Royal Posse, who wuns in the Claiming Crown Jewel, won the Evan Shipman Stakes on Sept. 4.

Royal Posse, who wuns in the Claiming Crown Jewel, won the Evan Shipman Stakes on Sept. 4.

Coglianese Photos

Spotlight on Claimers Saturday at Gulfstream

Nine-race event for horses who have started in claiming races attracts 121 entries.

The $1.1 million Claiming Crown, which gives claiming horses their shot in nine stakes restricted to horses who have started for a tag in 2014 or 2015, will return to Gulfstream Park for a fourth straight year when it begins the Championship Meet Dec. 5.

The event, founded by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to reward blue-collar horses, has attracted full fields with 121 total entries from throughout the East Coast and Midwest.

The $200,000 Jewel, highlight of the event, drew 14 entries. New York-based trainer Rudy Rodriguez entered a pair of horses in the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and older that have raced for a claiming price of $35,000 or lower. Rodriguez will be represented in the Jewel by Royal Posse, a $20,000 claim who has become a stakes winner, and Mr Palmer, a stakes winner who has improved in two starts since being claimed for $20,000.

Royal Posse, owned by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables, and Gary Asquith, has proven to be an especially wise claim while winning two of four starts, including the Evan Shipman Stakes for New York-bred horses Sept. 4 at Saratoga Race Course

"He ended up being a bargain because he ended up doing more than we asked him," Rodriguez said. "We were just looking to win some races at Saratoga, even for $20,000 or $25,000, but he was training so good in the morning we decided to give him a chance in non-winners-of-2. He raced good in his first two races and then he won the stake. He ran a big, big race in his last race, so he's been a good claim."

The 4-year-old Posse gelding was claimed May 31 at Belmont Park, meeting with Rodriguez's approval upon returning to his new barn.

"We were very happy. He's a good-looking horse and sound. You have to be happy when the horse comes back the next day, walking sound and happy," Rodgirguez said. "He has no physical issues. He's got good size. I think we got lucky."

Defending Eclipse Award-winning jockey Javier Castellano, who has captured four straight Championship Meet titles, has the return mount on Royal Posse, as well as horses in each of the other eight Claiming Crown races.

Carl Lizza Racing Stables' Mr. Palmer had earned his stakes credentials in March 2013, when he captured the Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park before finishing a troubled fourth behind Verrazano , Normandy Invasion , and Rodriguez-trained Vyjack in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack. The 5-year-old son of Pulpit bounced around a few stables through the claiming box before being claimed by his current connections out of a third-place finish at Sept. 7 at Saratoga.

Mr. Palmer came right back to win his first start for his new connections by five lengths at Belmont a month later. The Kentucky-bred gelding missed out on a fees-paid trip to the Claiming Crown when he came up short in a second-place finish in a Claiming Crown 'Win and You're In' race Nov. 1 at Laurel.

"The last couple races, he's been improving. We expect him to run another good race, but he has to step up big time, because the race is coming up way tough," Rodriguez said. 

Midwest Thoroughbred's Indycott, who edged Mr. Palmer at Laurel, is one of seven winners of the "Win & You're In" races to be entered for Saturday's Claiming Crown. The Danny Gargan-trained gelding was claimed for $50,000 out of an Aug. 10 victory at Saratoga before finishing third in the Temperence Hill Invitational Sept. 12 at Belmont and winning his way into the Jewel with his victory at Laurel. The son of A.P. Indy had raced for a claiming price of $15,000 in 2014.

Trainer Michael Maker, who has saddled a record 14 Claiming Crown race winners, will be represented in the Jewel by Lieutenant Seany O. The 4-year-old son of Bluegrass Cat  was claimed at Saratoga for $32,000 for Three Diamond's Farm, captured a Belmont allowance before finishing a neck and a nose behind Indycott and Mr. Palmer, respectively, at Laurel Nov. 1.

Sumaya U.S. Stable's African Fighter, who ran once in a claiming race for a $25,000 tag, will seek his third-straight victory for trainer Todd Pletcher, who has won an unprecedented 12 straight Championship Meet titles.

Carl Moore's Freestyler was claimed out of his most recent start specifically with the Jewel in trainer Joe Sharp's mind. The 5-year-old gelding was claimed for $62,500 out of a third-place finish in an optional-claiming allowance Oct. 31 at Belmont. The son of Street Cry, who had raced for a $32,000 claiming tag at Tampa Bay Downs last January, has won 10 of 25 starts and nearly $300,000 in purses.

