07/24/2008 12:00AM

Claiming Crown gets 84 pre-entries


A total of 84 horses have been pre-entered in the seven races in the 10th annual Claiming Crown series, which will be run next Saturday, Aug. 2, at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn.

Races in the Claiming Crown, which offer a total of $600,000 in purses, are run under starter-allowance conditions and are restricted to horses that have run for claiming prices ranging from $7,500 to $35,000. The richest race is the $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel.

The pre-entries represent horses from 17 states and one Canadian province. Perhaps the most accomplished is the likely favorite in a field of 10 pre-entries for the Jewel: Zappa, winner of the Grade 2 San Pasqual at Santa Anita earlier this year over Heatseeker. John Sadler trains Zappa.

The Claiming Crown fields are limited to 14 starters. Two races were oversubscribed: the Express and Rapid Transit. The Claiming Crown's coordinator, Nat Wess, said he hoped for at least 70 starters after entries are taken and drawn Wednesday at Canterbury.

The Claiming Crown, run annually since 1999, is co-sponsored by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and the host track. This is the eighth time event will be held at Canterbury. The only times the Claiming Crown has been run elsewhere was in 2002 at Philadelphia Park and last year at Ellis Park in Kentucky.

TVG will provide exclusive live coverage of the Claiming Crown.