More About Great Bam & Other Topics

Well, it’s been a busy couple of days around here trying to get paperwork wrapped up and ramping up our communications with all of you! This post will deal with a wide variety of issues, so set aside a little time.

First of all, please, please, please, if you have a question, ask it! Jeff and I are doing this so that you can learn more about this process. Comments are best so that everyone can see the questions and the answers. Believe us, there are no dumb questions. If you don’t feel comfortable posting a comment, you can always reach one or both of us by e-mail: and

How Great Bam Was Purchased

Now, more about the horse and how he was purchased. Great Bam was claimed from the seventh race at Hawthorne yesterday. Claiming races make up the majority of races in the United States. In claiming races, every horse is assigned a price for which it can be purchased usually up until 10-15 minutes before the race. This information is not made public until after the race is complete.

This system exists so that horses can be grouped into competitive categories. Typically, if a horse is entered in a race with a claiming price that is too high, it won’t be claimed; however, it also won’t be competitive. Conversely, if a horse is put in a race where the claiming price is too low, it will probably be able to win, but it will be claimed away from the existing owner. Therefore, the goal is always to enter the horse at the proper level of competition. For more on claiming races, check out this link from the Thoroughbreds Owners and Breeders’ Association (TOBA).

As we mentioned yesterday, three different parties put a claim in for Great Bam. Following the race, the claim slips were opened and three numbered “pills” were placed in a bottle. A number was assigned to each claim slip and the number that was pulled out of the bottle gave the claim to the corresponding slip. In this case, the number that was pulled matched Clay Brinson’s (our trainer) slip.

Every horse that was racing in Great Bam’s race fit the following conditions: Horses that had not won two races during their racing career and they had to be available for a claiming price of $5,000. Therefore, Great Bam was purchased for $5,000.

More about Great Bam After Yesterday’s Race

There have been a few comments on the previous post inquiring about Great Bam. After closer inspection, Clay believes that Great Bam is underweight and needs some dental work. Therefore, he’s coming up with a plan to put some weight on him and fix up his teeth.

Both of these aspects can be critical to a horse’s success. If a horse is underweight, they may not have the optimal muscle tone required to perform at their best. Second, a horse with bad teeth can be a horse that loses interest in racing. Bad teeth can lead to a sore mouth. A horse with a sore mouth is less apt to run up to its top-level because of the fact that the main control gained by the jockey is through the reins and bit that attached to a horse’s mouth.

Both of these issues can be fixed in a relatively short amount of time. That being said, we’re planning to let Clay work on these issues up until the start of the meet. Therefore, Great Bam will have 45 days or so off until his next potential race. That’s probably not a bad thing considering he has raced 22 times since January 1, 2011.

More About His Background and Appeal

Great Bam has run thirty times, recording a record of: 1 win, 6 seconds and 5 thirds. He won his only career race on February 14, 2011 (as commenter Ken noted) at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Louisiana. Recently, he had run a strong string of seconds and thirds at shorter distances until his fifth place finish yesterday. In all likelihood, he’ll be running shorter distances at Canterbury this summer as that appears to be where he has had the most success.

He has now been claimed twice during his racing career, once back in November and again yesterday. Clay liked this horse for two reasons. First, it has a tendency to run toward the front of the pack – something that is very useful at any racetrack and even more so at Canterbury (we’ll explain more about this in a future post). Secondly, the horse has been trained throughout the duration of his career by trainers that have won at 5% and 8% clips, respectively. Therefore, he believes this horse has upside if cared for by a quality trainer.

Great Bam is a four-year-old gelding that has run in Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana and Illinois. Therefore, he’s fairly well-traveled. In looking through his lifetime past performances, it is obvious that he spent the majority of 2011 having significant issues getting out of the starting gate. This issue has apparently been fixed as of late as he has been doing much better recently.

His mother is an Argentinian mare by the name of Colegiada and his father is Mutakddim who did his racing in England and France. His breeding suggests that he’s capable of running between 5 furlongs and a mile and that he’d excel over a wet racetrack. Turf is a little bit of a question mark.

Click here to view Great Bam’s lifetime past performances

Other Updates

A couple of other items of detail. If you have not provided your e-mail to Jeff Maday, please do so by emailing him at Although the vast majority of communicating is done via the blog, he will still send an occasional e-mail out to the group.

Also, a Canterbury MVP card should have already arrived (or is on its way). This card will be your free admission pass for the season. Make sure to bring it with you to get in for free.

A fellow club member is keeping his own account of the experience on his blog. Check it out by clicking here.

Clay will continue to look for another horse for the group before heading up to Minnesota toward the end of the month. We’ll provide more updates about his search and about Great Bam as they become available. Again, if you have questions or comments, please post them to the blog and we’ll do our best to answer.


8 thoughts on “More About Great Bam & Other Topics

  1. Thank you so much for the update and information. I like what I’m hearing about giving Great Bam a chance to refresh, gain some weight and have some dental work. That shows me that the trainer is thinking of the horse’s well-being first, which I think is important.

    It does sound like sprinting may be his forte, what fun!

    It’s also exciting to think that we may possibly have a second horse as well!

    • Thepower of Belief is an interesting horse. Looks pretty good on paper, but the one main difference between this horse and Great Bam is that the trainer of Thepower of belief is probably one of the best trainers in Chicago. It’s pretty difficult to improve on a trainer that is winning at 27%. We’ll see what Clay has to say! Thanks for the comment.

  2. Thanks for the update. It will be nice that Great Bam will have some favorable condtions to race under when he gets to Canterbury. The non-winners of 2 races in a lifetime and then after his second win, the non-winners of 3 races in a lifetime will be a good way for the club to see a couple of wins as he moves up the condition book ladder. Can’t wait for the chance to see him run! Good teeth and fit running condition can make a big difference. Maybe a swim or two could help too.

    • Hi Steve. Racehorses can be insured at any point in time and in a variety of different ways. Most of the time you won’t see an insurance policy taken out unless the horse has an reasonably high value. This occurs most frequently when a colt has a promising breeding career ahead of him after he finishes racing.

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