth grass affair for three-year-olds-and-up who have run for $25,000 or less in 2007-08, could bring together the Ken Ramsey-owned Self Made Man, who has won four of his last six while in Kentucky; and the versatile Tytus, who has won five of his most recent seven starts going short and long on both the dirt and turf, for trainer Jamie Ness.

Claiming Crown Day’s traditional feature is the $150,000 Jewel for three-year-olds-and-up who have run for $35,000 or less in 2007-08. One of the horses to beat in the nine-furlong, main track event, is the Scott Lake-trained Coyoteshighestcall. The six-year-old veteran of 63 lifetime starts has really hit his stride this year, having won six of his last nine, including the Norristown Stakes at Philadelphia Park.

“Claiming Crown races always come up tough, but I cannot recall a year with this many horses coming in with so many wins in their past performance lines,” said Claiming Crown Coordinator Nat Wess. “This year’s event promises to provide one of the calendar’s best betting cards anywhere.”

Claiming Crown features seven races, with purses ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 and is open to horses that have started at least once in 2007-08 for claiming prices ranging from $7,500 to $35,000. The day’s featured event is the Jewel, a mile and one-eighth event on the main track with a purse of $150,000. Also on the program are two mile-and-one-sixteenth races on the turf, three six-furlong dashes on the dirt and a mile and one-sixteenth main track contest. This year’s event will mark the eighth time that Canterbury Park has hosted Claiming Crown. Race sponsors for 2008 include Bremer Bank, John Deere, Daily Racing Form and Allied Waste Services. For more information and race histories, please visit http://www.claimingcrown.com/.

Founded in 1940 on the philosophy of “horsemen helping horsemen” the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) has developed into the largest organization representing horsemen’s interests in North America. Over 40,000 members strong, the NHBPA protects the rights of the representative majorities of licensed racehorse owners and trainers in over 30 affiliate HBPAs offices across the U.S. and Canada.

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.