Philadelphia Park will offer a $1.8-million stakes schedule this season with 10 fewer events than last year.
The fourth running of $550,000 Claiming Crown will be held at Philadelphia Park on Aug. 31. The series will offer six races with purses between $50,000 and $150,000.
Pending resolution of final contractual matters, the Claiming Crown will make its Mid-Atlantic debut at Philadelphia Park in August or September this year, event organizers said Thursday. No date has been announced.
Richard Englander's Sing Because tracked an honest pace set by Power of Humor and Five Straight, then drew off in the stretch to win Saturday's $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes at Canterbury Park.
The nation's leading owner in wins, Richard Englander, has four horses entered for the third renewal of the Claiming Crown Saturday at Canterbury Park.
In Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships style, a charter flight carrying 18 Thoroughbreds pointing for the Aug. 4 Claiming Crown is scheduled to arrive at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Sunday afternoon.
An information campaign paid off this year for the Claiming Crown, which lured a record 244 regular nominations, up from 177 in 2000. In addition, there were 36 "open" nominations, up from 33 last year.
Claiming Crown preview days have been scheduled at four racetracks in anticipation of the main event, which is set for Aug. 4 at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. The preview days will feature races with conditions identical to those of the Claiming Crown.
Canterbury Park, the Minnesota racetrack that hit rock-bottom in the early 1990s, could have its best meet since its "second coming." Officials report heightened interest in the Shakopee track's racing program, which this year will offer $120,000 per day in purses.
Some changes have been made to this year's Claiming Crown, scheduled for Aug. 4 at Canterbury Park. There will be one less race, but the same amount of purse money, and a new eligibility requirement organizers hope will generate more nominations for the event.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association expects to move its office from south Florida to Kentucky and have a full-time executive director on board within the next year. Scott Savin, recently named general manager at Gulfstream Park, will remain part-time executive director of the organization through the end of this year.
The Mid-Atlantic racetracks haven't signed a contract to simulcast the seven Claiming Crown races on Aug. 6.
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