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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:14 am 
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Shammy Davis wrote:
http://www.thesportjournal.org/article/trouble-turn-how-trainers-view-financial-viability-california-horseracing

According to this blog, the trainer is better off owning the horse if he/she has a small stable.

http://holyracehorse.blogspot.com/2009/ ... ining.html

http://www.racehorsetrainers.com/dayrates.htm

This is a very interesting thread. It reminds me of the risks Charlie Whittingham took with a number of his great horses when he took a considerable share of the ownership. In the case of Sunday Silence and his agreement of Arthur Hancock, I believe he even sold half of his share so he immediatedly made a profit.


Hi Shammy,
Thanks for the post, it's a good read and it is just the way it is back there, moreso for the small trainer....but it does find its way to the larger outfits when there is a dry spell. It's a struggle.......even the 10% commission is used up before the big horse comes home. The yearly workmans comp......requires a horse to earn 40,000 plus just to cover that expense from your 10% commission in a small stable.....much higher for the big outfits. I found out that 10% just doesn't get it.....you have to have a piece of every horse, if not own them outright. It's the only way you can survive, otherwise it's just a steady drain. But, it's the chance you take to show your ability and eventually find your way into a better position. TJ


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:07 am 
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Joltman wrote:
I go back to one weak link in the chain though - the 'cheap claiming race'. The system militates against LONG TERM investing much of anything into an animal (breed/board/leg up/train) if it can only run in a condition where the horse can be snatched for $5k or less. It simply makes no sense to invest and pushes everyone to get the 'big horse', and people get slaughtered financially trying.

Harness racing has a system of lower priced conditioned races. Owners can place and run their charges in these, and possibly make a buck slowly, rather than lose a $25k investment in the racing office after the race in the blink of an eye.


The solution would be one I proposed earlier - make ALL claiming races optional claiming races. To make sure horses are running at their appropriate level, have set entry rules, like cannot have won in a higher level claiming race in the past xxx months, etc.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:02 pm 
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TJ, Shannon, anyone want to come to PA to be a trainer, if we get our act together? Shannon, you could help us a number of rookie mistakes. And TJ, your description:

TJ wrote:
I've been doing this a long time and in most cases only one person can train, feed and care for a horse, that's the person that's with the horse 24/7 on their hands and knees checking every inch of him daily, clocking his first steps out of the stall, observing the training and how well the horse handles it, how he pulls up on the track, how he feels coming off the track, how the horse cools out, how much he drinks, his attitude at feed time, does he clean his tub, etc. This is the only person that can safely dictate what a horse should be doing on a daily basis while considering that horses attitude when it comes his time to go out. You can write up a tentative schedule, but that doesn't mean the horse can make it happen......it changes on a daily basis. If the owner's/breeder's of a co-op arrangement want to be involved on a daily basis, then decisions made together could possibly work as long as they are there with you when that horse steps out of the stall....knowledgeable horseman/woman usually see the same thing. I know personally I've never been able to share one horse's training schedule with another person.....when I train a horse they are all treated as individuals and each one is trained differently. It may sound weird, but I get to the point I know how that horse will feel on a daily basis and get to know what he needs each day to move him forward surely and safely and most importantly soundly. Now, that's just me....I'm sure there are other's out there that are willing to bend....but you really don't want one that is willing to bend to far as it usually is a signal this trainer is either not that knowledgeable or burnt out and will go along for the ride....possible at the expense of the horse. The horse always comes first, no matter what the consequences are to you....always do what's best for the horse. . . . TJ


Is pretty much what I'd want in a trainer, but I'll admit I still think putting together the right combination of co-op members & trainer is the most daunting part.

By the way, I found those links to costs interesting, because it confirms what I thought back in an earlier post (on page #3 of this thread) that so many trainers are also owners (because that's how the economics work out best).

Well, the idea is intriguing enough that I'll have to put some numbers around the idea (but not until after the yearling sale - too busy sale-prepping to think about it, right now.)

