08/02/2008 12:00AM

Won Awesome Dude takes Claiming Crown Jewel


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Kentucky horses dominated most of the series, but it was a Delaware shipper, Won Awesome Dude, who captured the richest race, the $142,500 Jewel, to end the 10th annual Claiming Crown on Saturday at Canterbury Park.

Won Awesome Dude, ridden by Casey Lambert, edged away from R Clear Victory in the final yards to post a length triumph in the 1 1/8-mile Jewel. Coyoteshighestcall edged out Sensational Score, the 19-10 favorite, to get third in a field of nine.

Won Awesome Dude returned $7.60 as second choice after finishing in 1:49.97 over a fast track. The winner, a 5-year-old Ontario-bred horse by Awesome Again, is owned by Kuehne Racing of Ocala, Fla., and was transferred just before the Jewel from trainer Mike Mareina into the name of Daulton Nedrick.

Kentucky horses won five of the other six races in the seven-race series. The only other winner, Eagle Storm, is based at Canterbury.

The Claiming Crown is the so-called Breeders' Cup for the blue-collar set in Thoroughbred racing, with combined purses of up to $600,000. All races are run under starter-allowance conditions. This was the eighth time the Claiming Crown was hosted by Canterbury.

In reverse order, this is how the earlier races went:

* Self Made Man ($4), the only winning favorite in the series, got a perfect trip under Miguel Mena but needed every bit of that good fortune when getting past a stubborn Shipwatch to prevail by a neck in the $95,000 Emerald at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

The victory was the only one in the series for Mena and trainer Mike Maker, who teamed last year to win a Claiming Crown record three races last year at Ellis Park.

* In a race full of speed, Eagle Storm ($9.60) was fastest of all, leading most of the six-furlong distance in a field of 13 in the $74,250 Rapid Transit. Jesse Garcia was aboard for trainer Justin Evans and Canterbury's leading owner, the S E J Stables of Curt and Sarah Johnson.

Erdiston, a 21-1 shipper from Chicago, finished second by two lengths, while Tempo Five was third and Forest Attack, the 2-1 favorite, was fifth.

* Cat Hop ($34) capitalized on a hot pace when rallying from well back to win the $93,000 Tiara, giving jockey Eddie Razo Jr. and trainer Merrill Scherer their second of two victories in the series.

California invader Simply Run was in contention for much of the 1 1/16-mile turf race but had no punch when settling for third behind locally-based Couple Whiles as the 11-10 favorite in the 1 1/16-mile turf race.

* Extra Exclusive ($7.80) took full advantage of a huge hole along the rail at the quarter pole, then quickly put away the Express when pulling away under Corey Lanerie.

Extra Exclusive, trained by Cody Autrey, finished five lengths before Pinecrest Inn in the six-furlong Express, while favored Fireonthewire finished third. The top two finishers were coming out of the same July 11 race at Ellis.

* Chippewa Court ($5.40) faced a stern challenge from Morghyn leaving the eighth pole but continued on gamely to win by a neck in the $68,250 Glass Slipper at six furlongs. The win was the first of two for Razo Jr. and Scherer.

Only five fillies and mares started in the Glass Slipper, in which Morghyn was a very slight favorite.

* Antrim County ($5.40), getting a perfect inside trip under Fernando De La Cruz, kept his position when getting through on House of Usher before pulling clear to a 3 1/2-length triumph in the series opener, the $47,000 Iron Horse at 1 1/16 miles.

For trainer Clifford "Jay" Wilkinson, the victory was his biggest since he returned from a 14-year hiatus last year.

Quiet Queen upsets Lady Canterbury at 50-1

Quiet Queen pulled a 30-1 upset under Tracy Hebert when outlasting a late bid from Angel Smoke on Saturday in the $100,000 Lady Canterbury Stakes at Canterbury Park.

Quiet Queen, based in Chicago with trainer Dave Kassen, laid just off the early pace set by Just for Keeps, took a short lead after turning for home, then finished a neck clear of Angel Smoke. Owned by Sam and Joan Pieper, Quiet Queen paid $63.60 after finishing a mile in 1:34.99 over firm turf. The 5-year-old Real Quiet mare was coming out of three straight races on soft turf and is now 3 for 3 in one-mile turf races.

Tears I Cry, the 2-1 favorite, was third, followed by Lemonlime and Just for Keeps in a field of 11 fillies and mares. The Lady Canterbury, the richest open stakes of the meet, directly followed the seven Claiming Crown races on a 12-race card.