PDA

View Full Version : Claims races?



Chenalie
Aug. 22, 2009, 01:32 PM
I was watching Jockeys on Animal Planet yesterday and they were racing in a claims race. What is the point of it? I mean, I know people claim horses but why?

tbracer65
Aug. 22, 2009, 01:43 PM
There's been a bunch of threads on this... But there's so many different reasons for claiming.

One being that you can see what ability the horse has by it's past performances whereas if you buy a baby you don't know if you're buying a dud or something with talent not to mention all the "dirty work" is done (takes a LOT of time & money to get a horse to it's first start). Also a lot of trainers drop horses into a claim to steal (win) a race & that particular horse is more than likely worth more than the claim tag. Or like on the show -- that horse is worth a lot more than the claim it was put into, but they wanted it eligible for starters & in order to do that you have to run for a tag (depending on what starter you go into). Just a few examples...many others....

Meredith Clark
Aug. 22, 2009, 02:06 PM
Yea I caught the end of the show but I was like... if you like the horse so much and want to keep it why on earth would you put in it a claiming race :confused:

DickHertz
Aug. 22, 2009, 02:23 PM
Yea I caught the end of the show but I was like... if you like the horse so much and want to keep it why on earth would you put in it a claiming race :confused:

Because it's a business first. There are people who run claiming horses who have built farms and their livelihood by getting that one "starter" horse. There are non-claiming races called Starter Allowance races where horses can run without getting claimed and the condition of the race is they had to have run for a certain level claiming tag in the past 1-2 years. That's what the trainer was trying to do. You try running a thoroughbred business then see if you'd be willing to run a horse you love in a claiming race. When it comes down to paying your bills or feeding a horse you can't afford, you run the horse for a tag.

Blinkers On
Aug. 22, 2009, 02:23 PM
Why?? It belongs there. They aren't pets. They need to run in company that they are equal or better thsan. It's a game and it's fun.

Drvmb1ggl3
Aug. 22, 2009, 02:27 PM
The raison d'etre behind claiming races is as a self-handicapping system to keep horses of more or less the same ability running against each other some you get some kind of parity, and makes them more attractive from a betting point of view.
There are two established ways to achieve a degree of parity in races. One is assigned weights where the better horses carry more weight that the less capable horses to slow them down and nuetralise their advantage. This method places the responsibilty on the racing official to determine the abilities of the various horses and assign weights accordingly.
Another method is to have races where there is a determined value beforehand that any horse in the race can be "claimed" (purchased) for. This forces the owner/trainers to enter their charges against horses of similar perceived value. The fact that horse has a price tag on it keeps the connection 'honest' and discourages them from entering a better horse against less valuable opponents to win an easy check, i.e you are less likely to run your $25k horse in a $10k claimer and risk having him claimed for less than you think he is worth. Think of it like this, if you went to a local dressage show and entered a 1st level class and found out you were competing against a horse that was trained through PSG, you'd probably be a little bummed. If the class had a claiming price of $5k on every horse, they'd think twice about entering him.
There are also some races which combine both these methods, i.e the horses can be entered for various prices, but the higher the tag the more weight you carry, like one horse may have a $16k tag and another a $10k tag, but the $16k is assigned a certain number of extra pounds (like maybe 2lbs for ever extra $1k or some such).
Claiming does allow a person a quick way to enter into racehorse ownership, and allow you to buy a horse with an established race record, that's more of a conincidental side effect and not why claiming races were invented so to speak.

Linny
Aug. 22, 2009, 06:59 PM
It'snot about "liking" the horse, it's about where they can win money. If the horse is a solid $10k horse he won't win enough at $15k to keep going. If you drop him in for $8k, you may well lose him while grabbing the purse. (Win share is 60% at most tracks, so you need to WIN to survive.)
They are not pets, and you have to place them to win. It's not a matter of wanting to sell the horse, but it's a risk you take. Most horses entered for a tag are not claimed. Many times days go by wth no claims. Sometimes horses are dropped to "steal" a race from lesser animals and not claimed because other trainers fear that something may be wrong with the horse. Claiming is an art and a bit of a game. It's like a cross between poker and chess, played with live pieces.

