Claiming a good thoroughbred horse is more difficult than you might think.
The first step is to find horses in the appropriate price range.
Once we have selected a few horses to look at, it’s time for some investigating. Fortunately Equibase is a wealth of information on thoroughbred horses throughout North America. We examine past performances and bloodlines. Now its time to watch replays of races of the horses we have singled out. It is also important to consider the current trainer and the number of times this horse has moved from barn to barn. We also look at where the horses have raced in the past.
Since I am not familiar with all the trainers, I spend time looking at the trainer’s record unless it is someone I might already recognize. Our trainer of course has dealt with these other trainers for years and can avoid this step.
Once we know what the horses look like on paper, it changes from science to art. Our trainer, Drew Fulmer is very experienced at examining horses and on race day he spends time visually inspecting the horse. He knows what to look for. He also observes the behavior of the horse in the Paddock area.
Yesterday we thought about claiming a filly. Well, she acted a little too crazy for us in the Paddock. She had to be saddled on the move because she would not stand still in the Paddock stall. She also reared up on her hind legs and banged her head on the ceiling of the stall. These are obviously not good signs and so we did not attempt that claim,
I must say, we were lucky to observe this inappropriate Paddock behavior before we claimed the horse. We definitely do not want “CRAZY” in our barn. There are enough things that can interrupt a horse’s performance so we want to start with a good stable horse.
So, we are still looking and I am still hoping we will get a few new horses by the end of the month. Wish me luck,