In other races, three horses will be trying to defend their 2014 victories. Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who have won a record 14 Claiming Crown races, will be represented by five entrants in five races including St. Borealis, who captured the $125,000 Tiara last year by 1 3/4 lengths. The 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares that started for a claiming price of $25,000 or lower attracted 12 entries.

Stanley Gold-trained Grande Shores, who captured the $110,000 Rapid Transit by three-quarters of a length last year, is among 11 entered for the seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and older who started for a claiming price of $16,000 or lower. The Rapid Transit also attracted Ramon Preciado-trained Trouble Kid, who was disqualified from a victory in the $350,000 De Francis Dash at Laurel Nov. 14.

Jorge Navarro-trained Loverbil, who notched a victory by a neck last year in the $110,000 Express, is among 15 entries (including an also-eligible) for the six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up that started for a claiming tag of $7,500 or lower.

The $125,000 Emerald, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up that have run for a claiming price no higher than $25,000, attracted a field of 14 and two also-eligibles. The $110,000 Canterbury, a five-furlong turf dash for 3-year-olds and up that have run for a $25,000 claiming tag or lower, also drew a field of 14 and two also-eligibles. A 13-horse field will contest the $110,000 Glass Slipper, a mile race for fillies and mares who started for a $12,500 claiming price or lower. The newly instituted $110,000 Distaff Dash, a five-furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares, drew a 13-horse field and a main-track-only entry. The $110,000 Iron Horse, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up that started for a claiming price of $7,500 or lower, drew 10 entries.

First-race post time for Saturday's 11-race opening day program, which drew 147 entries overall, is set for 12:05 p.m.

Entries: Claiming Crown Tiara S.

Gulfstream Park, Saturday, December 05, 2015, Race 3

  • SST
  • 1 1/16m
  • Turf
  • $125,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 1:05 PM (local)
11Big N Toasty (FL)Edgar S. Prado120Jason Servis10/1
22Afleet Mary (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateEdgard J. Zayas119Antonio Sano20/1
33L. A. Style (KY)Tyler Gaffalione115Ralph E. Nicks15/1
44Jester and Me (KY)Jose Lezcano122Michael J. Maker4/1
55Two Wonders (FL)Erick D. Rodriguez120Michael J. Trombetta20/1
66St. Borealis (KY)Joel Rosario120Michael J. Maker8/1
77Be Playful (IL)John R. Velazquez122Chris M. Block8/1
88Wild Swava (IN)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano122Charles L. Dickey6/1
99Rock Me Mama (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose L. Ortiz118Michael J. Maker20/1
1010Quiet Kitten (KY)Matthew Rispoli119Marcus J. Vitali5/1
1111Seneca Destiny (TX)Luis Saez122Brad H. Cox12/1
1212Seeking Treasure (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCorey J. Lanerie122Doug Matthews6/1

Entries: Claiming Crown Iron Horse S.

Gulfstream Park, Saturday, December 05, 2015, Race 4

  • SST
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $110,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 1:35 PM (local)
11Twocubanbrothersu (KY)Daniel Centeno118John Rigattieri9/5
22Runs With Bulls (FL)Javier Castellano124Peter R. Walder6/1
33Valid Concept (FL)Keeneland Sales GraduateEddie Castro124Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.10/1
44Toh's Grey Cat (FL)Edgar S. Prado120Peter R. Walder10/1
55Chillin Dylan (FL)Juan C. Leyva118Luis Olivares20/1
66Saturday Special (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateEdgard J. Zayas122Jorge Navarro5/2
77Palatine Hill (KY)Carlos Olivero122David Rakoff20/1
88Nominative (KY)Jose L. Ortiz121Michael J. Maker10/1
99El Gran Joyful (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMarcos Meneses118Bernardo G. Lopez20/1
1010Roll On the Navajo (FL)Miguel Angel Vasquez115David Rakoff20/1

Entries: Claiming Crown Distaff Dash S.

Gulfstream Park, Saturday, December 05, 2015, Race 5

  • SST
  • 5f
  • Turf
  • $110,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 2:05 PM (local)
11Bear's Pearl (ON)Luis Saez122Michael P. De Paulo10/1
22Awesomendensome (FL)Carlos Olivero118Hendrick Chen30/1
33Spectacular Me (KY)Jose L. Ortiz124Steve Klesaris5/1
44Rumble Doll (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoel Rosario122Robert N. Falcone, Jr.8/1
55Belladini (FL)Juan C. Leyva118William A. Kaplan30/1
66Silver Sashay (FL)Edgard J. Zayas122Alfred G. McIntosh4/1
77Forest Funds (FL)Jose Lezcano122Ramon Preciado10/1
88Estrada's Girl (PA)Erick D. Rodriguez122Michael J. Trombetta20/1
99Katie O. (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano120Michael J. Maker6/1
1010Aquinnah (FL)Paco Lopez122Jane Cibelli6/1
1111Sunrise Kitty (FL)Edgar S. Prado120Jason Servis12/1
1212Claiming Victory (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMatthew Rispoli118Marcus J. Vitali10/1
1313Maggiesfreuddnslip (NY)John R. Velazquez122Roy S. Lerman20/1
1414Winning for Sarah (FL)Edgard J. Zayas124Jena M. Antonucci10/1

Entries: Claiming Crown Rapid Transit S.

