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Claiming Crown winner Gran Estreno qualifies for Breeders’ Cup Classic

Gran Estreno, winner of the 2009 Claiming Crown Emerald, won the Grade 3 $200,000 Washington Park Handicap today at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill. The Washington Park Handicap is part of the Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ Challenge series. Gran Estreno now automatically qualifies for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 7 and should he start, would become the first Claiming Crown winner to participate in a Breeders’ Cup race.

The 6-year old Argentina bred Gran Estreno was ridden by E. T. Baird and is trained by Michael Stidham for owner Feel The Thunder Stable. He returned $12.20 to win.