Now that the Club is rounded out (202 members) and the paperwork to get the group licensed in Illinois is complete, it’s time to go shopping. Here are some bullet points on what we are generally looking for, though there are not hard and fast rules:
– The budget for 2 horses is right around $20,000. That could mean 2 $10,000 horses or other combinations. I like that level because there is the possibility to run for decent purse money while there are a few levels below just in case we need to drop down in class;
– A consistent finisher. This means, to me, a horse that we know if we run in the right spot we have a shot a winning since he’ll always give us an honest effort. A lot in the money finishes sprinkled with some wins is an indication that we have one that enjoys running and will give us a shot;
– Try an avoid a reclamation project. ASK EDDY was wonderful for us last year but we also got lucky. He was able to make up for his being on the bench for an extended period but usually when you get a project – especially with a group that has a short horizon – you run out of time before you can possibly earn your money back.
Prior to the race Clay and I will determine if there is a horse we want to go after. Clay will fill out the “claim slip” designating the horse that we want to buy, sign it and put it in a locked box in either the racing or bookkeeper’s office. When the race goes off the box is unlocked and the claim slip(s) are examined. If we have the only slip, properly filled out, we own the horse. If there is more than one slip on the same horse, each slip is given a number and similarly numbered balls are dropped in a bottle. The bottle is shaken, tilted and the first numbered ball falls out indicates the winner of the claim and the new owner of the horse.
The old owner of the horse wins any purse money while the new owner of the horse is responsible for the horse the moment the gate opens and the horse is considered a starter.
New MVP Cards
In case you are unaware, Canterbury Park has installed a new player tracking system which necessitates that everyone pick up a new MVP card – if you haven’t already done so over the last few weeks. You have all been entered into the system and just need to show your ID at one of the information desks to pick up your new card/first card. The new cards are necessary for you to receive your free admission throughout the season, so please remember to stop by and pick up your new card as the old cards are no longer active.