Gulfstream Park, Saturday, December 05, 2015, Race 6

  • SST
  • 7f
  • Dirt
  • $110,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 2:35 PM (local)
11One More Night (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMatthew Rispoli124Marcus J. Vitali20/1
22Classic Salsa (FL)Luis Saez124Danny Gargan15/1
33Rockinn On Bye (MD)Taylor M. Hole120Joseph C. Catanese, III20/1
44Old Times Sake (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduatePaco Lopez118Manuel Morales15/1
55Newfound Gold (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose L. Ortiz120Michael J. Maker12/1
66Gryvon (FL)Eddie Castro124Jorge Navarro15/1
77Stallwalkin' Dude (FL)Javier Castellano124David Jacobson7/2
88Ledokol (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduatePedro L. Cotto, Jr.124Marcial Navarro8/1
99Trouble Kid (KY)Jose Lezcano122Ramon Preciado9/5
1010Tricky Call (FL)Jose C. Caraballo118Luis Olivares30/1
1111Grande Shores (FL)Edgard J. Zayas120Stanley I. Gold9/2

Entries: Claiming Crown Glass Slipper S.

Gulfstream Park, Saturday, December 05, 2015, Race 7

  • SST
  • 1m
  • Dirt
  • $110,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 3:05 PM (local)
11Mimi's Dream (KY)Eduardo O. Nunez118Marcelo Cuito30/1
22Primo Via (PA)Eriluis Vaz120Philip T. Aristone5/1
33Courtney Ryan (FL)Luis Saez118Tamara L. Levy15/1
44B L's Wagon (FL)Edgar S. Prado118Larry Pilotti7/2
55My House (KY)Daniel Centeno118Sandino R. Hernandez, Jr.15/1
66Aix En Provence (VA)Paco Lopez124Joseph F. Orseno3/1
77Moonshine Promise (KY)Javier Castellano120Peter R. Walder6/1
88Roll It Gal (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMiguel Angel Vasquez118Bernardo Campos30/1
99Miss Darla (FL)Emisael Jaramillo122Jose Garoffalo12/1
1010Elusive Harmony (FL)Orlando Bocachica120Rasharn Creque20/1
1111Dakota Eyes (FL)Matthew Rispoli118Tamara L. Levy20/1
1212Sixspeedoverdrive (FL)Manuel Aguilar118Manuel H. Carrasco50/1
1313Concealedwithakiss (KY)Diego Fernando Gomez118Luis Duco12/1

Entries: Claiming Crown Canterbury S.

Gulfstream Park, Saturday, December 05, 2015, Race 8

  • SST
  • 5f
  • Turf
  • $110,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 3:35 PM (local)
11Billy Two Hats (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJesus Lopez Castanon120Jack Frost20/1
22El Botas (FL)Eddie Dominguez120Aubrey A. Maragh6/1
33Hashtag Giddy Up (FL)Janelle Campbell118David H. Hinsley20/1
44All About Yasom (FL)Paco Lopez120Joseph F. Orseno20/1
55High Bar (FL)Edwin Gonzalez118Diane D. Morici15/1
66All Star Red (KY)John R. Velazquez120Michelle Nihei20/1
77Do the Roar (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCarlos Olivero120Antonio Cioffi4/1
88Shadow Rock (KY)Edgar S. Prado118Charles L. Dickey15/1
99Delta Bluesman (FL)Orlando Bocachica124Jorge Navarro5/1
1010Bottle Rocket (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateBrian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.120Kiaran P. McLaughlin8/1
1111McIlroy (KY)Joel Rosario118Rudy R. Rodriguez15/1
1212Successful Native (KY)Juan C. Leyva122Aubrey A. Maragh6/1
1313Noble Prince (FL)Edgard J. Zayas120Alfred G. McIntosh12/1
1414Officer Griffin (KY)Corey J. Lanerie122Joe Sharp8/1
1515Dreaming of Neno (FL)Edgard J. Zayas120Michael P. Petro8/1
1616Thomas Hill (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateLuis Saez118Gary C. Contessa10/1

Entries: Claiming Crown Express S.

