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Old 02-02-2024, 08:58 PM   #1
bobbyt62
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unwritten "wont claim" agreements

I have often seen horses claimed for a lot and dropped down quickly , with no takers , but i'm always surprised that there isnt even a nibble . Every track has many owners and trainers that claim mid odds horses , though most are low - off - odds claims . Today in race 10 at oaklawn , therideofalifetime was in a starter $12.5 race. On march 16, 2023 , the flurry racing stable ( they use more than one trainer , i believe ) claimed him for FIFTY THOUSAND from bret calhoun. They ran him may 13, 2023 for SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED with not a single taker , at off odds of 3-10. How bad could he have been , condition wise ? He passed a vet exam (right ? ) . In the race prior to the 7500 claimer that 'ride won wire to wire by 10 , an 0 for 9 maiden with one career board finish (in her last , also a 5000 mc in which she went off at 38-1 ) and which was 0 for 5 in maiden claimers of between mc7500 and mc12500 at odds between 31-1 and 65-1 WAS claimed . My question isnt about off odds of claims, btw . My question--------- is it possible to get an entire racetrack to agree not to claim / reclaim a horse ?
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Old 02-02-2024, 09:50 PM   #2
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I have often seen horses claimed for a lot and dropped down quickly , with no takers , but i'm always surprised that there isnt even a nibble . Every track has many owners and trainers that claim mid odds horses , though most are low - off - odds claims . Today in race 10 at oaklawn , therideofalifetime was in a starter $12.5 race. On march 16, 2023 , the flurry racing stable ( they use more than one trainer , i believe ) claimed him for FIFTY THOUSAND from bret calhoun. They ran him may 13, 2023 for SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED with not a single taker , at off odds of 3-10. How bad could he have been , condition wise ? He passed a vet exam (right ? ) . In the race prior to the 7500 claimer that 'ride won wire to wire by 10 , an 0 for 9 maiden with one career board finish (in her last , also a 5000 mc in which she went off at 38-1 ) and which was 0 for 5 in maiden claimers of between mc7500 and mc12500 at odds between 31-1 and 65-1 WAS claimed . My question isnt about off odds of claims, btw . My question--------- is it possible to get an entire racetrack to agree not to claim / reclaim a horse ?
I would say in this case the horse looked bad for some reason in that race as he was on the bench for 6 months after that race. I believe that the “should I claim this horse!” trainer exam is more stringent than the vet exam at LA Downs
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Old 02-03-2024, 08:27 AM   #3
Ruffian1
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I have often seen horses claimed for a lot and dropped down quickly , with no takers , but i'm always surprised that there isnt even a nibble . Every track has many owners and trainers that claim mid odds horses , though most are low - off - odds claims . Today in race 10 at oaklawn , therideofalifetime was in a starter $12.5 race. On march 16, 2023 , the flurry racing stable ( they use more than one trainer , i believe ) claimed him for FIFTY THOUSAND from bret calhoun. They ran him may 13, 2023 for SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED with not a single taker , at off odds of 3-10. How bad could he have been , condition wise ? He passed a vet exam (right ? ) . In the race prior to the 7500 claimer that 'ride won wire to wire by 10 , an 0 for 9 maiden with one career board finish (in her last , also a 5000 mc in which she went off at 38-1 ) and which was 0 for 5 in maiden claimers of between mc7500 and mc12500 at odds between 31-1 and 65-1 WAS claimed . My question isnt about off odds of claims, btw . My question--------- is it possible to get an entire racetrack to agree not to claim / reclaim a horse ?
The answer to your question is No.
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Old 02-03-2024, 11:42 AM   #4
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I have often seen horses claimed for a lot and dropped down quickly , with no takers , but i'm always surprised that there isnt even a nibble . Every track has many owners and trainers that claim mid odds horses , though most are low - off - odds claims . Today in race 10 at oaklawn , therideofalifetime was in a starter $12.5 race. On march 16, 2023 , the flurry racing stable ( they use more than one trainer , i believe ) claimed him for FIFTY THOUSAND from bret calhoun. They ran him may 13, 2023 for SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED with not a single taker , at off odds of 3-10. How bad could he have been , condition wise ? He passed a vet exam (right ? ) . In the race prior to the 7500 claimer that 'ride won wire to wire by 10 , an 0 for 9 maiden with one career board finish (in her last , also a 5000 mc in which she went off at 38-1 ) and which was 0 for 5 in maiden claimers of between mc7500 and mc12500 at odds between 31-1 and 65-1 WAS claimed . My question isnt about off odds of claims, btw . My question--------- is it possible to get an entire racetrack to agree not to claim / reclaim a horse ?
If a horse gets claimed FROM a top trainer by a bad trainer/barn and shows up after a layoff running for a much lower price (after a layoff at that), that's a flashing neon sign "Something is wrong with this horse!" Why bother taking the chance with a claim when all signs point to major problems? Now in this case over the past nine months the horse has run three widely spaced races and kept winning, but I can understand why other owners steered clear of this situation.
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Old 02-03-2024, 10:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bobbyt62 View Post
I have often seen horses claimed for a lot and dropped down quickly , with no takers , but i'm always surprised that there isnt even a nibble . Every track has many owners and trainers that claim mid odds horses , though most are low - off - odds claims . Today in race 10 at oaklawn , therideofalifetime was in a starter $12.5 race. On march 16, 2023 , the flurry racing stable ( they use more than one trainer , i believe ) claimed him for FIFTY THOUSAND from bret calhoun. They ran him may 13, 2023 for SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED with not a single taker , at off odds of 3-10. How bad could he have been , condition wise ? He passed a vet exam (right ? ) . In the race prior to the 7500 claimer that 'ride won wire to wire by 10 , an 0 for 9 maiden with one career board finish (in her last , also a 5000 mc in which she went off at 38-1 ) and which was 0 for 5 in maiden claimers of between mc7500 and mc12500 at odds between 31-1 and 65-1 WAS claimed . My question isnt about off odds of claims, btw . My question--------- is it possible to get an entire racetrack to agree not to claim / reclaim a horse ?
Caveat emptor very much applies to bettors and, barring an animal cooling out sore or hitting the list, prospective claimants as well.

