12/09/2002 1:00AM

Claiming Crown site reverts


The Claiming Crown will return to Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., in 2003 for its fifth running on July 19.

Canterbury hosted the first three runnings of the Claiming Crown, a series of six races for claimers, worth a total of $550,000. The event was held at Philadelphia Park this year on Labor Day weekend. Canterbury has the option to host the Crown again in 2005 and 2007, with other tracks hosting it in alternate years through 2008.

The Claiming Crown is sponsored by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

The format for next year's Claiming Crown will be identical to this year's. The 2003 event will be for horses who started at least once for claiming prices ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 since July 15, 2002. Performance points earned in races determine which horses are selected to participate in the Claiming Crown.

This year at Philadelphia Park, the number of horses entered in the Claiming Crown (53) races was down from 72 in 2001. Handle and attendance figures also were down compared with earlier runnings at Canterbury Park.