•Claiming Crown Attracts 309 Nominations, 11/20•
The Dec. 5 Claiming Crown, with total purses of $1.1 million for nine races, has attracted 309 nominations and will highlight the opening day of Gulfstream Park's Championship Meet. It will mark the fourth consecutive year the Claiming Crown will be held at the South Florida racetrack.
"We're extremely pleased with the nominations and appreciate the participation from horsemen throughout the country," said P.J. Campo, vice president of racing for The Stronach Group and general manager at Gulfstream.
Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who have won a record 14 Claiming Crown races, are represented by 12 nominees for this year's event, while trainer Mike Maker, the all-time leader with 14 victories, nominated 21 horses, including eight owned by the Ramseys.
California-based trainer Jerry Hollendorfer nominated eight horses, while Todd Pletcher, the 12-time defending training champ for the Championship Meet, is represented by four nominations. Both trainers nominated two horses for the $200,000 Jewel, the centerpiece of the event created in 1999 to honor the blue-collar horses that are the foundation of the racing industry nationwide.
The Jewel, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up that have raced for a claiming price of $35,000 or less, attracted 32 nominations, including the Pletcher-trained African Fighter and Village Warrior, Hollendorfer-trained Perfect Set and Prime Issue, and the Maker-trained Flashlight, Lieutenant Seany O, and Private Tale.