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.
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.