Vitriolic
Aug. 22, 2009, 07:13 PM
For a person used to showing, claiming is an odd concept. Basically, to have a horse that can win in nonclaiming races, he must be the equivalent of an Open Jumper. To have one that wins in stakes, he must be like a successful Grand Prix horse. If it were all like the lower hunter or jumper classes where the guy with the fanciest horse can go win a hundred classes in a row, racing wouldn't be a business. Claiming is meant to separate the horses by value or ability. If your horse doesn't have the ability to be competitive at the higher levels you have a few choices. You can pour money into the game and get beat every time. You can go to a smaller track where the allowance races are easier. You can go in claiming races above your horse's value and get beat, but still get to own your horse and hopefully get some checks. :) It is a system to make entries fair.

Blinkers On
Aug. 22, 2009, 08:09 PM
We will try to hide horses, put equipment on that might indicate a problem. Do some "creative" bandaging, create a big looking ankle or a bow under bandages, Cover them up as much as possible. Work in the dark. Work in someone else's colors without your rider... Like someone else said we need to win races, and we will have to run horses we like for a tag. BUT we also have to earn a living, recognize limitation of ability or length of usefulness.
I once worked for a guy that would send many a first timer over with a slide bit and an extended blinker, and one bandage.
Claiming is a game, a lot like poker!

Meredith Clark
Aug. 22, 2009, 10:59 PM
You try running a thoroughbred business then see if you'd be willing to run a horse you love in a claiming race. When it comes down to paying your bills or feeding a horse you can't afford, you run the horse for a tag.

ok, because you, random guy on COTH challenged me I'm going to go start a racing business then i'll know everything and won't have to inconvenience you by posting genuine questions on this forum. :confused:

I don't care about her horse or the business she's running. In the show they edited it so the trainer seemed soooooo determined to not loose the horse. It made the average (no racing industry) person wonder why there wasn't a different sort of race the horse could run in and make money... thereby allowing the owner to pay bills and feed the horses as you stated.

Meredith Clark
Aug. 22, 2009, 11:02 PM
It'snot about "liking" the horse, it's about where they can win money. If the horse is a solid $10k horse he won't win enough at $15k to keep going. If you drop him in for $8k, you may well lose him while grabbing the purse. (Win share is 60% at most tracks, so you need to WIN to survive.)
They are not pets, and you have to place them to win. It's not a matter of wanting to sell the horse, but it's a risk you take. Most horses entered for a tag are not claimed. Many times days go by wth no claims. Sometimes horses are dropped to "steal" a race from lesser animals and not claimed because other trainers fear that something may be wrong with the horse. Claiming is an art and a bit of a game. It's like a cross between poker and chess, played with live pieces.

Thank you for the educated (non-snarky) response. I understand it's not about having a pet or "liking" the horse.. I shouldn't have used that word in my post. However, the trainer said "I don't want this horse to get claimed" so that's why I didn't originally understand why should would have put it in a claiming race and not a different race to win money.. but not risk getting claimed. :yes:

Laurierace
Aug. 22, 2009, 11:23 PM
I would say ALMOST 100% of the time if you run a horse in a race where they truly belong, they will not get claimed. More often that not they get claimed when people think the horse belongs at a higher level or thinks the trainer is an idiot and with proper care, the horse can run at a higher level. I don't think anyone ever takes a horse with the hopes of keeping it at the level it is already running at.

Linny
Aug. 23, 2009, 12:07 AM
Thank you for the educated (non-snarky) response. I understand it's not about having a pet or "liking" the horse.. I shouldn't have used that word in my post. However, the trainer said "I don't want this horse to get claimed" so that's why I didn't originally understand why should would have put it in a claiming race and not a different race to win money.. but not risk getting claimed. :yes:

