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Has anyone bought a 7yo claimer?

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  • Has anyone bought a 7yo claimer?

    Recently, a saw a beautiful gelding (a 7yo) in a 4000 claiming race. He seemed to be a high class horse, and had won almost $100,000, but was stepping down in class. Why? Would it be soundness or age?
    I have no experience claiming horses, but am intrigued.

  • #2
    You have to run them where they can win.
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


    • #3
      Yes, we have...depends on the horse of course. Nothing better than an "older" horse with class, even if they have slowed down a little. Usually they know how to take care of themselves, and know how to win. An older horse will come with some maintenace issues, (but in most cases they all do anyway).


      • #4
        Originally posted by dainty do View Post
        Recently, a saw a beautiful gelding (a 7yo) in a 4000 claiming race. He seemed to be a high class horse, and had won almost $100,000, but was stepping down in class. Why? Would it be soundness or age?
        Could be the horse has lost a bit of speed with age, and is just no longer competitive in the better ranks, but is still a decent, sound racehorse.

        Could be the horse really needs to be done with racing, but the owners don't really care and want to milk every last dime out of the horse.

        Could be the horse actually has some soundness problems, so they dropped in class, gave him some cortisone, and got him entered in hopes someone would claim him and it would no longer be their problem.

        Hard to tell, really, there are all kinds. I know some old nice horses that are banging around the low level claimers quite happily at 10 and 11 years old, nothing shady, just the horses seem happy and the owner/trainers collect enough every now and then to make it worthwhile. Also seen several cases now of horses who should have been rested/retired who are given anti-inflammatories and joint injections, raced until their joints are swiss cheese, dropped into the claimers where they were claimed, only for the new owner to find they had a near cripple on their hands after the race was over.
        "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

        My CANTER blog.


        • #5
          Lucky started in AOC races, got as high as Allowances (with a win), made just a skosh under $100k for various owners, and eventually dropped to the lowest-level claimers at Finger Lakes as a seven-year-old. There was nothing physically wrong with him, he just wasn't winning at the top conditions and kept dropping and getting sold or claimed. The last trainer who had him put him up for sale on the Trainer Listings because (after trying him on poly and him not liking that) he figured he was out of conditions where he could be competitive and done as a racehorse. Not soundness, still running all right, just not really competitive any more.
          Author Page
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          • #6
            I have a horse at home who is now 15, he was retired sound (as in legs of a 2 yr old) after 104 starts and earning almost 800 thousand. He loved to run (we retired him at age 11) and was still competative in the lower ranks.

            If Grady could talk he would probably tell you that he would prefer to be racing still...As his mother, my heart couldnt take the stress at post time to keep him racing though.


            • #7
              We bought Oughta Be A Jet as a seven year old. He was in the 4k claimers back in '09 as a six year old.Came in dead last in his last race. Clean, clean legs, very nice horse. He's living life as a hunter/jumper now and seems to be loving it.
              "Anti-intellect and marketing, pretty, pretty, who needs talent
              Crying eyes, we're so outnumbered, fight for the right to remain silent" Buck 65


              • #8
                Yes, in fact I bought a 10 year old claimer

                who had the same problem, there just weren't races for him anymore and he was getting some age. Had 150 starts, won over 200K lifetime. The cleanest, tightest legs I've ever seen on any horse. Big, chestnut, beautiful. A handful, but I had fun with him. He went on to be quite a successful show hunter until he was retired at the age of 18. He never quite stood still for mounting, you could not grab his mouth or touch him with a spur(not needed anyway) and May God Save you if you ever touched him with a whip, which I made sure the new owners new ABSOLUTELY, never, ever to do.

                I did it once. I'd never before then heard any horse make a noise that sounded like a lion's growl. I thought he was going to launch me into the rafters, I was still in the tack on the way down and threw the whip in front of him. He distainfully stepped on it when he passed it, and I never did it again.

                He could jump a house and had a killer canter.


                • #9
                  I know this gelding that started at 3, ran 107 times until his retirement following his last race as a 13yo (where he placed, nonetheless). Earned close to $200K the hard way, ran for peanuts 99% of the time. At 16 years of age, his legs are tighter and colder than anything Ive seen in training in a while!


                  • #10
                    Claimed an 11-year-old in 1999 who had won 20 of 79 and $600,000 Wound up running for $3,200. And he won his last race.

                    He's still motoring along at 23. You can't break him.

                    That's the thing with so many of the oldtimers. If they've made it to a relatively advanced age and are still racing, anything you're likely to do with them after that will seem like semi-retirement...nothing is as hard on them as racing.

                    OK, everyone...you can't talk about your old guys without posting names and/or photos. Race records, too!


                    • Original Poster

                      Wow! Thanks for sharing the adventures of these amazing thoroughbreds!
                      My current one will be 24, (but doesn't know it). He would love to have a buddy to play with. My main concern is whether the future new horse would be sound enough for hunter/jumpers. It sounds like if he made it this far, he probably will be? I'm somewhat tempted to claim him (and maybe race him a few times) and then "retire" him for H/J. Please feel free to talk me out of this.


                      • #12
                        I personally would contact the trainer and ask about buying him privately. Unless you have a trainer that you know and trust already lined up to handle the claim and possible races for you I think I would skip that part. If you buy privately you get to ask questions and have a vet look him over. If you claim he is yours whether he is dead or alive.
                        McDowell Racing Stables

                        Home Away From Home


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks Laurie,
                          I will contact the trainer directly. It will save me the heartbreak if the horse is not sound


                          • #14
                            We didn't claim our old-timer at age 7, but he was brought to my BIL to train as an unbroke 5 year old who had been raised in a junk yard. Was a classy allowance horse until he go that awful virus that claimed so many horses up in New England years ago - turned out was caused by the pigeons so I've heard (my husband and his family lost 15 horses that year, and while this horse survived, he was never the same).

                            Anyway, the horse's name is Flying Porker, and he had 91 Starts, 11 Wins, 15 Places, 16 Shows with career earnings of $64,896 (the hard way). He was a real thrill to watch - was always dead last and then put in a run at the end that would take your breath away. The announcer would be yelling "Here comes FLYING PORKER!!". He often misjudged it a bit and would get to the finish a step or 2 late.

                            Ended up trying to retire him at 9 years old and he bolted with me and I got hurt, then he did the same to the local pro rider and got loose and ran around the whole farm and part of town. He didn't have a scratch on him, so back to the races he went until he was retired at the mandatory age of 11. Gave him to a 15 year old girl who rode him barback down a busy road and over a dam to come show us how he was doing at the farm. She ended up becoming a riding instructor and used him for lessons (she showed him herself for many years too). Flying Porker ended up teaching my nieces and nephews to ride and is still going strong.

                            His name cracked me up - he is skinny as can be so the porker part is funny. His dam is Miss Piggy. so that explains part of it. The girl we gave him to got a tatoo of a little pig with wings on her shoulder - too cute....