Welcome Tens Wild!

FINALLY!

I know it was a longer than usually wait but we certainly hope it will pay off with Tens Wild. Tens Wild is a 6-year old son of Tenpins and is now 5 of 30 on his career. He’s an Illinois bred gray/roan and looks like he could be solid for us at this level ($10,000).

We’re also fans of his versatility as he’s won on the dirt as well as the turf.

It usually takes horses a few days to settle in after a race and entering a new barn. We’ll get him back to the barn and let him cool out and see how he’s doing come the beginning of the week.

I’ll put out a paddock schedule later this week as well as post our boy’s lifetime past performances, breeding and let you know how he’s settling in. Heather got some great pictures and we’ll get those posted as well for everyone. Finally, we’ll get our first date for a backside tour nailed down sometime next weekend, so look for that post (the date will be announced next weekend, the tour is not next weekend).

We’re still on the lookout for another horse, so we’re not done yet, but at least we’re in business!

Congratulations and good luck!

This Weekend

As you know, we did not claim a horse opening weekend.  We thought about a couple but thought better of them. It’s a good thing, too, because both I was looking at finished up the track!

I think there is a better than average chance that we get a horse this weekend.  There are more “open” claiming races this weekend from $5,000 to $16,000.

By open claiming races I refer to races where there are no conditions left.  Claiming races are classified by price, as you know.  But there are also striations within each claiming rank.  Here is an example in the $5,000 ranks from “easiest” to “hardest”:

$5,000 claiming, non-winners of 2 races lifetime;

$5,000 claiming, non-winners of 3 race lifetime;

$5,000 claiming, non-winners of 4 lifetime;

$5,000 claiming, non-winners of a race in the last year;

$5,000 claiming, non-winners of 2 races in the last year.

$5,000 claiming

You either want to pick up a horse early in the process or one that has cleared it’s conditions and proven it can compete in “open” claiming races.  Our focus is on the latter.  Those horses tend to be a bit more consistent and have at least proven that they can win races.  A horse that still has conditions left is nice too – unless they can’t make the climb.  So our plan is to go the safer route (safe being a relative term in the realm of racehorse ownership).  We’re very hopeful that there will be one or two this weekend that we can drop a slip on.

Stay tuned.

Rundown of Horse Acquisition

Though I gave a bit of a rundown earlier on claiming a horse, I want to dive a little bit deeper on both claiming and private purchase and how it applies to our situation this year.

I’ll tackle the private purchase leg first because that’s the quickest. Clay has a bloodstock agent he uses in California to look for talent. That is how the alumni group bought Mr. Lexis. He does, however, come with a price tag: 5% of the purchase price. Then there are shipping costs from California that runs north of $1000. For a higher level group buying a relatively expensive horse that might make sense, but buying a horse for around $8,000 it doesn’t. The bigger issue is that while Clay was looking in California, he felt that the asking prices were way too high. One horse they wanted to sell for $7000 finished 3rd in a $6250 claiming race!

Claiming in different locations is difficult as well. First of all, you have to be licensed in those locations. That gets a bit difficult and awfully pricey. Secondly, I want Clay to be involved in the process because he needs to want to train whoever we get. The third issue, and this is where it can get weird, is that different tracks have different rules for what can be done with claimed horses. For example, at Arlington Park a horse that has been claimed cannot leave the grounds for 45-days. At Gulfstream a claimed horse can’t leave until the end of the meet. These various rules make it tough to claim in places where we don’t intend to run.

So the lack of quality at Hawthorne prevented us from picking up a reasonably priced horse that we’d like to run the rest of the year. It’s not the end of the world though it most certainly is not the ideal situation. Clay already has his eye out and our pupils will hopefully get larger after entries start getting drawn next week.

We’ll get there – hopefully very soon!