Great Bam worked out Friday morning going four furlongs (half a mile) in about 48 seconds. Unfortunately, due to a mix up in the racing office, his official time was not posted among the other workouts for the day. Check out the video below to see him coming down the stretch during his workout.
Clay seemed to be happy with the workout and the plan now is to try to find a race. There were a few comments on the last post about condition books, how to know what race a horse should be in, etc. Therefore, I thought it would be best to walk the group through the process of determining how to find the right race for your horse.
When owning a racehorse, it is important to work with the trainer to pick the right race for your horse. Depending on the relationship between owner and trainer, picking the right race can fall on either party, or in the best case scenario, all parties agree to the right race for their runner.
Just like humans, not all horses are created equal. Therefore, a wide variety of races are offered at all tracks in an attempt to match up competitive groups of horses. A track employee, known as a racing secretary, puts together a book filled with different types of races. This is called the aforementioned Condition Book and traditionally, a new one comes out every two or three weeks. Trainers and owners use these books in an attempt to find a race where their horse will be the most competitive.
Understanding Different Race Conditions
Traditionally, horses are grouped into one of four different categories:
Maiden – Horses that have never won a race. Once a horse has “broken its maiden” by winning a race, it must progress into one of the ranks listed below.
Claiming – The most common type of race, any horse in this type of race can be purchased for a stipulated price. Claiming prices vary from low to high and, theoretically, the higher the price, the better the horse. The thought process is that this class level keeps people from running too good of a horse in too easy of a race because someone will purchase that horse.
Allowance – One step above most claiming ranks, allowance horses are not for sale. These types of races are typically contested amongst better horses that are preparing to compete in stakes races.
Stake – These races are made up of the most talented horses on the grounds and are typically run for the largest purses. Traditionally, it costs additional money to start your horse in a stake race.
Within each of these classes, there are subclasses that allow for horses to find even more competitive race. Furthermore, races are typically divided such that fillies (females) run against one another and colts (males) run against one another.
Picking the Correct Race for Great Bam
When you look at Great Bam’s past performances found in the image below, you’ll notice that he’s been running in races called $5000N2L and $10,000N2L.
The $5,000 and the $10,000 stands for the claiming price Great Bam was running for and the N2L (or NW2) means that the race was for horses that had not won two races during their lifetime. Typically, claiming races are conditioned like this in that the horse is given a condition by the number of wins it has lifetime (or during the calendar year) and the claiming price that makes the horse run competitively.
There are all sorts of claiming races and claiming prices. At Canterbury, our most frequent claiming races are run for claiming prices of $3,500, $5,000 and $10,000. Additionally, we offer races for horses that have never won two races lifetime, never won three races lifetime, haven’t won a race during the year, haven’t won two races during the year and a few other less popular conditions.
Due to the fact that Great Bam has been fairly competitive at the level he is running at, it makes the most sense to look for races that closely resemble the competition level that he has been running against. This is where using the condition book comes in handy.
There are two important pieces to a condition book, the first is called the index. The index contains a shorthand list of all the different types of races and the dates that they will be run. You can find the first index here. The second is the actual book and this is where you find full details about each race. For those that have not found it, you can check out the first condition book on our website by clicking here.
In looking through the index, we’ll be searching for $5,000NW2 and $10,000NW2 races to try to find a good fit for Great Bam. If you take a closer look, you’ll notice that three options immediately fit these categories:
First, there’s a $5,000NW2 going long on May 18.
Second, there’s a $5,000NW2 going short on May 28.
Third, there’s a $10,000NW2 going short on May 25.
If you look each of these races up in the full condition book, you can get more information about each race, including: exact distance, the purse, age restrictions and the amount of weight the horse will be required to carry.
We’ll let Clay decide which option is best for the horse. When he makes a decision as to what he believes is the best spot, we’ll post more about the full condition book and other information that is contained within it.
This isn’t easy information to absorb as it is full of racing lingo. Please post a comment or shoot Jeff or myself an e-mail if you have any questions.