Often a horse is running in claiming races that they don't "want" to lose, (because he's good and likes to win etc) but they know that in order to win purse money they MUST run him at that level. There are not alot of places to run a modestly talented horse and not be at risk of losing him.
The analogy made above about the show environment is apt. As a rider, I know the frustration of being repeatedly beaten in small local shows by someone that has alot of money and buys a high end horse from the A curcuit and drops in to beat up on me and my lesson horse.;) That is just not possible in racing because if they had "claiming hunters" someone would snag that A circuit horse for below market value if he showed up at a local show!:winkgrin:
Laurie is right. The one's that are claimed are generally of 2 types (in NY anyhow.) First are the big dropdowns. A solid old timer that's been running for $25k and drops to $15k may well be claimed, but he may well be going bad too. In NY there are also alot of claims made by what I call "one man's floor" types. These are the guys that wait for the Pletcher's/Zito's/McLaughlin's to drop a 3yo colt in for a tag. Those barns (and their owners) specialize in stakes quality colts. By August of their 3yo season, if they are not of stakes caliber, selling via the claiming route is quick and easy. These horses are usually well bred and well trained but just slower than stakes horses and they fit with mid level claiming stock. BNT's want stall space for well bred babies and well heeled owners want to cut losses. Several well known NY guys wait like vultures for the cast offs from big barns.
There are also certain horses that get "hot" and are suddenly claimed almost every time out. Many times if a trainer loses a horse and "re-claims" him, the other claiming guys all figure that he must be "live" and start hopping on him.

Meredith Clark
Aug. 23, 2009, 01:25 AM
The analogy made above about the show environment is apt. As a rider, I know the frustration of being repeatedly beaten in small local shows by someone that has alot of money and buys a high end horse from the A curcuit and drops in to beat up on me and my lesson horse.;) That is just not possible in racing because if they had "claiming hunters" someone would snag that A circuit horse for below market value if he showed up at a local show!:winkgrin:
.

aaaah! *light bulb*... starting to understand :yes:

EponaRoan
Aug. 23, 2009, 01:34 AM
Another way of putting it - do you want to run Slow Sally against Rachel Alexandra every time? :eek: Nope, you want Slow Sally to have a shot at winning or hitting the board so you would prefer to run her against Pokey Patty and Creeping Cathy. :D

Pronzini
Aug. 23, 2009, 09:58 AM
I would say ALMOST 100% of the time if you run a horse in a race where they truly belong, they will not get claimed. More often that not they get claimed when people think the horse belongs at a higher level or thinks the trainer is an idiot and with proper care, the horse can run at a higher level. I don't think anyone ever takes a horse with the hopes of keeping it at the level it is already running at.

Sometimes that's true but I know of horses that are what they are and that is acceptable. I think certain public trainers have a long list of entry level clients to claim a solid reasonably sound horse that they can have fun with if they are positioned correctly. The horses may be state bred or have certain conditions left (especially for the starter races) but no one thinks they are going through the uprights with them. There is a specific horse here I am thinking about who always runs for $4000 and he has been passed around several times this year because he is sound and a win machine. He's won for something like 4 different barns all on the bottom or near to it.

Linny
Aug. 23, 2009, 10:22 AM
Most of the time, horses get claimed by people who think they can improve the horse. Maybe they think he'd do better with blinkers or a different bit or even a different kind of ride.

pronzini, those are the kind that get hot and everyone takes them hoping to ride the gravy train. The fact that he keeps running well at the SAME level, not being moved up, indicates that trainers need to win races to earn money. Second and third and fourth earns checks but they are small.

Pronzini
Aug. 23, 2009, 11:38 AM
Hollendorfer just took the horse I am thinking of and hasn't run him back yet so this should be interesting.

QHJockee
Aug. 23, 2009, 12:22 PM
Claiming definitely has its place. How do you think purse funds are built? Not by 8 or 9 allowance and stakes races a day. But by betting on cheap claiming races. My former boss once told me he felt they should do away with claiming races. I just gave him a funny look and pointed out he didn't build his empire on 100% allowance horses - and to go back and look at his race records from 20 years ago.

DickHertz
Aug. 23, 2009, 02:14 PM
Most of the time, horses get claimed by people who think they can improve the horse. Maybe they think he'd do better with blinkers or a different bit or even a different kind of ride.



True, except at some slots fueled tracks where the bottom purses are ludicrous. I know people who will claim a horse for $6,250, wait 30 days and run the horse back for a nickel.

$8,000 expenses ($6,250 Claim + one month charges)

Be favored in a race that carries a $9,000 win pot and you're likely to get claimed back.

$9,000 + $5,000 = $14,000 or $6,000 one month ROI.

