Claiming Crown Set for its Philadelphia Park Debut

With 71 horses pre-entered, the Claiming Crown is taking shape for its fourth edition, set for Aug. 31 at Philadelphia Park. Purses for the six events will total $550,000.

The Claiming Crown, held the previous three years at Canterbury Park in Minnesota, was intitiated by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association in 1999. The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, Canterbury management, and the Minnesota HBPA signed on to support the event financially and otherwise.

Pre-entries were submitted Aug. 16. The series races, run under starter allowance conditions, are:

- The $150,000 Jewel, for 3-year-olds and up, at 1 1/8 miles ($25,000 claiming)

- The $125,000 Emerald, for 3-year-olds and up, at 1 1/16 miles on the turf ($20,000 claiming)

- The $100,000 Rapid Transit, for 3-year-olds and up, at 6 1/2 furlongs ($16,000 claiming)

- The Glass Slipper, for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, at 6 1/2 furlongs ($12,500 claiming)

- The Express, for 3-year-olds and up, at six furlongs ($7,500 claiming)

- The Iron Horse, for 3-year-olds and up, at 1 1/16 miles ($5,000 claiming)

The Jewel lured 14 pre-entries, including Elliot Krems' True Passion, winner of the grade III Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup Handicap July 6. Also pre-entered in the Jewel is Michelle Rodriguez and Greg Sterck's One Brick Shy, who won the inaugural Jewel in 1999.

The Emerald on the grass also drew 14 pre-entries. Among them are Joyce Kenny's Splendeed, winner of the Ben Cohen Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

The Rapid Transit attracted 13 pre-entries, the Glass Slipper 10, the Express 10, and the Iron Horse 10.

The Claiming Crown is part of a big weekend at Philadelphia Park. On Sept. 2, the $500,000 Pennsylvania Derby, a grade III event, will be held.