Watching one jog and flexing the joints guarantees NOTHING except safe passage for horse and jock. And sometimes not even that.

As a handicapper, your own skills at decoding past performances, reading connections, and, if your very experienced and have a keen eye, watching a horse in motion are your only tools in attempting to assess soundness.

Put not your faith in pre-race exams. Not ever. Race charts are littered daily with suspicious droppers that passed the vet-check, torched tons of money, and took up new residence via the box.

Last edited by mountainman; 02-03-2024 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 02-04-2024, 11:45 AM   #6
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The answer to your ? Is no. There used to be "unwritten" rules like don't claim a trainers only horse etc but given this day of purses I don't think that applies much anymore.

There's way too many variables to say why an "obvious horse" was not claimed. When you see an obvious horse winning at a high level, then dropping and running well, dropping again....the common thought is the horse is "on his way out". Meaning starting to go out of form, developing issues, needing a break. After all there's only so many times you can inject ankles and defer an issue. Paddock inspection is another but every trainer will say they've seen a horse with ankles the size of grapefruits and they never were a problem...it's all a combined risk assessment.


While you could've claimed the horse for a cheap 7500, the subsequent layoff and vet work could cost you 2,3,4x that to get him back to a race. Note two back he ran in a waiver claim so you couldn't claim him off the layoff. They likely put a lot into him and wanted to protect the costs outlayed.

It's all a game and that's why claiming is exciting as another form of gambling. It's not only trainer intent, but owner intent too.
Timing is another (end of meet are they dropping a horse only because they don't want to pay to ship him)
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Old 02-04-2024, 12:26 PM   #7
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The answer to your ? Is no. There used to be "unwritten" rules like don't claim a trainers only horse etc but given this day of purses I don't think that applies much anymore.

There's way too many variables to say why an "obvious horse" was not claimed. When you see an obvious horse winning at a high level, then dropping and running well, dropping again....the common thought is the horse is "on his way out". Meaning starting to go out of form, developing issues, needing a break. After all there's only so many times you can inject ankles and defer an issue. Paddock inspection is another but every trainer will say they've seen a horse with ankles the size of grapefruits and they never were a problem...it's all a combined risk assessment.


While you could've claimed the horse for a cheap 7500, the subsequent layoff and vet work could cost you 2,3,4x that to get him back to a race. Note two back he ran in a waiver claim so you couldn't claim him off the layoff. They likely put a lot into him and wanted to protect the costs outlayed.

It's all a game and that's why claiming is exciting as another form of gambling. It's not only trainer intent, but owner intent too.
Timing is another (end of meet are they dropping a horse only because they don't want to pay to ship him)
Excellent post.

Have some very good friends that have been able to move on from handicapping and wagering to the ownership side of the game; and that is a whole different world.

Don't want to post a long diatribe, but it really opens ones eyes to the very good and bad of the game and has 100% affected my handicapping of races.
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Old 02-05-2024, 06:32 PM   #8
TrifectaBox
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Long long ago, I liked a horse in a race, and went to the paddock to take a closer look.


Knee the size of a bowling ball. Scared me off.



Horse had been winning, and guess what. Won again.
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Old 02-05-2024, 06:59 PM   #9
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I gave up a long time ago trying to try to judge horses by looking at them, I wasn't due to lack of tying just something I don't have an aptitude for. The only thing I can grasp is the glaringly obvious like a first timer that is all wide eyed and nervous. The biggest gaffe I ever pulled was on a harness horse named Placerville. This was probably 40 years ago. He was a cheap claimer and had a habit of breaking, but if he could get the lead and set reasonable fractions and would win at a fairly decent price. He had a good win percentage. I actually bet before watching the warm up after the post parade. He was lathered up quite a bit and it was a cool evening he was the only one like that, I sprinted to the window and cancelled my bet.


