"Philly Park is dying to have it," Walmsley said.The Claiming Crown must be held at Canterbury for the first three years (1999-2001), and six of the first 10 years.
Scott Savin, recently named general manager at Gulfstream Park, will remain executive director of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association through the end of this year. Meanwhile, the HBPA is expected to speed up its timetable to relocate its national office from South Florida to Kentucky.National HBPA president Rick Hiles, a Kentucky-based trainer, will have a string of horses at Gulfstream this winter, and he will oversee the office until the end of that meet, said Bill Walmsley, spokesman for the National HBPA.Savin has served as a part-time executive director for the organization. He makes his home in Florida."By the end of 2001, I expect we'll have a full-time executive director, and be located in Lexington," Walmsley said.At its August convention in Minnesota, the HBPA announced plans to move its national office to Kentucky, though it planned to maintain the office in Florida through the end of 2001. Walmsley said more would be known after the organization's January convention in San Antonio, Texas.In other HBPA news, Walmsley said Claiming Crown Ltd. officials will meet during the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing in early December to devise a plan of action for 2001. The event will remain at Canterbury Park next year, but more regional teams are expected to participate. This year, Philadelphia Park held its own Claiming Crown preview day, and horses based at that track ended up winning three Crown races at Canterbury.A tiered pricing system for the Claiming Crown simulcast feed is under consideration, Walmsley said. This year, tracks in the Mid-Atlantic Cooperative wouldn't take the signal, presumably because of its 4% fee. Last-ditch efforts to get the signal into Philadelphia Park and other tracks failed.Walmsley said a rule is in place whereby a racetrack can't host the Claiming Crown if it didn't take the simulcast the previous year. The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, which represents horsemen at Philadelphia Park, has expressed a strong interest in hosting the event in 2002.