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Open Season

Posted by on 7/21/2015 9:38:55 PM

It’s no secret, it’s nobody’s fault and there are no sore losers but every trainer and owner knows that when Del Mar opens it is open season on claims.

It has been that way for decades and opening day proved the theory once again as a total of 14 runners changed hands. So let’s take a look at the runners that took a positive barn change and one that went from a good barn to a bad barn.

Six horses were claiming out of the very first race of the meet. It was a mile race or $12,500 claimers and the owners that took a shot want action.

The first 3 finishers were claimed, the losing 3-1 favorite was taken, and the 5th and 7th finishers changed barns.

Most of the trainers’ moves were lateral in origin but not all. The 5th finisher The Mad Hungarian went from the cleverRicky Agarie, who has worked with good horsewoman Carla Gaines, to the barn of a relatively new trainer on the circuit, Kimberly Schaffer Marrs.

Marrs has always had a love for the racing game and is also a successful entrepreneur.

The show horse went from the very potent Peter Miller barn to the Kenneth Nettles shadows. Nettles has decent training numbers but deals with low-quality stock.

The second race saw 5 runners claimed. The race was carded for fillies and mares offered for $16,000.

Once again, the first 3 finishers were claim, which just goes to show that trainers in SoCal know exactly what they are doing.

Those runners, Always a Chance, Two Step Flor and Lust for Life should come back to run well but the other 2 runners that were claimed are iffy at best.

No Tricks for Jack and She Hums ran 10th and last respectively with no apparent excuse and they showed limited speed in the process.

Moving on to the 6th race, a $20,000 claimer for the boys, three runners were claimed.

Ranulf may prove the best purchase. He broke a bit slowly opening day and now will take breakfast at the barn of Jeff Mullins, who is off to a good start at Del Mar.

Don’t be scared to back runners that are taking a drop in class. It may look suspicious but especially early in the meet, the purses will be huge and a stable can take a little bump in the claiming price if they can get a win and cash a ticket.

And this really comes into play with recent claims. It may look like a suspicious negative situation when say a horse is claimed for $50,000 and shows up for $32,000 for his next start but that is not really the case at Del Mar.

The owners are there to bet, eat, have fun and get their pictures taken in the winner’s circle. If they can make a little profit, or just break even and reach the winner’s circle, it’s worth it for most owners.

Take that into consideration and don’t forget to get the sunscreen out.



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