Race goes off and I just watch as he gets the lead a fairly quick half for a 2:00 miler and fends off all challengers to win going away. The rail bird next to me is jumping up and down obviously cashing on him. I inquired if he noticed how washy he was. He said the sweatier he is the better, saying if he isn't washy he breaks stride. I pulled a max bet off him.
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Old 02-05-2024, 07:49 PM   #10
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Long long ago, I liked a horse in a race, and went to the paddock to take a closer look.


Knee the size of a bowling ball. Scared me off.



Horse had been winning, and guess what. Won again.


Yeah, It can certainly work like that.

Don't go to the paddock unless you know what you are looking at or want to learn and that will take years and a lot of note taking. It is not at all worth it for the typical gambler.
Great big knees means they had an operation a long time ago. It's scar tissue.
Going there only gets you in trouble unless you want to spend a LONG time learning and even then, it does not have much bearing on how they will run that day. Warming up might but again, months and months of notes to compare before and today.
GL in the future.
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Old 02-05-2024, 08:01 PM   #11
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Yeah, It can certainly work like that.

Don't go to the paddock unless you know what you are looking at or want to learn and that will take years and a lot of note taking. It is not at all worth it for the typical gambler.
Great big knees means they had an operation a long time ago. It's scar tissue.
Going there only gets you in trouble unless you want to spend a LONG time learning and even then, it does not have much bearing on how they will run that day. Warming up might but again, months and months of notes to compare before and today.
GL in the future.

This is a learned response.
Quite excellent.

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Old 02-06-2024, 03:16 AM   #12
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Yeah, It can certainly work like that.

Don't go to the paddock unless you know what you are looking at or want to learn and that will take years and a lot of note taking. It is not at all worth it for the typical gambler.
Great big knees means they had an operation a long time ago. It's scar tissue.
Going there only gets you in trouble unless you want to spend a LONG time learning and even then, it does not have much bearing on how they will run that day. Warming up might but again, months and months of notes to compare before and today.
GL in the future.



As I said, this was long ago ,ancient history really.


Learned a lot of lessons since then. Some even related to horses!
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Old 02-06-2024, 08:08 AM   #13
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there used to be unwritten rules with horses that share the same shedrow and barn with different trainers. sometimes they make a pact not to claim each others horses.

i have never claimed a horse in my life, but i have had hundreds claimed away from. if i am running for a tag, i want the horse to get claimed.the one time i didn't want a horse claimed was one i had that came off an over 1 year layoff with a visible bow tendon. i won the race and lost the horse. she went on to win over $400,000 the next 6 months and that was about 20 years ago.
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Old 02-06-2024, 09:08 AM   #14
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the one time i didn't want a horse claimed was one i had that came off an over 1 year layoff with a visible bow tendon. i won the race and lost the horse. she went on to win over $400,000 the next 6 months and that was about 20 years ago.
Now we've got the waiver claim for situations like that. I didn't realize that one of the HISA rules allows for up to TWO waiver claim starts. From Oaklawn's condition book:

HISA Rule 2262 (2263). Waiver Claiming Option
At time of entry into a Claiming Race an Owner or Trainer may opt to declare a Horse ineligible to be claimed provided:
(a) The Horse has not started in 120 days;
(b) The Horse’s last start must have been for a claiming price; and
(c) The Horse is entered for a claiming price equal or greater than the price it last started for
(d) The Horse does not win First Waiver Claim Option. That Horse will be eligible for a second waiver claiming race.
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Old 02-06-2024, 10:28 AM   #15
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Now we've got the waiver claim for situations like that. I didn't realize that one of the HISA rules allows for up to TWO waiver claim starts. From Oaklawn's condition book:

HISA Rule 2262 (2263). Waiver Claiming Option
At time of entry into a Claiming Race an Owner or Trainer may opt to declare a Horse ineligible to be claimed provided:
(a) The Horse has not started in 120 days;
(b) The Horse’s last start must have been for a claiming price; and
(c) The Horse is entered for a claiming price equal or greater than the price it last started for
(d) The Horse does not win First Waiver Claim Option. That Horse will be eligible for a second waiver claiming race.
I sure wish they had this when I was there. What this does is give an inexpensive horse a chance to be rested and brought back. The economics were terrible and owners would not have it, to give a 5k-10k horse time. They would sell it for pennies on the dollar and move on. There were plenty that were bought and rehabbed by people but there were just as many or more that were not.

In todays world you can do that AND get eligible for starter handicaps as well if that can be achieved. I assume that but I'm not positive.
I don't know if HISA knew what all they were doing when they added this rule but whoever came up with it did racing and a lot of horses a real service by implementing it.

Great job! I just wish I knew who to thank.
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