Next Race

Interesting discussions have led to this blog post. We’ve talked about how hard it has been to find a race at a level we want to run at and some options. Clay and I discussed MJ’s next race and we’ve got some information and insight.

Clay was informed that filling the $10,000 claiming race that’s in the condition book for July 6 is going to be tough. We can’t get a $16,000 so we may have to settle for a $7500. Of course this really isn’t something that you want to do with a horse that you know is worth more than that but we have to race.

Here is where the Club differs a bit from “real life”. As many of you have seen by the comments, a lot of people want to get into the paddock and watch her run. If MJ was my own horse, I would send her to Arlington (or maybe Prairie Meadows). We would be able to get a race for her there at a level where we would have the balance of knowing she could win with if she were claimed we would have gotten our money’s worth from her. But she’s not my horse, she’s owned by the Club and a large part of this is for people to experience the paddock and watching their horse run live – we didn’t claim a horse for you all to watch her run elsewhere.

A possible preclusion from a claim: the new owner will be in the very same boat we are in right now trying to find her a race. But she’s ready and she needs to go so to paraphrase Crosby, Stills & Nash: If we can’t run in the race we want to run in, we’ll run in the one we’re given.

(Aside: we also have our sights set on a couple this weekend. More on that as it unfolds)


56 thoughts on “Next Race

  1. Ted how about an allowance race were she could compete. I for one would be curious how she would handle herself. Just a thought. But I’m not sure if that would screw up her eligibility for other races.

    • Clay and I have kicked that around. Some of those early season NW1 allowances came up a little soft, but the last couple have been tough. Clay figured that the last one that was run, with some luck, we MAY have been able to come in third, though he was thinking more 4th or 5th. Quite frankly, I’d prefer to see her in a $16,000 claiming, I think we could do okay there, but they just won’t go without conditions.

    • It’s a balancing act, Darlene. Claiming a horse and then running out of state is going to frustrate a lot of people – while trying to sneak by in a $7500 claimer will as well.

    • I agree Do what is best for the horse. I don’t have to be in the paddock or in a picture. We have a good horse and a great trainer, don’t sell her short!

  2. Being from Nebraska, I would love to see her run at Prairie Meadows!! 🙂 But I realize we are in the minority here…doing what is best for MJ is the ultimate goal.

  3. Two questions:
    1. While trying to find a race, would you ever consider running MJ in a race against the boys? For example, there are a couple of potential races on Thursday/Friday that are at the $10,000 and $16,000 claiming level. However, they aren’t listed as being only for fillies & mares.

    2. Any more thoughts on running MJ on the turf? There was mention on an earlier post that this was a possibility, as Clay liked that her feet were the size of pie plates — meaning that she might be well-suited for the grass.

    • We haven’t entertained running against the boys at all. Most trainers aren’t real fans of that except in special situations – mostly involving their mare being that mush better than the rest.

      We have thought about the turf, and discussed that this weekend in fact, but we’re in the same fix as far as race level for her. She’s also run 6x over the turf and never hit the board so while we think she may look the type, her actions may be telling us that she really didn’t care for it.

  4. I think most everyone wants a winner even if she has to run at Arlington while waiting for a suitable race at Canterbury. The cost of shipping her back and forth is minimal compared to what she can win. We also don’t want to lose her for a claim that is less than what we paid for her. Alot of owners never hit the winners circle so we need to suck it up and let U guys manage our affairs!

    • I thought we were in this club to learn how to own a thoroughbred race horse. The ins and outs the ups and downs of the profession. Sometimes it seems easy and sometimes it seems difficult. But learn we must. Going to the winners circle and standing in the paddock while “our” horse trots around is nice but it’s Not all there is to learn eh? What are you going to do when Maryjane is claimed? at $7500 she sure as H… will be! AND we don’t have another horse to goo over. Please people THINK and do what Clay and Ted think is best for OUR horse.

  5. If we took her to another track would there be a time limit on how long before she could race there? Then if she shipped back here would there be another waiting period before she could race here again?

    If she went to Prairie Meadows, there could be a bus trip and an overnight stay. Probably more work than it would be worth for who ever would have to set it up. Leave her here and wait for a race to be run that would suit her.

    July 4th, 9th race. Would that be a to big of a step up for her?

    • There is no waiting period either way. The race you point out is a conditioned claimer for horses that have not won 3 races. MJ has won 5.

  6. Ted just a quick question who would train MJ at Arlington or at Prairie Meadows? Would she ship down just for a race and ship back? ( if that’s what we want to do )

  7. A quick question that I should have attached to the previous blog, didn’t we claim Maryjean for $8000? It lists $10000 on the financials page. Just wondering about that.

      • So, hypothetically, if she runs in a $7500 race on Sunday, wins and is claimed, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. We would have lost $500 on the purchase price but she would have won twice for us, so financially we would still be ahead. The problem then would be that, of course, we don’t have a horse. Do you guys feel that she would be competitive at the $16000 level or just that you don’t think anyone would claim her at that price.

