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Claims races?

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  • Claims races?

    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?

  • #2
    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....

    Comment


    • #3
      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
      http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Meredith Clark View Post
        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
        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.

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        • #5
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              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.
              F O.B
              Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
              Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

              Comment


              • #8
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  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!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DickHertz View Post
                    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.

                    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.
                    http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Linny View Post
                      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.
                      http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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.
                        McDowell Racing Stables

                        Home Away From Home

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Meredith Clark View Post
                          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.
                          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!
                          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.
                          F O.B
                          Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                          Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Linny View Post
                            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!
                            .
                            aaaah! *light bulb*... starting to understand
                            http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Another way of putting it - do you want to run Slow Sally against Rachel Alexandra every time? 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.
                              Delicious strawberry flavored death!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                                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.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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.
                                  F O.B
                                  Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                                  Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Hollendorfer just took the horse I am thinking of and hasn't run him back yet so this should be interesting.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      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.
                                      To get in the winners' circle you must first get into the gate

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Linny View Post
                                        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.

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