The 18th annual $1.1 million Claiming Crown will be run at Gulfstream Park for the fifth straight year and will highlight the Championship Meet opening on December 3. To date, 279 nominations of the nine-race event have been received.
“We appreciate the participation of all the horsemen and we’re delighted to be hosting this great event for a fifth consecutive year,” said Gulfstream General Manager/The Stronach Group Vice President of Racing P.J. Campo. “The Claiming Crown is the first of several major events we will play host to at Gulfstream this winter, including the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational, $1 million Florida Derby, the Eclipse Awards and Sunshine Millions. The Claiming Crown is a great way for everyone in Thoroughbred racing to kick off the Championship Meet.”
The first ever Claiming Crown took place in 1999 at Canterbury Park in Minneapolis. Since its inception it has also been run at Parx Racing, Ellis Park, and Fair Grounds. It began in earnest as a way to show appreciation for blue-collar horses. The Claiming Crown is a joint venture between the Protective Association and the National Horsemen’s Benevolent. In the last two years, handle for the Claiming Crown has surpassed $10 million.
The Ramseys, Kenneth and Sarah, have won a record 14 Claiming Crown events. This year they have nominated ten horses. Four of their notable nominations are Xaverian, Keystoneforvictory, and Creaky Crickey in the $125,000 Emerald and Homespun Hero in the $200,000 Jewel.