As you know, we’ve started shopping for horses. The reality is that there are two ways we can obtain our horses: private purchase or through a claim. We’ve talked about claiming so I’ll touch on private purchase for a moment.
A private purchase is exactly that – someone is selling a horse privately and not through a claiming race. You tend to see this happen as meets wind down and stables are trying to pare their numbers before heading to the next locale. Many top stables will shed nice horses that don’t fit into their New York or California allowance plans but will work out very nicely at mid-level tracks like Canterbury.
This week we had both options open to us. Jeff was offered a private purchase on a maiden out of Oaklawn and Clay and I were looking at a mid-level claimer at Hawthorne. I’m not going to mention their names because we may still be interested and I don’t want to tip our hand at all. The maiden looked to be a good price based upon his record and could probably work through his conditions around $7500 here. The claimer, if healthy, looked like he could compete in the $16,000 to perhaps even $20,000 range – AND we would have gotten him for less, which I love.
In the span of about 12 hours, the Oaklawn horse was sold before we could take a look and our claiming target was scratched. I went from thinking that by the end of the day yesterday we would be all set to start our season to going back to the drawing board!
In this game there is always another race and with the weekend is coming up, we’ll just try, try again.