Acertainsmile
Aug. 23, 2009, 02:26 PM
Another way of putting it - do you want to run Slow Sally against Rachel Alexandra every time? :eek: Nope, you want Slow Sally to have a shot at winning or hitting the board so you would prefer to run her against Pokey Patty and Creeping Cathy. :D

And I now have names for my three unamed fillies! :lol:

tbracer65
Aug. 23, 2009, 02:45 PM
True, except at some slots fueled tracks where the bottom purses are ludicrous. I know people who will claim a horse for $6,250, wait 30 days and run the horse back for a nickel.

$8,000 expenses ($6,250 Claim + one month charges)

Be favored in a race that carries a $9,000 win pot and you're likely to get claimed back.

$9,000 + $5,000 = $14,000 or $6,000 one month ROI.


100% AGREE. This happens more than not. Especially if you claim say a wide open $7,500 horse that is just coming up with a good condition... say nw6/months... Claim him for $7,500 -- put him in the condition bottom claimer where he's most definitely the favorite & make your money quickly through the purse & claim. I know quite a few friends that make a lot of money this way & usually never have the horse more than 30 days. All part of the game.

Jessi P
Aug. 23, 2009, 03:27 PM
A few times I have claimed a horse, run it right back, won the race and lost the horse. With Mercury Star I had him 11 days, ran once and won, and got the same money for him that I paid for him. So my profit after expenses was like $5k in 11 days - pretty damn good. Same thing with a gelding named Irish Luck, claimed him, ran him right back for the same level, won and lost him 10 days after we claimed him. Thats like the Holy Grail of claiming races - the other being you claim a horse for cheap and it ends up being a really NICE horse, like Corey's Minstrel (claimed for 4k earned 200k in next 15 months) or First Spear (claimed for 5k, 6 months later winning for 30k, earned 75k in the next year.

Acertainsmile
Aug. 23, 2009, 04:20 PM
There are also the cases that if you really love the horse, you can claim him back. I ran my old guy who I promised I would retire to our farm for a tag, lost him, waited untill they dropped him in a little cheaper and took him back. Repeated the whole process about 6 months later and ended up claiming him back for free basically. He won for us again, finished second, and then I finally did retire him!

Barbara L.
Aug. 23, 2009, 04:34 PM
Off on a bit of a tangent here, but those many horses who are claimed five times a year and for the same or similar price tags because the purse money is so high--these are the horses who often try their eyeballs out, and trainers, knowing that they'll have the horse for just a start or two, will be less than conservative about veterinary treatments: ie, why worry how many times the horse has been tapped if you're not planning on keeping him or protecting him from being claimed?

Big purses are great, but not always for the claimers who have many trainers and many vets trying to get as much from his asap.

Just an aspect of the claiming game (which I actually find challenging and acknowledge that is the basis of horseracing -- I never had anything but claimers myself) which is not so good, at least for the horse. Kind of ironic--you run him where he belongs, and not over his head where he can get hurt, but the rewards are few breaks in his racing schedule, dried up joints, or joint chips that eventually cause his retirement--from any discipline!

EponaRoan
Aug. 24, 2009, 01:36 PM
And I now have names for my three unamed fillies! :lol:

:lol::lol::lol::lol: One name we came up with for a foal some years ago was "Snow Fun" - except, well, we thought it would sound like s'no fun and we thought that might be a prediction of things to come. ;)

SleepyFox
Aug. 31, 2009, 01:36 PM
True, except at some slots fueled tracks where the bottom purses are ludicrous. I know people who will claim a horse for $6,250, wait 30 days and run the horse back for a nickel.
.

That's true. At tracks with rich pots, you will find more people claiming to drop, or at the very least hold steady, than to raise.

Jessi P
Aug. 31, 2009, 03:36 PM
I have a very cheap filly in tomorrow night in a $5k, nw3L race. She is very sweet but not terribly fast. She has to run against one mare dropping from $25k AND one just claimed last time out for $7,500 and dropping to $5k. Needless to say, she is 30-1 ML. Why do people "drop" their horses down in the claiming ranks, you might ask? With our lucrative purses if the horse wins ($6k) and gets claimed ($5k) the owner comes out of the race with $11k.

