On To Hawthorne

We did not get in for this last weekend. We entered but did not make it into the race or even the also eligible list.

This has to do with the preference system. You receive a preference date based upon the last date that you ran. So if you ran on the 34th day of the meet your number becomes “R34”.

When races are oversubscribed (more entries than positions), horse with the lowest number receive preference. When we scratched because the race came off the turf last week on the 64th day of the meet we were assigned the day of the scratch as our new date or R64.

R56 was needed to make the body of the race and the last Also-Eligible was also an R64 so we must have lost a shake for spot 16.

The bottom line is we did not get in and now we have to wait for Hawthorne. Boomer will continue to work and try and stay sharp until Hawthorne opens on October 7.


16 thoughts on “On To Hawthorne

  1. While this has been both a difficult and disappointing year for the Racing Club, I believe it unfortunately has been a much more realistic and educational representation of this tough industry. Unlike the last two years that have made the business look relatively easy. It is not. I was involved in Canterbury Downs as an owner from 1989 to a year before it’s closing and 5 different partnerships and wins are very difficult to come by. Our experience included a claim that first time running after the claim and leading down the stretch by a few lengths and suffering a broken leg. I look forward to next year and hope for the best in Chicago.

  2. Ted, so did Boomer get assigned the same R number as the horses that did not scratch out of that race and did run, like TigarD? If there were that many horses (at least 17) trying to run in a $7500 turf claimed at the end of the meet its to bad the racing office could not split it and run 2 races and split the field. I suppose at least part of it is the purse money, but just wondering.

    • The way it was explained to me:

      “Our preference date system has a reward for horses that run off the turf in races that come off the grass. In those instances, those horses get to revert to their previous date. However, if you scratch in an off the turf race, you receive the date of the scratch. Thus, due to the fact that he scratched on Race Day 64, he received R64.”

      So Tiger D’s date actually would have been an earlier date as his reward for running in an off the turf race.

      Easier in the meet they would have split the race but there were already too many turf races on Friday and Saturday so they did not.

      And there ended up being 21 entries for that race and we lost a shake for the last Also Eligible slot.

    • Correct. But his preference date was not the same as ours, it was better because he stayed in when it came off the turf. It reverted to his previous race rather than that day (which is was our date became).

  3. Not that easy for many of us to “just head to Chicago”. You sure wouldn’t want to travel that far and find out he scratched again. What surprised me is that Boomer was scratched so early in the morning on Labor Day. The Track was listed as Good early in the afternoon. When we claimed Boomer be was hyped as a horse who ran well on Turf or Dirt. It never said the Track had to be listed as Fast in order for him to run on it. Also, this was a $7,500 claimer for a horse who was claimed before us for $20.000. He also had Dean Butler for his jockey. I know it’s all up to the trainer whether the horse runs or not and I certainly wouldn’t want the horse to run if injured, but to scratch the horse just because you have no confidence in him on a less than fast Track is pretty disappointing for the “owners” who liked his chances in this race. The trainer also should have known that Boomers preference date would be high and that there was no guarantee he would get into another race before the Meet ended. That said , me and my wife enjoyed our experience with the club. We wish Boomer success at Hawthorne.

    • Scratch time is 11 am so a decision has to be made early in the day. Clay called and he and I went back and forth and decided that, given his last race on an off track where he finished last, that we wanted to be a position to win the race given the class drop and increased possibility of losing him. Better to win and get claimed than run last again and get claimed. But we did not have the luxury of waiting until later in the day and deciding.

      I apologize for not saying that he needed a fast track but we didn’t know that until we saw it. Information and data changes over time as you receive more. Maybe I should have known that in advance but I did not.

      I apologize for both Clay and I for not anticipating 21 entries into the last race. I suppose we could have but at the time we did not, one, and two, we were hoping there would be an extra written before the final weekend as well.

      I’m not sure I can address the “claimed for $20,000 before us” as I’m not sure what you mean. I believe that the only time he was ever claimed was by us and that was for $10,000. If you meant running at that level, it’s true but he didn’t win there, when we claimed him at $10,000 or at $16,000 either. $7500 seemed to be the next logical place to try and win.

      Having said all that, it’s more explanation than you may have wanted but to sum it up: we thought at 10:30 that morning with what we knew that our best chance of success was to scratch and try again.

      • Yes. We made the decision then. I don’t believe that 90 minutes would have made any difference and we wanted to make the decision early enough that people could change their plans for the day. If we scratched at the last possible second there would be people upset that they didn’t find out earlier so they could have done x, y or z instead. I’m truly sorry you disagree with the way we handled it.

      • Sorry I didn’t put together your timeline question. I had to pull off I-90 twice last night to answer with some alacrity. I didn’t recall the time Clay and I spoke but that doesn’t change the flow of events or our belief that he wouldn’t run well over that surface given the information available that morning.

  4. I will just say this last post is again why I love being in the CBY club. I had no idea about the ‘race number’ as a tie breaker for anything. I keep learning….and I’ve been in the club for 4 years and have owned a 10% share earlier.

    I would say given my experience this year is “more typical” of what happens as a horse owner. I’ll be interested to hear all experiences, but last year was certainly exceptional. I have seen this type of year as well.

    Thanks Travis and Clay! No worries from my end. This is a tough business for sure.

  5. Yes results are worse than we had in prior years but that is the reality of the game. The level of racing is much higher due to the purse increases so win are to her to come by. Plus this year has been very wet taking a lot of races off the turf.

    Thank to Clay and his staff along with the Jockeys and club management for another year. Let’s get a some wins in Chicago. Hawthorne is a fun track to attend.

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