Won Awesome Dude Stars in Claiming Crown

Kuehne Racing’s Won Awesome Dude, shipping in from Delaware Park for trainer Dalton Nedrick, came four-wide into the stretch and collared R Clear Victory inside the sixteenth-pole to win by a length in the $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel Aug. 2 at Canterbury Park, the feature event on Thoroughbred racing’s biggest day for “blue collar” horses.

The 10th annual Claiming Crown, a series of seven starter-allowance races with purses ranging from $50,000-$150,000, returned to the Shakopee, Minn., racetrack after a one-year absence. Five of the events were on dirt, including the 1 1/8-mile Jewel, while the other two were on grass.

In the Jewel, Fight On set the pace through three-quarters in 1:11.14, but was swallowed by R Clear Victory and Channing Hill as they came out of the final turn. The 5-year-old gelding had a 1 1/2-length advantage with a furlong remaining, but was challenged by Won Awesome Dude, who edged in front under Casey Lambert. The final time was 1:49.97.

A 5-year-old Canadian-bred by Awesome Again , Won Awesome Dude earned his fourth win in 11 lifetime starts while going off as the second betting choice and paying $7.60 to win. Bred by Adena Springs, he is out of the Maria's Mon mare Lil Punkindo.

R Clear Victory finished a length and half in front of third-place Coyoteshighestcall. The exacta (6-4) was worth $20.80.

Prior to the Jewel, even-money favorite Self Made Man won the $100,000 Emerald by a neck over Shipwatch on the turf. Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, two of the best claimers in the business, Self Made Man won for the ninth time in 21 starts, this time under Miguel Mena in the 1 1/16-mile contest. The 4-year-old Catenius gelding is trained by Michael Maker.

In other Claiming Crown events, Boys Haven Equine’s Antrim County ($5.40) rolled to a 3 1/2-length victory in the $50,000 Iron Horse; Chippewa Court ($5.40) held off Morghyn by a neck to win the $75,000 Glass Slipper under Eddie Razo Jr. for owner/trainer Merrill Scherer; Bo Hunter and Kevin Kordsmeier’s Extra Exclusive ($7.80) scored in the $50,000 Express under Corey Lanerie; Stanley Seelig’s Cat Hop ($34) outdueled Couple Whiles to give Scherer and Razo another victory in the $100,000 Tiara; and S E J Stables’ Eagle Storm ($9.60) went gate-to-wire under Jesse Garcia in the $75,000 Rapid Transit.