SleepyFox
Aug. 31, 2009, 04:03 PM
I have a very cheap filly in tomorrow night in a $5k, nw3L race. She is very sweet but not terribly fast. She has to run against one mare dropping from $25k AND one just claimed last time out for $7,500 and dropping to $5k. Needless to say, she is 30-1 ML. Why do people "drop" their horses down in the claiming ranks? With our lucrative purses if the horse wins ($6k) and gets claimed ($5k) the owner comes out of the race with $11k.

Good luck tomorrow, Jessi! I ran one for $4k the other night and had one dropping in from a $50k stakes (a poor performance in a very minor stakes, but still). Of course, it was a state bred race so the pot was ~$18k... And, yeah, the stakes horse won for fun, nobody dared claim him and now he's eligible for the rich $4k starters at DED.

Barbara L.
Aug. 31, 2009, 04:03 PM
Why do they "drop" them? They probably hope they can win the race (and the purse $), lose the horse AND its' overly tapped ankle and/or knee chips, or ready-to-blow suspensory.

Sounds like business as usual...

Jessi P
Aug. 31, 2009, 04:15 PM
Barbara - it was a rhetorical question that I answered in the next sentence - sorry if that wasn't clear LOL.

Hey Chris - how did your horse do?

Sometimes with those huge drops they scare everyone away from claiming the horse - folks think there "must be something wrong" when in reality they are placing the horse where it needs to be to win, WHILE getting it starter eligible.

SleepyFox
Aug. 31, 2009, 04:59 PM
Sometimes with those huge drops they scare everyone away from claiming the horse - folks think there "must be something wrong" when in reality they are placing the horse where it needs to be to win, WHILE getting it starter eligible.

Exactly. It's alll part of the claiming game.


Hey Chris - how did your horse do?

The ambulance passed him. :lol:

halo
Aug. 31, 2009, 08:20 PM
I have friends who have a little back yard operation; a couple of mares and their own stallion. They have plenty of money so they dont have to worry about actually making money with the horses. They breed, train, and race their own. They run all of their little back yard-bred horses in Maiden Special Weight, because they are so afraid someone will claim their little dears. Not understanding that in order for a horse to be claimed, it has to have shown enough that someone would actually want it.

So they run their horses, and they run last, over and over. But thats okay, because no one will claim their horses that way, because they arent in claiming races.

Someone made a good point; horses are only claimed, if someone thinks they can make money with them and improve on them. It is definitely a poker game.

I run horses in claiming races all the time...last time I ran a horse maiden special weight was back in 2006....Jessi, you know who I mean...and he did win and went on to win again. But everything since then has been in claiming races, and if I WANTED something claimed, I couldnt get it claimed.

Darn.

Jessi P
Sep. 1, 2009, 02:53 PM
Well Halo the horse you are talking about is now racing in different kinds of races now - miles and miles! ;);)

The thing that I don't understand is that if you keep running a horse over it's head, you are teaching it to run at the back of the pack. Teaching it to lose. Sometimes a good drop in class helps the horse get some confidence back and it will start trying again. But like you said - running them MSW they won't get claimed. Great if you can afford it.

Chris sorry to hear your boy didn't hit the board .. was it at least a small field? :)

Cross your fingers for my slow filly tonight. It would be nice if she could make a couple dollars before we retire her and sell her as a riding horse. It's only an 8 horse field so at least she will make jock mount (how sad is it that thought even crossed my mind).

SleepyFox
Sep. 1, 2009, 06:29 PM
Chris sorry to hear your boy didn't hit the board .. was it at least a small field? :)

Cross your fingers for my slow filly tonight. It would be nice if she could make a couple dollars before we retire her and sell her as a riding horse. It's only an 8 horse field so at least she will make jock mount (how sad is it that thought even crossed my mind).

Good luck, Jessi! I'll be rooting for you! MNR pays also-ran money?? La stopped paying anything beyond 5th last year. That $250 through 10th was a nice consolation prize.

Yeah, my boy was in a small field. By EVD standards... 12 horses. :lol: We didn't make jock mount but at least he went slow enough he was easy to cool out. :lol:

WhiteCamry
Sep. 1, 2009, 07:27 PM
Wasn't Charismatic run in a claiming race some time before the KD?

Pronzini
Sep. 1, 2009, 07:33 PM
Wasn't Charismatic run in a claiming race some time before the KD?

Yeah, he ran for $62500.