06/20/2008 12:00AM

Claiming crown attracts 279


A total of 279 horses have been nominated to the 10th annual Claiming Crown series, it was announced Friday by officials with the event’s co-sponsors, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.

The Claiming Crown, set for Aug. 2, will be held for the eighth time in its 10-year history at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn. The only times the Claiming Crown has been run elsewhere was in 2002 at Philadelphia Park and last year at Ellis Park in Kentucky.

“Everyone with the Claiming Crown is excited about its going back to Canterbury Park this year,” said Dan Metzger, president of the owners and breeders group.

The Claiming Crown comprises seven races with total purses of $600,000. The races are run under starter-allowance conditions and are restricted to horses who have run for claiming prices ranging from $7,500 to $35,000. The richest race is the $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel.

Nominations lists for all seven races are scheduled for release Tuesday.