Oh, and aethervox - I would also like for claiming races to be optional, if there is a way to keep trainers from dropping $20k claimers in at $5k without penalty.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:55 pm 
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KBEquine wrote:
Oh, and aethervox - I would also like for claiming races to be optional, if there is a way to keep trainers from dropping $20k claimers in at $5k without penalty.
I would think you could limit races to horses who haven't won a race with horses valued at a certain level, or only won races at certain levels. Perhaps a $5k claiming race could be limited to horses who have won $5k-8k claiming races, and nonwinners of xx $5k-10k claiming races. Or have a rule that if a horse drops more than a certain dollar amount, they must be put up for a claim? So a $20k claimer could run for $10-15K with an option not to claim, but any lower than that they'd lose the 'option'?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:22 pm 
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I wish I was physically able, I have my trainers license from MD. Have had it since the 80's. Worked as an assistant to Charlsie Cantey for 3 years, A. Ferris Allen and Dale Capuano. Managed breeding/training farms for owners who bred to race, so I got all the babies ready for the track and took care of the layups , legging them up (after their injuries healed) for the track. Was racing manager for one owner too. We were based in VA but had NY breds.

But the years of taking care of the horses when they got hurt and not myself have taken a toll on me. Though I still have the knowledge.

If only............................

winds

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:09 pm 
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I believe the present claiming system works well.. If a trainer drops a $20k claimer to $5k in order to pick up some easy cash he just might loose that $20k claimer unless people think he is trying to dump an injured horse.. It's like playing poker and if you don't know how to play you should stay out of the game, or always run your horse where he belongs.

It's mostly self regulated and does not require a gaggle of "experts" to keep order.. More governmental interferience in horse racing will only screw things up worse than they are and increase the tracks over head.

griff

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:18 pm 
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If the claiming game was working, you would have a lot more people looking to own horses and making a profit doing it. The harness game has a series of levels based on recent earnings like nonwinners of $2000 in last five starts. If a horse wins at that level, then their earnings bump them up into something higher. There are often other conditions that can let a horse in - kind of like low level allowance races. The harness people aren't making much money either though and the condition races are tougher than the claimers. But at least there is an option.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:41 pm 
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I like the idea of more optional claiming races, maybe not all claiming should be optional, but certainly there could be more lower level optional races (8-10,000). Especially with youngsters or first time starters with some talent, you're not going to run their first start in a stakes against tried horses, but you want them in company where they can do well and gain confidence. But if you think the horse has talent, you can bet the rail birds have smelled it too, and someone will be on you if you run for a tag, I have seen may a 2 yo snagged in their first out, and go on to be allowance/stake horses afterwards. I know of several trainers who have good hard knockers that run well, win a few, bring home a paycheck almost every start, that are their most competitive at the 8-10,000 level. And they've been claimed away and claimed back many times (we had one mare in our barn claimed 3 times in a season and claimed back by the owners every time, until they finally gave up and retired her because they wanted her for a broodmare). Give these working class horses an optional, and you'd probably see more people gettinginto the game. Not everyone wants the one big horses...I'd rather have a barn full of do-gooders for 8 years than one big flash in the pan horse. You don;t see many stakes horses remain at that level for more than a couple years, then they become low level claimers...


KB, if I were single and not a mother I'd be down there in a heartbeat!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:49 pm 
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Ok how about this

A race where the horses have had to have at least 20 lifetime starts, and maybe some other conditions.

or 30 or 50

or 5 races over 1 mile or winners of at least one race over a mile and a quarter?

they write races just for grays and roans... this would reward the sound, hard knockers.

jm

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:43 pm 
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Joltman wrote:
they write races just for grays and roans...


Really?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:43 pm 
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Joltman wrote:
they write races just for grays and roans...


Really?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:21 am 
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freshman wrote:
Joltman wrote:
they write races just for grays and roans...


Really?


