01/15/2004 1:00AM

Claiming Crown tops meet

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SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Canterbury Park released its stakes schedule for the 2004 racing season, highlighted by the sixth renewal of the Claiming Crown races.

The Claiming Crown, scheduled for July 17, consists of six races worth $550,000 in total purses, three of them with six-figure purses - the $100,000 Claiming Crown Rapid Transit at 6 1/2 furlongs, the $125,000 Claiming Crown Emerald at 1 1/16 mile on the turf, and the $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel at 1 1/8 miles.

The Claiming Crown will be run under starter allowance conditions and is open only to horses that have competed for claiming prices ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 since July 15, 2003.

Another highlight of the Canterbury Park is the $100,000 Lady Canterbury for older fillies and mares at one mile on the turf. The Lady Canterbury is scheduled for June 20.

Minnesota-breds will compete in the $310,000 Festival of Champions, a series of seven races to be held on Aug. 22.

Canterbury Park resumes live racing on Friday, May 14. The 68-day meet will run through Labor Day.