Claiming and Racing Question

The following question came in earlier this evening and I know that many folks don’t get a chance to get back in and read the comments section and I think this is worth everyone getting a chance to read so I’m making it into an entire post. I would emphasize – please feel free and stop me anytime you see me if you have comments and questions or log on and drop them in here so they can get answered and you feel like you’re left wondering.

Q – Ted – I am a little disappointed on how the club is being handled this year. I thought by now we would have another horse. Mz. Owell will probably get claimed this Friday and then we will be back to ZERO. Why haven’t we got another horse yet? Why are we running Mz. Owell in a $7500 spot instead of trying her higher? Lots of questions and I hope you can satisfy the club people with your answers. Since this is a learning experience I don’t know if we need a better horse ($$$) or what. I know that many people have talked to me and I don’t have any answers.

A – I’m sorry that you and others are disappointed. I am around and walking around every weekend so folks should feel free to stop and ask me anything or drop a question in here where they can get answers.

Clay and I have been looking for another horse since we got Miz Owell. We had to wait a week or so because Clay didn’t have any stall space but other than that, we’ve checked over probably half a dozen horses since that time – 3 this weekend alone. As you all know, I give Clay veto power over anything that I pick out because his eye is a lot better than mine as is his ear on backside scuttlebutt that would give him a clue as to what may be wrong with a horse. He rejected all three, so we continue to look for something in that 7500 – 16000 range that he can work with. Since we claimed Miz Owell there has only been a single claim between that range. And to reiterate, neither of us like to claim at the bottom because that is where there the soreness and soundness issues tend to lie and that’s when vet bills become extraordinary and racing becomes problematical.

The reason we are running Miz Owell at $7500 is because that’s the only place we can for at least another 2 weeks. She’s already been off too long between her stomach issue and her race coming off the turf. Ideally we would have liked a $12,500 claiming race but none were written so we had a choice – run her at $7500 and get her on the track or wait until July 24 and hope the $10,000 race filled. If it didn’t, we’d have to wait longer – at which point people would be upset that we weren’t racing.

It’s a tightrope balancing act but we would rather err on the side of racing than sitting in the barn and hopefully we’ll have a stablemate to go with her (or without her) soon. If she does get claimed, we’ll continue to look for another horse to try and get two in the stable.


11 thoughts on “Claiming and Racing Question

  1. To be sure, we miss being able to see (and bet on) our own horses so far this summer. However, I am totally confident you guys are doing your best to find the right horse. This is a tricky business that doesn’t come with guarantees. There’s lots of summer left for good things to happen. 🙂

  2. I am not disappointed. I think what we have seen is the reality of horse ownership. I think it’s educational to read through the condition book. As soon as we claimed Miz Owell, I took a look and there isn’t an abundance of opportunities that perfectly fit her (price, surface, distance) and just because something is in the book doesn’t mean the race will fill. There is a cost to having Miz Owell in the barn and I don’t think it makes sense to worry about dropping her $2500. We were able to get Kipper Key claimed for us for $2500 more than we paid, so these things can go both ways. In the club, we want horses to race, we want them to race regularly, race competitively and we want horses that are healthy, fit and should hold their value. The reality is that many horses in claiming races have red flags and as Ted has pointed out, there hasn’t been an abundance of claiming activity this year. Ted also doesn’t want to be reckless financially. We should have an opportunity to learn what horse ownership is about, but still attempt to preserve our capital. We all would love to have that second horse, but we don’t want to claim a bag of hurt.

    • I guess I don’t understand why we bought a horse that doesn’t fit many races. If what we need is a healthy, good-running horse, I would rather spend the money to get a really good one. Trying to buy cheaper, so we can have 2 instead of one, may provide some educI guess I don’t understand why we bought a horse that doesn’t fit many races. If what we need is a healthy, good-running horse, I would rather spend the money to get a really good one. Trying to buy cheaper, so we can have 2 instead of one, may provide some education, but it’s a couple of months into the season, and we have yet to be in a race. I appreciate that it’s not an exact science, but if current strategy isn’t working, shouldn’t we consider trying something else? I say this with all respect to Ted and Clay, and the great job they do, and I thank them for all their work.

