The 2019 Claiming Championship at Aqueduct
By Matt Shifman
The Claiming Championship makes its fifth appearance at Aqueduct and is open to horses which have started for a claiming price in 2018 or 2019. The races are run at distances from six furlongs to 1 3/8 miles. The 10-race race series carries total purse money of $620,000 with races named after some of the most popular claiming horses to run at the Big A.
“It’s exciting and I think a lot of people, including myself, have purchased and/or claimed horses with the idea that this is something to look forward to,” trainer Linda Rice said.
“The Claiming Championship is a phenomenal for owners and trainers,” added trainer Jeremiah Englehart. “It gives people the ability to run their horses in starter stakes without the worry of concern of being claimed which is more likely to happen as they move up. I’m a supporter of it and I think NYRA has done a good job in improving it yearly.”
The starter allowance condition in each race is determined by a minimum claiming price that each horse must have run for in the past two years. Those claiming tags range from $16,000 to $50,000. On a regular basis, the Big A offers starter allowances with $16,000, $25,000, and $50,000 requirements.
Each race is named for one of the most popular claimers to have run at Aqueduct. The featured 10th race, which drew a field of 12, is named for Caixa Eletronica, who raced from 2007 to 2013 and compiled a record of 69: 23-9-11 with earnings of $1,863,505.
Race 6 honors a favorite of mine in Kelly Kip, a multi-graded stakes winning sprinter, who ran in a maiden claiming race in his first career start. He was trained by the Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens from 1996 to 2000 and earned $1,147,142 with a record of 31: 15-3-4.
The New York Hot List picks for Saturday cover races 7-10 which include all three of the Aqueduct races that are part of this Saturday’s New York-Oaklawn Park Cross Country Pick 5.
Leg 1 – Aqueduct, Race 8: $60,000 More To Tell (5:21 p.m. ET)
Leg 2 – Aqueduct, Race 9: $75,000 Stud Muffin (5:50 p.m. ET)
Leg 3 – Oaklawn, Race 8 (6:00 p.m. ET)
Leg 4 – Aqueduct, Race 10 Caixa Eletronica (6:20 p.m. ET)
Leg 5 – Oaklawn, Race 9: $150,000 Purple Martin (6:36 p.m. ET)