Claiming a horse — more of an art than a science

Our horses are in California for the Fairplex meet.  We had two entries yesterday that proved unsuccessful. 

Our sprinter Elusive Moment needed to be steadied at the start, so the race was over for him.  It is difficult at best to make up those few seconds of lost time, especially in a short race.  Fortunately, this was a good race just to see how he would respond to the track.  We didn’t find any good races for him this summer, so he really needed a refresher and I anticipate a successful race before the end of the meet.  At least that’s my positive attitude — being negative about racing is self-defeating.  I just know we’ll do better.

Our second entry was Pusuxit.  He was in a race well above his class, but it was the right distance and again an refresher for this horse.  I am positive that he will satisfy our desire for a win before the meet is over and that really is not being overly optimistic — he is just a really great horse when he is in his class.

Well, now to the real story — claiming a horse.  We plan to claim two horses out of this meet.  I suggested a horse to our trainer and my suggestions are based purely on science.  I check for the horse’s record using the internet and watch previous races.  I also check the horses bloodlines and look at who the current owners and trainers are.  Once I figure it out, I give my pick to the trainer.  These are only suggestions and I leave the final analysis and choice to our trainer, Drew Fulmer — remembering that it’s his job to keep me out of trouble.

Well, he sure did his job yesterday.  I picked a horse with a proven track record and great bloodlines.  Now, it was time for the art of claiming.  Our trainer had the opportunity to access the horse prior to the race.  He didn’t drop the claim. 

We dodged the bullet — the horse came in 2nd in the race and looked okay, only to be vanned off after the race.  Wow, we are so lucky to have an alert trainer like Drew Fulmer  who just knows a good horse when he sees it and likewise knows when to avoid a questionable one.

So our unsuccessful day at the races turned out to be quite successful.  Our two horses pulled up good and will be ready to run before the end of the meet.  And, we dodged the bullet when it came to our claim.  There is always a silver lining — you just have to look for it!

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