      • Having two, ideally, allows us to run more often. The alumni group has a $20,000 horse and we even have trouble getting him in (he ran a troubled 3rd on Friday, by the way).

        It’s not so much as buying a horse that doesn’t fit many races, it’s getting the races we want to go in get filled sometimes. The types of races that fill fluctuates with the horse population so while some types fill well early in the meet, they may not fill later. Additionally, the horse itself can fluctuate over time: when we dropped the claim slip for her, we didn’t know she’d run in such a fashion that we’d maybe want to move her up. She did, but those races weren’t available to us so we entered her right back where we bought her looking to get a win…but then she got sick. We could wait another month to run or drop her a bit and get her a race. As a commenter mentioned earlier, there is a cost associated with keeping the horse in the barn for weeks, too. While she may be claimed, she may not be – some could be nervous about her colic episode.

        Keep in mind that we bought Kipper Key at Oaklawn, had a race with him there and then one here when he got claimed so technically this will be the Club’s 3rd race, 2nd at Canterbury.

      • You are correct, we have had one race at Canterbury in 2 months. I can’t count Oaklawn because the Club convenes here, not there. I understand your points. It just seems to me that there’s more horse-shopping and less racing, which is not itself educational or fun for a lot of us. De facto, we usually just have one horse at a time, so can there be some consideration given to that horse being the best we can afford, rather than having 2 that are not?

        Sent from Samsung tablet.

      • There has been discussion in the past about only having one higher prices horse but determined that because then we would only race every 3-4 weeks with 160ish members there would be people left out of the paddock experience and we’d race less.

        That model is what was used to form the alumni group.

        I understand what you are saying because we are defacto a one horse stable, right now, maybe we should get a better one – should Miz Owell get claimed.

        The goal remains the same, though, get 2 and try and run every few weeks to give everyone an opportunity to experience everything.

        It’s been tough getting quality horses, I agree. But as someone mentioned earlier – that’s also reality. Maybe Clay and I are being a bit too fussy but we feel it’s important to be cautious and not just claim anything so we can race – we want to be in the best position to win while we run while being judicious with our money.

  3. Hi, Tell people to be more patient, I think you’re doing the right thing. Take your time it’s better to have a good shot that allows the one. Thanks for all you do and it was fun to meet you on the tour. Dick

  4. I think you are doing the best you can. This is part of racing and isn’t that what members wanted to learn about and experience? Better to have one quality horse than a bunch of horses with problems and then you still do not get to the racetrack. We also have to think of the well-being of the horse and not push one to race if not appropriate. People need to remember that they can still come and cheer our horse even if it isn’t their turn in the paddock. I don’t remember seeing a large group at the track cheering Kipper on when he raced. We have enjoyed our experience and we are first time members. Thanks for all of your hard work. We’ll be there to cheer on Miz Owell!

  5. This is an educational way of learning horse ownership. I could ramble on about different points but I have a few to many beers to make sense. I am a member in the alumni group and have had many ups and downs. But remember this is a learning experience.

  6. It seems like it is always a struggle to get your horse in a race. In year 1 I remember that Tahatian Queen was ready to run and we had to wait for what seemed like forever to get a race. Also, the mix of races at Canterbury has skewed to what seems like a higher level with the Mystic Lake money. Yes it would be nice to have a second horse but we also need to find something that will have values at the end of the year when we have to sell.

    It is a tough business and I am glad we have real horse people making the decisions for the Club.

    The forecast looks good for Friday so lets run and get a win and let the chips fall where they may. If nothing else have a good safe race for all.

    See y’all in the winners circle!!!!!

  7. This is not new. It seems like the Club is in the same situation almost every year. In my view, the criteria that is being uses in finding another horse should be relaxed a bit. By Club parameters, any horse that is purchased is either claimed away or sold by the end of the year. That makes it a short-term rental rather than a long-term purchase. That may require a different mindset when shopping for a potential claim. Any horse claimed at this point probably won’t run for the Club again until well into August, assuming no injuries and that a suitable race can be found. Am guessing that it would also mean only 2 (maybe 3?) local races before the Club would have to pay to ship the horse to Hawthorne? It just seems that something should have popped up in the claiming game in the 6+ weeks since the June 5th claim of Miz Owell, at least as a short-term rental……

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