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Thursday, October 13, 2011

2011 Claiming Crown Nomination Deadline is Friday, October 21; Two NHC Berths Up for Grabs in TwinSpires.com Handicapping Contest

Lexington, KY - Thursday October 13, 2011 – Next Friday, October 21 is the nomination deadline for 2011 running of the $500,000, six-race Claiming Crown, which is scheduled for Saturday, December 3 at Fair Ground Race Course & Slots.

Friday, October 21 is also the deadline by which any horses made eligible to the 2011 Claiming Crown via open nomination must be named by the owner or his authorized agent. Open nominations for which no horse has been identified by 12:00 midnight EDT on Friday, October 21, 2011 are invalid.

Supplemental nominations (five percent of the race’s purse) will be accepted through Friday, November 18, 2011.

The nomination schedule and forms for the 2011 running of the $500,000 Claiming Crown are available on the Claiming Crown website at www.claimingcrown.com.

TwinSpires.com will be holding an online handicapping tournament in conjunction with the Claiming Crown on December 3, and among the prizes are berths to the $2 million (estimated) Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) for the top two tournament finishers.

Entry fee is $200 on the day of the tournament. Players can also qualify in $25 “satellite” tournaments on any of the three days prior, November 30-December 2. The satellite tournaments give players an opportunity to qualify at a fraction of the regular cost. For every eight entrants, one entry to the Saturday contest will be awarded.

The Claiming Crown tournament will require players to submit $2 win and place wagers on designated contest races, all from the Fair Grounds’ Claiming Crown card. Winnings per race are capped at $52 to win and $26 to place. Order of finish is determined by highest total winnings.

Claiming Crown tournament players must be TwinSpires.com account holders in a state where wagering is available.

The top two finishers in the TwinSpires.com Claiming Crown tournament will earn berths to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (including travel and lodging), which will be held in Las Vegas in January of 2012. Third through fifth place finishers will earn berths to the Horse Player World Series. All of the top five finishers receive $300 to go toward travel expenses.

Complete rules will be available at TwinSpires.com soon.

The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Patterned after the Breeders’ Cup, the Claiming Crown was designed to reward Thoroughbred racing’s “blue-collar” horses and offer races at varying distances on both dirt and turf. This will mark the first time Fair Grounds has hosted the event, which debuted at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota in 1999. Canterbury has hosted 10 of the first 12 renewals of the event. The Claiming Crown was held at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 2002 and at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky in 2007. For more information about Claiming Crown please visit www.claimingcrown.com.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 10 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 84-day 140th Thoroughbred racing season, running November 24, 2011 to April 1, 2012, is highlighted by the 99th renewal of the Grade II, $1 million Louisiana Derby on closing day. Information about Fair Grounds can be found online at www.FairGroundsRaceCourse.com.

TOBA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA's mission is to "improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders." Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.

The National HBPA (www.nationalhbpa.com), based in Lexington, Kentucky, is the largest racing horsemen’s representative association in North America, with 30 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen. Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies, Equineline.com, and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA.

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