      • We think she could be competitive at $16,000 – her best effort could probably win it…with luck.

  8. I say ship her to Arlington or Prairie Meadows if that is where she fits now. I like the idea of the paddock (but it’s by group anyway) and the idea of the winners circle (which is crowded and can be hard to be seen in), but I joined the club to do what is best for the horse and experience as much of the ownership reality without all the real financial reality. Besides, this is no different than what will happen after Cby’s live meet is over and we ship our horses to Hawthorne. Could always be a road trip possibility or a chartered bus trip if enough were interested.

  9. I hit post to soon.
    Regarding your comment on if she got claimed and the new owner being in the same spot we are in. That new owner might be looking beyond our time horizons and willing to be patient with how long until she runs.

  10. I think we have a good horse in MaryJean, I’d hate to put her up for $7500 just to get a race at “home” and then have her claimed. Especially since it’s proving difficult to find a 2nd horse. If there’s nothing available at Canterbury, run her at Arlington for a race, I agree with Rose, we’re in this to learn about the ins and outs of owning a racehorse. Let’s take a roadie with MJ!!!

  11. There are a few good horses running on Friday later on in the card, so I think the group’s prospects are looking up. My personal favorite horse is running in race 8, Outoftheclouds (who doesn’t love a deep closer?) But I don’t think he’d be as appealing as other horses who still have conditions to dance through.

  12. Here’s a question about shipping a horse back and forth from track to track. I think I recall from a post from an earlier year where we claimed a horse from a different track but there was a 30 day waiting period before we could ship him or her like a quarantine period or something like that? Or was that because of the EHV1 outbreak at Hawthorne? Also, if we shipped to Arlington or someplace other than Hawthorne, is Clay licensed there? Wouldn’t he have to submit fingerprints and be subjected to a background check before he could get his license to race there and wouldn’t that take a certain amount of time?

    • There is only a waiting period to transfer ownership of a horse. If a horse is claimed by trainer A and he gets an offer to buy her a week later, he is unable to do so for 30-days. This helps prevent any “hidden ownership” issues and ensures that the claim is made by a truly licensed owner.

      I don’t know if Clay is ready to go at Prairie Meadows or now. I have been licensed there for several years and would only need to renew this year and do the group application. Generally not an onerous process. Clay already has a few stalls at Arlington so that process is a bit easier and cleaner.

  13. We are fortunate to have a healthy competitive horse. If shipping a horse to another track is what horse owners do it seems part of the experience of owning a race horse. I’m sure some of the group could go to another track to see her race –a fun experience–and at Canterbury if there was a space set aside for us to watch the race that would also be fun.

  14. some members would probably prefer to see MJ run somewhere else as opposed to racing a lower level claim race and lose her…. P Meadows would be close enough for some to go on a road trip

  15. I’m retired and I’ll go on a road trip. Would we take a Grey Hound bus or rent our own Charter bus down there? Reserve a block of hotel rooms….once we get there? I’d be happy to try to set it up if I knew how many committed members we had that wouldn’t back out at the last minute…I know Will from our group has gone down to Hawthorne to see Ask Eddy run last year so maybe he could tell us how much it cost and where he stayed?? Road trips are always fun if you’re able to take the time off from work and go. Let me know what you think…..BTW, where are we going? I have no idea where Prairie Meadows or Arlington is!! Either here or there, I’m in….Kathy

  16. I’m with the people who say run her if she’s ready, and run her where she fits whether it’s at Canterbury or not. I noticed she had a nice workout this morning, she sure looks ready on paper. { Unfortunately, no matter where she runs this weekend I’ll miss it in person due to family obligations (for some reason they don’t understand the dedication to a horse!). } This is part of horse ownership and I’d rather we not lose her just because we had to run her in the “wrong” race. No win is guaranteed either, she could lose anywhere and then we’d lose her and any purse money as well. I’d rather give her a try at the next level if possible.

    Thanks for letting us all voice our opinions, it’s appreciated. We know you’ll do what’s best for the horse.

  17. Sorry, but am I totally confused. Why are we running her in a claiming race at all? If we do, couldn’t she be taken from us and then we have no horse? I get the posts and am all for whatever is best for MJ, but I’m surprised we are looking at any races where we would lose her and have no horses. (I know you are trying for others…)

    • I’ll try not to be too long winded here but I am going to step back and cover some extra ground but I will get to your underlying point.

      Claiming races make up about 80% of the races run in North America. They are stratified in order to provide equality in the race fields. If you have a horse worth $20,000, you’re not going to run him in a $5,000 claiming race just to win because you just virtually gave away the horse. Claiming levels equal the playing field. There are tracks where some horses are for sale for $1,000…or even less. Some of the major racetracks have $100,000 claiming races. As you can see, the strata is very large.

      MJ did very well in her $10,000 claiming race. She could possibly move up to the next level and do well ($16,000) but the competition gets stiffer. In watching the non-winners of 1 allowance race last week, Clay figured she probably could have finished 4th but there was no way that she could have won. The step up from claiming to allowance is pretty steep, especially when you’re talking about cheaper claiming races as opposed to $30,000 or $50,000 claiming races.

