Here and There on the Turf: On the Claiming Rule. Kentucky and New York. Recruiting a Stable, Daily Racing Form, 1924-12-10


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Here and There on the Turf On the Claiming Rule. Kentucky and New York. Recruiting a Stable. Xalapa Horses Arrive. There are still abuses of the claiming race at some of the race courses. This has occasioned the passage of a rule at Tijuana which seeks to prohibit the entering of horses that palpably have no chance and naming them purely and solely for the purpose of making a claim. - Of course, under the Kentucky rule and tin rule under which the claiming races at Tijuana are governed, it is necessary for a man to have a starter in a race befon; he becomes eligible to make a claim. In both New York and Maryland there is no such restriction, anyone being eligible to claim a horse from a claiming race. There have be;n many arguments for and against the Kentucky rule as against that of Maryland and New York and it is possible that the majority of horsemen prefer the clause requiring that before becoming eligible to make a claim the claimant must have a starter. One argument that has been used in support of the Kentucky rule is that with the claiming open to all a horseman is in danger of losing his horsa to some man who is not even connected with the turf. A claim might be made to vent some spleen or with malice to do harm. Of course, if the claiming race is what it should be, the man who loses his hors2 has no legitimate complaint. He has named a price for which he is willing to sell the horse and it should make no difference to whom the horse goes after he has been sold. But trainers are stiQ, with all the safeguards about the claiming races, prone to undervalue their horses for the purpose of having a suitable weight allotment. Horses are entered in claiming races because they cannot win in any better class, but nine times out cf ten the man who enters his horse in a claiming race hopes he will not lose him. That might easily be a hope while a fair value has been placed on the horse. One of the best arguments for the New York and Maryland claiming race rule, which permits of anyone claiming a starter, is that it at once makes impossibb any chicanery before the running. With five, ten or fifteen starters in a claiming race under the Kentucky rule it is known just what men are eligible to make the claims and they are the only ones that are eligible. This at once permits of deals being agreed upon that might readily protect every starter from being claimed. When that same claiming is open to the wide world the trainer cannot be sure whether or not he will lead his horse back to the stable. That is as it sho.uld be. From time to time there have been agreements between trainers in these claiming races. There are trainers who would never think of claiming from Jim Bmith or Bill Brown, but they would be eager to take John Does horse if he would dare to start one that was worth taking. The whole trouble is that too often the eelling and the claiming race has been used as a medium for settling petty grudges. Time was when the "selling race war" between this or that owner was a bitter and usually an unprofitable one. Horses were claimed, not because they were considered especial bargains, but for the purpose of evening up a score or in retaliation for some other act. The claiming race is an excellent institution and it furnishes profitable employment to more thoroughbreds than all the other races put together, but it must be a race that is just what the rules mean it should be. It must be confined to horses of that particular division and when a horse is honestly valued there is no real hardship when he is claimed, no matter from whence that claiming comes. And there is still another good reason for the New York rule that permits of anyone making a claim. It is the case of the man who desires to come into racing modestly and still has no horse. In this connection a sportsman, who is at present without horses, has decided to campaign a stable next season. He has made repeated efforts to buy and on every occasion a ridiculously high value has been placed on each of the horses he desires. One horse that was priced at 2,000 appeared shortly after in a claiming race under a valuation of ,500. Under the Kentucky rule, this man, who is in the market for a horse, could not claim for the reason he had no horse to run against his desired purchase. In New York he would be able to take that horse for ,500, though he had been priced at the stable for 2,000. It is not a popular method for a sportsman to recruit his stable by claiming horse3 out of races, but in this particular instance there seems to be no other way to obtain the horses desired. The pries at the stable and the price in the claiming race is widely different, and there is no good reason for that difference. The price at the stable and the price in a selling race should be alike. Horses must be entered for a fair valuation to make the races what is intended under the rule. There is the same intent in the Kentucky rule as there is in the New York rule, but it would seem that making the claiming open to all, better safeguards the race. It should not be considered a calamity to lose a horse out of a claiming race and it should not be the occasion for enmity if the price that is quoted is a fair market valuation. It is unfortunate that the special train from Paris, Ky., bearing the Xalapa horses to the New York sale should have been delayed, but it has been reported that the horses arrived in good condition. This sale is io begin Wednesday night and be continued Thursday. Squadron A Armory was made ready for their reception some time ago by the Fasig-Tipton Company and already there have been many prospective purchasers looking the lots over. In the gathering of the horses for this big sale they also came from E. F. Simms private training grounds at Saratoga Springs, as well as Havre de Grace, where elaborate training quarters have been maintained for a considerable time. Mr. Simms thoroughbred holdings are immense and they represented an enormous outlay. The selection of his blood stock was made with great care and it is safe to predict that the sale will be one of the most memorable in thoroughbred history. Two years ago Frederick Johnson was not willing to trade his chances with anyone who had an eligible for the Kentucky Derby. His nominee was Nassau, the brown son of Nas-sovian and Philista, by Isinglass, truly a stoutly bred colt. On April 30 Nassau was winner of a mile and seventy yards race at Lexington from a good field. He followed this, by winning a i mile at Churchill Downs on May 14, and that was his last public trial for the Kentucky Derby, which was run May 19. In the running of that renewal, when Zev led from barrier rise to finish, Nassau was cover far from the pace, and he finished a good fourth to Zev, Martingale and Vigil. The colt did not come back to his early three-year-old promise for the rest of his three-ycar-cld season, and he has not yet come back to what Mr. Johnson expected of him, but he is in winning form, as is evidenced by his Jefferson Park form. He is now a member of the S. N. Holman string and gives promise of being a thoroughly useful performer through the winter season.

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