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!