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Gulfstream: Maker has Parent's Honor, 12 others set for Claiming Crown
By Mike Welsch
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. –Trainer Mike Maker has been one of the Claiming Crown’s biggest advocates over the years. So, too, have his principal owners, Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey. On Saturday, the trio will team up to compete in all seven Claiming Crown races on Gulfstream Park’s opening-day program, including the afternoon’s main event, the $200,000 Jewel.
Saturday’s 10-race program will mark the earliest opening in Gulfstream history. The 2012-2013 meet will continue through April 5.
The 1 1/8-mile Jewel goes as the final race on Saturday’s card and also completes the Claiming Crown pick seven, a 10-cent wager which will be seeded with $100,000 and offers a mandatory payout. The Claiming Crown series, worth a collective $850,000, will be broadcast live on HRTV, hosted by Carolyn Conley and Caton Bredar.
Maker entered 13 horses in the 2012 Claiming Crown, including the Ramsey-owned Parent’s Honor in the Jewel. Maker is the second-winningest trainer in Claiming Crown history with seven victories, one fewer than Scott Lake. Six of those wins have come for the Ramseys.
“Ken Ramsey’s enthusiasm for this sport is second to none,” said Maker. “He’s looking forward to having a big day on Saturday. I just hope we don’t let him down.”
Maker said he looks forward to the Claiming Crown every year but has mixed emotions about it being held at Gulfstream Park for the first time this season.
“We claim quite a few horses so it’s a good event to have,” said Maker. “Obviously having the event at Gulfstream makes it easier for me since our horses are stabled there. But it’s also going to make it tougher for us to win since the fields are going to be much more competitive this year.”
Maker claimed Parent’s Honor for $35,000 for the Ramseys out of a win this summer at Saratoga. Parent’s Honor has made two starts for his new connections, finishing well back in stakes races at Louisiana Downs and Mountaineer Racetrack.
“Parent’s Honor is a horse I haven’t quite figured out yet,” said Maker. “Even though he was sprinting, I figured he wanted to go two turns, so his last effort, going a mile at Mountaineer, was a disappointment. So far he’s trained a lot better than he’s run for us. If he runs like he’s trained, I’d be awfully confident in his chances on Saturday.”
Parent’s Honor will share high weight of 124 pounds under the allowance conditions of the Jewel along with Private Tale, who won his maiden for $25,000 at Parx in February for trainer Michael Trombetta and won a third-level optional claimer earlier this fall at Laurel. Private Tale, who missed his entire 3-year-old campaign last year due to injury, has won 5 of 10 starts in 2012 and finished fourth in his most recent outing, the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park.
“He’s been rock solid since he’s come back and has been able to do everything we’ve asked him to do,” said Trombetta. “As the competition got better, he got better with it.”
Homeboykris is one of seven horses in the Jewel lineup who will be entering the race off a victory. A Grade 1 winner, Homeboykris captured a $10,000 starter allowance race in his first outing since being haltered by trainer Ron Moquett for $30,000 at Delaware Park five weeks ago.
Tuvia’s Force is the only member of the Jewel field with a win going 1 1/8 miles, that victory coming under a $20,000 price tag this summer at Saratoga. Unfortunately for trainer Nick Zito, Tuvia’s Force drew the outside post in the 12-horse field, a major disadvantage considering the short run to the opening turn in races decided here at nine furlongs.
Trade has won three of his last four starts, all for trainer Joe Woodward, by an average margin of 11 lengths, with each of those victories coming at Mountaineer.
Tiz Liberty comes into the Jewel following back-to-back wins. He was haltered for $12,500 by trainer Bob Hess Jr. after posting an easy 7 1/2-length victory in his most recent start, which came at Santa Anita.
Great job Mr Ritvo in honoring Little Mike on Saturday, well deserved. Little Mike will be proud to be parade in front of his beloved home crowd. Also very worthy raffle to visit him and Dale Romans at his barn, all monies going to two very good charities, we will be there to support this event.
My friends and I are glad that Gulfstream still has the $1 pick-3.The 50cent pick 3 has killed the prices.We thanks you!
maker is the king of the claiming crown. i like the move to december when racing is kind of boring.
It's a suckers event. Why reward mediocre horses with that kind of purse money. Makes no sense to me.
Love the claiming crown. Hit the trifecta on the 1st Jewel at Canterberry back in 99 with Big E Martin bringing in a 12-1 shot in the slop on top of 40-1 local horse over a 25-1 shot. $6200 for a dollar.
I hate the claiming crown races! It's just a scam to get big money for the owners, trainers & jockeys! I only bet real graded stakes races, period!!!
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