Friday, December 28, 2007

Claiming Rules

You can't just walk into a track and buy a horse. There are rules and these rules vary from track to track. You'd think state to state, but even tracks have their own particular rules that you must adhere to in order to participate. We ran headlong into one of those rules today.

Ms. Trainer called and sounded down. I thought it was curious that she was calling me tonight because I watched the races today and was not impressed by anything I saw. I was a little concerned that she might have thought there was something in there today that was worth claiming. Silly me. - it wasn't that at all. She had met with the stewards at Tampa after reading through a copy of the claiming rules because something had caught her eye. The rule states, and I am paraphrasing, that you either have to be running horses at the meet currently or have not owned a horse in the past 12 months to be eligible to claim. Our argument was that GRS#1 has never owned a racehorse. Additionally, 4 of the 5 partners have never owned a piece of a racehorse. However the stewards ruled against us. I think the intent is promote new ownership and to keep big money folks from NY and CA from swooping in and cherry picking horses. It's pretty protectionist, but I can understand the intent - especially if Gulfstream and Calder have looser rules. Florida horsemen need somewhere to be able to run their mid-level horses without the fear of losing them at every turn from carpetbaggers.

So now we have a few options, one of which is to canvas south Florida and look for a private sale. That's the trail that Ms. Trainer is on now. It's a little discouraging, but the reality is that big horses usually come from private sales and not through a claim, so maybe we lucked out here. We'll see what the next few days bring!

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