      It’s always been my philosophy that you push the class envelope as much as you can while at the same time entering races that you feel like you can win. Running a horse not to lose it via claim instead of running to win is a mistake and a money losing strategy.

      • “Running a horse not to lose it via claim instead of running to win is a mistake and a money losing strategy.”

        This is very insightful and fully worth my participation this year. Thank you.

  18. You don’t have to post this one. But you did open up one hell of a can of worms when you brought up the idea of racing her at another track.

    • I don’t mind posting it! It’s been a good discussion. I’ve had some of these very discussions in my own groups. It’s all part of the process and I think it’s been great. I hope it’s been informative.

  19. MJ has already raced at Arlington. Looking at her PP’s she didn’t seem to do very good there. Unless I am reading everything wrong, which is very possible. PM is dirt and she seems to like that type of surface more. I didn’t see a condition book for PM or I was just looking in the wrong spot. Road trip sounds good to me.

    • Looking at PM, there isn’t much in the book there either (Arlington doesn’t seem to have what we want either). It may be a case of running way over or way under her level so we can get a race in. Is rather go under and win than go over and run up the track.

  20. Put me in the “Let’s ship and run!” category.

    Looking at the Prairie Meadows condition book I see an open 12.5k claiming race on July 6th, 6 furlongs on the dirt, with a nice fat 20k purse! That seems pretty ideal right? It’s the next step up in claiming level and a modest step up in purse as well.

    12.5k seems like the highest level where I’d be nervous about her being claimed, which I’ve always heard is the level you should be running at.

  21. The Prairie Meadows race is 6 furlongs…should be up her alley. And, the competition should be a touch easier than Arlington. Also, would be an easier drive for those who might want to go see her run.

  22. They will find a race for MJ at some point. I just hope that she is still sharp, after a lengthy layoff. My bigger concern is that we haven’t been able to find another horse or two. If a primary goal is to run the horse(s) in front of the home crowd over the local track, then there would seem to be some missed opportunities. The Canterbury meet is about 40% over, and we have 1 race to show for it. It was posted that Clay likes to wait about 3 weeks between races for his horses. Assuming a 3 week break between races, even if another horse is claimed soon, it would race for us only 3 times — at best — before the end of the Canterbury meet under that timeframe. That assumes no injuries, and that suitable races can be found. None of which is guaranteed. Tick tock.

    • While we want to run at home as much as possible it doesn’t take precedence over the Club’s primary goal: education. Racing isn’t always easy and problems, like we’ve been encountering racing and acquiring, is part if the process.

      In January 2013 I had a group ready to go. We tried to but/claim a horse for months before finally private purchasing a horse in June of 2013.

      There have been several that we have looked at but Clay wasn’t thrilled about them so we passed. I’ll defer to his eye every day.

      I understand that time is ticking away and we are working on it with every release of entires.

  23. There’s always the Filly’s Race for Hope On August 10th. The whole race card is for Fillies and Mares. I think MaryJean would look good in pink!! How about we start doing some back side tours during our “down” time??

    And here’s another opinion….MN has about 4 1/2 months of racing. Clay Brinson, I’m sure, has some long term clients whose horses he ships from track to track throughout the years. We have an annual contract which expires December 31st. We need to run this horse every three weeks in whatever race she fits to maximize the owner’s excitement of watching their horse run. This is what we paid for…to bring our friends and family to the track and say “help cheer my race on with me to the winner’s circle”! I say, race her in whatever race she qualifies for and let the chips fall where they may. This isn’t a money making deal for the club which everyone understands, but by not racing, our account gets depleted by the day in trainer fees and Ted’s fee. So race the horse here at Canterbury in whatever race she qualifies for and lets go see her run and hope to see her in the winner’s circle….

    MaryJean is not a long term horse for the club and the club members are not in this to make any sort of profit by any means so by being so picky about which race she could “win” at against the given competition, let’s just race her at where she fits and enjoy watching her run and let’s get on with it!!

    I enjoy the blogs back and forth and it is all very educational, but we’re paying money to watch our horse run and to cheer her on and our contract is very short term so race her wherever she fits and let’s hope we get lucky. If we don’t, at least we can say we came out and had a good time and had an opportunity to cheer on our horse and get a chance to meet each other. I for one, just don’t seem to agree with Clay’s strategy of looking for MJ’s “perfect” race and passing up on another suitable race that she can run in at a smaller payoff or at a race that we may risk losing her at. We’re going to eventually lose her anyway so what difference does it make? Our Club can still put money in our coffers if MJ doesn’t win so I say race the horse in a race she qualifies for and let’s get on with it!!

    In the meantime, why aren’t we touring the backside or watching MJ do her workouts or take a swim in the pool? We’ve missed the entire month of June when we could have being doing something fun and interesting with our horse but we’ve just been blogging back and forth and have gotten no where. I for one am very frustrated. Let’s do something……

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