Claiming Crown Jewel 2022: Odds, stakes schedule, more

Claiming Crown Jewel 2022: Odds, stakes schedule, more
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

One week after racing’s biggest stars contested the Breeders’ Cup, the sport’s hard knockers are featured Saturday under the Twin Spires.

Intrepid Heart is the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the 2022 running of the $175,000 Claiming Crown Jewel. Post time from Churchill Downs is 5:35 p.m. EST, with the race shown on FS2.

Click here for Churchill Downs entries and results.

The Claiming Crown features eight races with starter allowance conditions totaling more than $1 million in purse money. Churchill Downs hosts the event for the first time.

The Jewel is the richest of the day’s events, featuring runners going 1 1/8 miles over the main track. All 10 entrants have started for a claiming price of $35,000 or less since the start of 2021.

Favorite Intrepid Heart is a 6-year-old Tapit gelding making the 28th start of his career Saturday. He has eight career wins and enters off a runner-up effort Sept. 28 at Churchill Downs in an allowance race.

After starting his career 2-for-2 in 2019, Intrepid Heart finished third in Belmont Park’s Peter Pan Stakes (G3). That preceded a Belmont Stakes bid in which he finished eighth for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Intrepid Heart did not return to the graded-stakes level after the Belmont, and Robertino Diodoro claimed him off Pletcher in October 2020 at Keeneland. He passed through a series of barns since then and now runs for Joe Sharp, who has tabbed jockey Tyler Gaffalione to ride the morning-line favorite.

Benevengo (7-2) also has a Grade 1 race under his belt, his being a fifth-place effort in July at Monmouth Park after setting the early pace in the Haskell Stakes. Trained by Jesus Cruz, he won the Polynesian Stakes on Sept. 24 at Pimlico.

Ournationonparade (9-2) won the Maryland Million Classic Stakes on Oct. 22 at Laurel Park for trainer Jamie Ness. Saffie Joseph Jr. trains Twelve Volt Man (8-1), the winner of this event last December at Gulfstream Park. Decision Maker (8-1) looks to bounce back for trainer Thomas Van Berg off a 10th-place run Oct. 23 in a Keeneland allowance race.

Here is a look at the field for the 2022 Claiming Crown Jewel (trainer and jockey in parentheses) with morning-line odds:

1. Benevengo (Jesus Cruz, Luis Saez), 7-2

2. Frosted Grace (Robertino Diodoro, Chris Landeros), 20-1

3. Calibrator (Saffie Joseph Jr., Edgard Zayas), 15-1

4. Keystone Field (Mike Maker, Gerardo Corrales), 10-1

5. Intrepid Heart (Joe Sharp, Tyler Gaffalione), 5-2

6. Digital (Rick Hiles, Corey Lanerie), 15-1

7. Tiz Rye Time (Thomas Van Berg, Rafael Bejarano), 10-1

8. Decision Maker (Thomas Van Berg, Florent Geroux), 8-1

9. Twelve Volt Man (Saffie Joseph Jr., Edwin Gonzalez), 8-1

10. Ournationonparade (Jamie Ness, Paco Lopez), 9-2

TimeformUS’ pace projections show Calibrator going to the lead under jockey Edgard Zayas and setting a fast pace, followed by Benevengo. Favorite Intrepid Heart is expected to mount a rally from near the back.

Other Saturday stakes

Here is a look at other stakes races of note Saturday at Churchill Downs and beyond. All post times are EST.

3:18 p.m. – $100,000 James F. Lewis Stakes, 2-year-olds, six furlongs, Laurel Park, FanDuel TV

Recruiter (6-5) looks like one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s top juveniles, following his winning Monmouth Park debut in August by winning a Laurel Park allowance race Oct. 2. Cathal Lynch trains and jockey Angel Cruz rides the 2-year-old Army Mule colt. Brittany Russell trains Heldish (5-2), runner-up Oct. 22 in the local Maryland Million Nursery Stakes. Riccio (7-2), a Colonial Downs allowance victor, was third Oct. 15 at Delaware Park in the Rocky Run Stakes.

4:25 p.m. – $150,000 (about U.S. $115,000) Maple Leaf Stakes (G3), 3-and-up fillies and mares, 1 1/4 miles (all-weather track), Woodbine, FanDuel TV

Transient (3-1) makes a stakes debut for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. off a Sept. 25 allowance win at Aqueduct. Jockey Jose Ortiz heads north of the U.S.-Canada border to ride the 4-year-old Sea The Stars filly. Christophe Clement trains Creative Cairo (7-2), an allowance winner who finished second at that level Oct. 20 at Aqueduct. Charges Dropped (4-1) also steps up off an allowance race, hers resulting in an Oct. 26 score at Presque Isle Downs.

4:33 p.m. – $100,000 Claiming Crown Ready’s Rocket Express, 3-and-up (started for claiming price of $8,000 or less lifetime), six furlongs, Churchill Downs, FS2

Beverly Park (7-2) aims for career victory No. 23, and a national-best 13th of 2022, when he wheels back off a starter allowance win Nov. 3 at Charles Town. Jockey Rafael Bejarano will be up on the 5-year-old son of Munnings for trainer Norman Cash. Randy Klopp trains Silver Moon Road (4-1), who heads south to Churchill off five straight wins at Horseshoe Indianapolis, including in a Nov. 1 starter allowance race. Powerfully Built (4-1) was a starter optional claiming winner Sept. 28 at Delaware Park for trainer Ronald Abrams.

Related: Super Screener: Ready's Rocket Express has high payoff potential | 22-time winner Beverly Park headlines Claiming Crown

4:55 p.m. – $175,000 (about U.S. $135,000) Bessarabian Stakes (G2), 3-and-up fillies and mares, seven furlongs (all-weather track), Woodbine, FanDuel TV

Artie’s Princess (5-2) won the 2020 Bessarabian while running for trainer Wesley Ward and will try to take the 2022 running for current trainer Joseph. Ortiz gets the call on the 5-year-old We Miss Artie mare, winner of the Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (G2) on Sept. 19. Lorne Richards trains Hazelbrook (3-1), who earned a second Grade 3 victory Oct. 15 when taking the local Ontario Fashion Stakes. Our Flash Drive (7-2), also a dual Grade 3 victor, was runner-up for trainer Mark Casse on Oct. 22 in the local Ontario Matron Stakes (G3).

Related: Barn Tour: Wonder Wheel leads Casse's promising juveniles | Saturday's Best Bet: Our Flash Drive powers up in Bessarabian

6:05 p.m. – $150,000 Claiming Crown Emerald, 3-and-up (started for claiming price of $25,000 or less since 2021), 1 1/16 miles (turf), Churchill Downs, Churchill Downs track feed

Onenightstandards (5-2) won a Kentucky Downs allowance race two starts back for trainer Mike Maker, then finished third going 1 1/2 miles in allowance company Oct. 9 at Keeneland. The 4-year-old Archarcharch colt shortens up Saturday under jockey Tyler Gaffalione. Joseph trains Freedom Matters (3-1), a Kentucky Downs allowance victor Sept. 14. Big Agenda (7-2) steps up off a claiming victory Oct. 23 at Aqueduct for trainer Joe Sharp.

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