Hi Freshman,
They all ready have a race like this.....it's conditioned as a Starter Handicap type race called the "Gray Ghost" for gray and roan horses that have started for a claiming price of ? It's run a few times at each of the Meadowlands TB meet. I believe there are other tracks that carry some as well.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:40 am 
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Joltman wrote:
Ok how about this

A race where the horses have had to have at least 20 lifetime starts, and maybe some other conditions.

or 30 or 50

or 5 races over 1 mile or winners of at least one race over a mile and a quarter?

they write races just for grays and roans... this would reward the sound, hard knockers.

jm


Hi Jolt,
What you are asking for is actually out there......they have various conditions imposed on claiming races all ready. The claiming system works very well and serves a purpose for the various owner's and trainers in the business. It is a perfect outlet for people that no longer want to campaign a low level horse....but just as perfect an opprtunity for a new owner to get into the business with a decent cheap horse that he can claim and run right back without months of training expenses. Claiming races known as beaten races impose various condition for claiming horses to run under, the most common being Never Won 2 or never won 3. they also impose beaten races with never won a race at a mile or over, hasn't won a race this year etc. If you have a low level claiming horse that does well, you can always run in a Starter Handicap or Starter Allowance races which are limited to horses that have run for a specified claiming price within the past year.......these are the best claiming horses on the grounds and it is the same as running in an allowance race or handicap race but your claiming horses, under these conditions, aren't eligible to be claimed. TJ


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:25 am 
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True about the availability of conditions of course, but unless it's high end allowance conditions it all revolves around the claiming game. The starter allowance assumes that you risked the horse cheap first. If the horse had value and dropped into the claimer, you would have lost it.

But the driver in starter allowance and means of entry is claiming price and the conditions simply limit eligibility somewhat. The claiming system is capitalism at work, but it also leads to the commoditization and cheapening of the animals with only the stakes quality horses seen to have value (hence are worth protecting)

The system is like the government. How? Well like the government you have the little worker bustin his behind out there but teetering under the weight of the whole bureaucracy resting on top of it. In racing you have the little $5 claimer (having 'no value') running his heart out to make a buck, but overwhelmed by training, feed, hay, bedding, drug tests, medication, jockey fee, track expenses, etc.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:30 am 
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Joltman wrote:
True about the availability of conditions of course, but unless it's high end allowance conditions it all revolves around the claiming game. The starter allowance assumes that you risked the horse cheap first. If the horse had value and dropped into the claimer, you would have lost it.

But the driver in starter allowance and means of entry is claiming price and the conditions simply limit eligibility somewhat. The claiming system is capitalism at work, but it also leads to the commoditization and cheapening of the animals with only the stakes quality horses seen to have value (hence are worth protecting)

The system is like the government. How? Well like the government you have the little worker bustin his behind out there but teetering under the weight of the whole bureaucracy resting on top of it. In racing you have the little $5 claimer (having 'no value') running his heart out to make a buck, but overwhelmed by training, feed, hay, bedding, drug tests, medication, jockey fee, track expenses, etc.


Hi Jolt,
In most cases when a horse is dropped in for a tag, there's something brewing physically with the horse and they want the horse to run against a group that won't have him racing all out.....it is a gambling outfit looking to cash a ticket or the purse is so good for that cheap claiming race that the owner and trainer decide to drop the horse and pick up that big pot! The reason you enter in for a tag is because you've found your horse wanting at the higher levels.....most people are glad to get the class relief for these horses so they can start earning their feed. It's hard to understand how you can blame claiming races for cheapening the horse if he can't compete with the better horses....he's all ready an also ran and worth little. Many drop looking for their proper class level and sometimes that doesn't help......once you do that and still aren't earning, you have a choice to make. Bring him home because he can't earn at the bottom level claimers or ship to an even lower level claiming track and run the risk of who know's what if you lost the horse at one of those bull rings.. Today with the big purses for 5,000 claimers, many trainers run horses worth 20,000 in them just to win the pot. The 5,000 claimer today is worth quite a bit more where these purses have sky rocketed. What happens is true 5,000 claimers are worth even less and must change racing venues that have smaller purses in order to earn for 5,000. The competition in a race, no matter what kind of crazy conditions are put in the eligibility to run in that race......the horses that show up are driven by the amount of the purse......a 5 claimer that has a pot worth 20,000 will draw a real tough field of horses dropping down to win that pot. The botton line, no matter how you write the race, a cheap horse will perform cheaply no matter what changes are made to the actual race, because there will always be a better horse in the race. TJ


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