08/28/2014 11:20AM

Claiming Crown alters nomination process


The $1 million Claiming Crown will once again be the highlight on opening day when the 2014-15 Gulfstream Park Championship Meet kicks off Dec. 6.

The popular claiming series will feature some changes this season. Most significantly, there will no longer be separate trainer nominations as well as horse nominations. Last year, trainers paid a $100 fee to be eligible to nominate any eligible horses to the Claiming Crown, which operates under starter-allowance conditions. This year, regular nominations will close Nov. 8, with the deadline for supplemental nominations set for Dec. 3.

The Iron Lady has been replaced on this year’s Claiming Crown program by the Canterbury, a five-furlong turf sprint for horses who have started for $25,000 or less since Jan. 1, 2013. The distance of the Glass Slipper, for fillies and mares, also has been changed from seven furlongs to a mile and is now open to horses who have started for $12,500 instead of $16,000, as in previous seasons. Purses for both the Canterbury and Glass Slipper will be $110,000.

“Gulfstream is proud to kick off its Championship Meet with the Claiming Crown,” said Gulfstream Park chief executive Tim Ritvo. “Interest continues to grow in the Claiming Crown, from both horsemen and bettors. We believe the streamlined nominating process will help horsemen, and the change in the conditions of the two races will further enhance the event and bring more opportunity to our bettors.”

The Claiming Crown, held annually since 1999, is a joint venture between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The Claiming Crown was created to be the claiming horse owner’s Breeders’ Cup – a special racing event created for the “average owner” and featuring some of the most competitive horses in the country.