Claiming races, as discussed yesterday, are the most common type of race. Many maiden races, such as the one that Crown the Cat will be entered in, are Maiden Claiming races. In both of the races we are looking at for Crown the Cat, any horse in the race can be purchased by a licensed owner for $10,000. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of claiming and a better explanation of why Crown the Cat is in this particular race.
Claiming Races Group Horses into Competitive Fields
Claiming races are a part of racing because they help group horses into the proper level of competition. Claiming levels are typically dictated by claiming price. In 2011, Canterbury Park will contest claiming races with claiming prices ranging from $3,500 – $20,000. If they want to win races and earn purse money, owners and trainers are more or less required to put their horse at the level it will be competitive. If you place your horse too low, it will likely win but will also be claimed by a new owner. If you place your horse in a race that has too high of a claiming price, you’ll keep your horse, but it won’t be able to be competitive and won’t win any purse money.
This system allows for trainers and owners to make autonomous decisions regarding the placement of their horses. However, it also allows for other owners and trainers to decide if they are running their horses for less than their value. Lots of trainers and owners are involved in racing solely because of claiming races. They build their entire stables by claiming horses they believe can improve with a different training regimen. Jamie Ness, a former Canterbury trainer that currently ranks fifth in the Nation in wins this year, has built his entire career on claiming horses.
The Claiming Process
If you want to claim a horse, there is a specific system that you must follow.
Claiming Eligibility – In order to be eligible to claim a horse, you must fit one of the following categories:
- A licensed owner who has a horse registered to race at the current meeting.
- A licensed owner who lost his or her last horse through claim, may claim a horse.
- An applicant for an owner’s license who is granted a claiming authorization.
Claiming Form – Claims are made in writing on a form provided by Canterbury and approved by the Minnesota Racing Commission. Claims must contain: the name of the track; the number of the race from which the claim is being made; and a time stamp provided by the track for that purpose reflecting that the claim was made not less than 15 minutes prior to the post time of the race in which the horse to be claimed is entered.
Ownership Change – Title to a horse which is claimed is transferred to the new owner when the horse has entered the race course for the race in which the horse is scheduled to run. However, during that final race, the horse races in the interest of the old owner. Therefore, the jockey will continue to ride in the old owner’s silks and all purse money won will go to the original owner. In most cases, claim information is not revealed until the conclusion of the race.
Other Minnesota Claiming Rules – Here are some other restrictions on claiming a horse in Minnesota.
No person or racing interest shall:
- Claim more than one horse from any one race.
- Claim their own horse or cause such horse to be claimed for their own account.
- Remove any horse which has been entered in a claiming race from the grounds of the association where it has been entered to race, or fail or refuse to comply with any rule or any condition of the meeting for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a claim for such horse.
- Offer or enter into an agreement to claim or not to claim or attempt to prevent another person from claiming any horse in a claiming race.
- Claim a horse from an owner whose horse is trained by the claimant’s trainer.
Crown the Cat’s Race
As previously mentioned, the two races we’re looking at as possibilities for Crown the Cat this week are maiden claiming races with a $10,000 claiming price. We are running her at this level because it is where we believe she has the best chance to be competitive. In her recent starts she has been running in $10,000 and $15,000 maiden claiming races and she has been very close to winning. At this point, we believe that it makes the most sense to run her back at this level because it is the best opportunity to win.
It is possible that she could be claimed from us in this race. However, that is a risk that almost all owners have to take on a daily or weekly basis. If you take a look at all of the races around the country, nearly 70% of all races are claiming races. The vast majority of these horses are never claimed.