There are 276 trainers eligible to nominate horses to the Dec. 1 Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park, officials said Sept. 13.
For the first time in the 14-year history of the Claiming Crown, trainers this year were asked to pay a $100 fee to be eligible to nominate any horse in their barn to the Claiming Crown, which will offer seven races with purses ranging from $100,000 to $200,000. The event, with features races with starter allowance conditions, is scheduled for opening day of the 2012-13 meet at the Florida racetrack.
"We're extremely pleased with the interest and support shown by trainers throughout North America," Gulfstream racing secretary Dan Bork said. "We look forward to Nov. 9 when regular nominations are due. We've received tremendous feedback from horsemen who are excited about the Claiming Crown coming to Gulfstream Park."
Some of the trainers who paid the nomination fee are Todd Pletcher, Steve Asmussen, Mike Maker, Mike Mitchell, Roger Attfield, Wesley Ward, Dale Romans, Kiaran McLaughlin, Scott Lake, Rudy Rodriguez, David Jacobson, Chad Brown, Jamie Ness, Larry Rivelli, Marty Wolfson, Wayne Catalano, Allen Jerkens, Anthony Dutrow, John Sadler, Nick Zito, Bill Kaplan, and Mark Casse.
"I am extremely pleased with the significant number of trainer nominations as well as the spectrum of trainers who submitted their nomination," said Phil Hanrahan, chief executive officer of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. "The National HBPA appreciates the support of these trainers and their owners as well as the support of the Florida HBPA and Gulfstream Park."
The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National HBPA and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The event was launched in 1999 at Canterbury Park in Minnesota.