Gulfstream Park, Saturday, December 05, 2015, Race 9

  • SST
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $110,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 4:05 PM (local)
11Alfredo Romana (FL)Armando Ayuso124David Nunn4/1
22Blings Express (FL)Jose L. Ortiz122Yvon Belsoeur15/1
33Helper Rye (ARG)Juan C. Leyva118Oscar M. Gonzalez30/1
44Slan Abhaile (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano120Michael J. Maker5/1
55Union Label (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduatePaco Lopez118Victor Barboza, Jr.15/1
66Artefacto (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateEddie Castro120Marcial Navarro20/1
77At Large (FL)John R. Velazquez120Michelle Nihei12/1
88Bellamy Storm (FL)Rafael Manuel Hernandez118William Tharrenos30/1
99Ore Pass (CA)Keeneland Sales GraduateErick D. Rodriguez120Michael J. Trombetta20/1
1010Disarm (TX)Maria Remedio122Robert Mosco15/1
1111Handsup Moneydown (KY)Corey J. Lanerie120Brendan P. Walsh20/1
1212Loverbil (NJ)Jose Lezcano124Jorge Navarro7/2
1313Big Legacy (ON)Luis Saez122Dale Bennett6/1
1414Doddsprivatelabel (TX)Jorge A. Vargas, Jr.124Marcos Zulueta12/1
1515Chepstow (ON)Edgard J. Zayas120Alfred G. McIntosh15/1

Entries: Claiming Crown Emerald S.

Gulfstream Park, Saturday, December 05, 2015, Race 10

  • SST
  • 1 1/16m
  • Turf
  • $125,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 4:35 PM (local)
11Roman Approval (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose L. Ortiz122Michael J. Maker5/1
22Ghost Hunter (KY)Luis Saez124Jamie Ness8/1
33Uncle Dave (PA)Keeneland Sales GraduateJorge A. Vargas, Jr.122Marcos Zulueta4/1
44Yankee Dealer (IL)Paco Lopez124Peter R. Walder10/1
55Escondido (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateOrlando Bocachica116Marcos Fernandez30/1
66Flashy Chelsey (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateDaniel Centeno120Robert R. O'Connor, II15/1
77Scrumpdilicious (KY)Luca Panici120Marcus J. Vitali20/1
88Depeche Chat (FL)Eddie Castro122Jorge Navarro12/1
99Dreams Cut Short (KY)Matthew Rispoli120Marcus J. Vitali10/1
1010Key to Power (KY)Corey J. Lanerie122Brendan P. Walsh12/1
1111Golden Rifle (KY)Tyler Gaffalione124Martin D. Wolfson6/1
1212Purely Boy (KY)Javier Castellano120Michael J. Maker10/1
1313Laythatpistoldown (IL)Edgard J. Zayas120Jorge Navarro8/1
1414Bern' James Bern (PA)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose Lezcano124Timothy E. Hamm20/1
1515Steve (FL)Irad Ortiz, Jr.118Philip M. Serpe20/1
1616M C Squared (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateBrian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.120Joe Sharp15/1

Entries: Claiming Crown Jewel S.

Gulfstream Park, Saturday, December 05, 2015, Race 11

  • SST
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 5:05 PM (local)
11Lieutenant Seany O (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose L. Ortiz120Michael J. Maker10/1
22U. S. S. Boxer (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFeargal Lynch116Desmond Farrell30/1
33African Fighter (KY)Eddie Castro120Todd A. Pletcher10/1
44Padilla (FL)Edgar S. Prado118Aubrey A. Maragh20/1
55Rizwan (FL)Jose C. Caraballo120Philip A. Gleaves20/1
66Aces for John (FL)Julien R. Leparoux120Allen Maragh30/1
77Market Blaster (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduatePaco Lopez122Edward J. Coletti, Jr.12/1
88Rich Daddy (KY)Emisael Jaramillo122Jose Garoffalo6/1
99Indycott (KY)Corey J. Lanerie122Danny Gargan8/1
1010Freestyler (KY)Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.124Joe Sharp5/1
1111Royal Posse (NY)Javier Castellano122Rudy R. Rodriguez4/1
1212Mr Palmer (KY)Joel Rosario118Rudy R. Rodriguez10/1
1313Second City (KY)Jose Lezcano120Doodnauth Shivmangal20/1
1414Mal Guapo (KY)Luis Saez120Brad H. Cox6/1