Claiming Crown Returns to Gulfstream for Ninth Year in a Row

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Leslie Martin photo

The 22nd edition of the Claiming Crown, a nine-race event offering $835,000 in purses to the blue-collar horses that are the backbone of the Thoroughbred industry’s day-to-day racing schedule, will return to Gulfstream Park for the ninth consecutive year Saturday, Dec. 5.

Handle on the Claiming Crown has climbed each of the last eight years since being held at Gulfstream.

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).

“The Claiming Crown from its inception has been a unique way to celebrate these blue-collar horses,” said Gulfstream’s Vice President of Racing Mike Lakow. “It’s a fantastic day of racing and a day racing fans look forward to. We’re excited to once again be part of this great event.”

“We want to express our sincerest appreciation to Gulfstream Park and the Florida HBPA for their continued commitment to the Claiming Crown,” said Dan Metzger, president of TOBA. “With all of the challenges we’re facing as a sport and country this year, it’s very gratifying to be able to host the 22nd running of our event.”

Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National HBPA, added: “The National HBPA Board of Directors with President Leroy Gessmann and our Regional Vice Presidents are extremely pleased to once again announce the 2020 Claiming Crown, along with our partners TOBA, the Florida HBPA, and Gulfstream Park. We continue to see this event grow in popularity with owners, trainers, and horseplayers, all of whom are without question the backbone of our industry. The Claiming Crown has always recognized the excellence of Thoroughbred racing’s stalwarts. Even amid today’s trying circumstances, it’s a priority for us to provide this day showcasing the blue-collar horses and their owners and trainers who make racing programs across America possible. While we understand this year is a year like no other, we all feel it is important to also see this amazing day of races take place as it has been for over 20 years, and we hope by doing so to bring a sense of stability for horsemen.”

The $150,000 Jewel will headline the Claiming Crown program. The 1 1/8-mile route will be contested by 3-year-olds and up that have raced for a claiming price of $35,000 or less.

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