Great read - food for thought: Blame the Breeder

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lurkey mclurker
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:44 pm

https://ayankeeinparis.com/2017/11/28/b ... e-breeder/

Apologies if this has been posted somewhere here before, but if not I found this to be very insightful. I actually stumbled across it via CANTER California's FB page.
By saying that it is the breeders responsibility for the horses life, we are not only enabling the current owner to be irresponsible, but we are also running the breeder through an impossible gauntlet. One where they are spending their time picking up the pieces of others shattered messes.
No, it does not rest on them. Instead, hold your owners accountable. Hold your trainers accountable. And hold your racetracks accountable.

Enforce their anti-slaughter policies. Enforce their drug restraints. Enforce the vetting that happens before a race, and disallow any injured or obviously neglected horse from running. Open their minds to legit punishments, that are more than a smack on the wrist and a fine that can be paid off mucking stalls for a day.
Increase the transparency over the options these owners and trainers have. Show them the CANTER website and inform them of competitions such as the Retired Racehorse Projects Thoroughbred Makeover. Increase the number of “End of the Meet Showcase Days”, where trainers can highlight their horses which are ready for retirement while attracting local equestrians to attend.

And at the end of the day, a sound horse is a safer horse. A sound horse has a 90% chance of finding a second home – a second career. Us breeders have to prove our horses soundness before they are purchased at the mass auction houses like Keeneland and Fasig Tipton. They leave our farms able and ready. But they do not always leave the track in the same fashion.
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Sparrow Castle
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Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:28 am

I've read and enjoyed Carleigh's blogs before. As usual, things are more complicated at the middle/low ends of the sport.

The thing about holding owners accountable is being at the mercy of the claiming game with most of these horses. We would happily keep our horses for years, until they are ready for new careers, if there were non-claiming races we could run them in once they run out of conditions. Other countries do that much better by grouping horses by class level and giving owners a choice. I hate the claiming game.

We've never had a breeder contact us willing to take a horse back, but we've claimed back some just to get them off the track.

She's right about everyone has to be a part of the solution, especially tracks and even fans.
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Gemini
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Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:01 pm

Sparrow Castle wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:28 am
I've read and enjoyed Carleigh's blogs before. As usual, things are more complicated at the middle/low ends of the sport.

The thing about holding owners accountable is being at the mercy of the claiming game with most of these horses. We would happily keep our horses for years, until they are ready for new careers, if there were non-claiming races we could run them in once they run out of conditions. Other countries do that much better by grouping horses by class level and giving owners a choice. I hate the claiming game.

We've never had a breeder contact us willing to take a horse back, but we've claimed back some just to get them off the track.

She's right about everyone has to be a part of the solution, especially tracks and even fans.
I've been a racing fan since I was in first grade... and even after that much time I still don't understand why claiming races are the only option for horses of modest talent in this country. All it serves to do is put humans and animals in the midst of a Byzantine labyrinth where horses disappear and people can abuse the system.
sweettalk
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Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:01 pm

friends who aren't horse racing fans have asked me, when i do get them to talk abt it, "what if your horse is good at that lower rank and hits the board often, but you don't want to sell it?" good question.

however, without claiming races, the stories of "we claimed the horse to save it" might go away, and more horses may be at risk - what horse was it that was recently claimed and retired, but the owner refused to sell and wanted to keep racing? now give them the option to keep running in low tier races that have no claiming prices.

i'm not saying i oppose low tier non-claiming races (i don't, i support the idea, i agree with the "he's good at this lower level but we don't want to sell"), i just wonder abt what new issues might come up. not that issues don't arise in claiming races as well. it's a tough situation.
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Gemini
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Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:27 pm

sweettalk wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:01 pm
however, without claiming races, the stories of "we claimed the horse to save it" might go away, and more horses may be at risk - what horse was it that was recently claimed and retired, but the owner refused to sell and wanted to keep racing? now give them the option to keep running in low tier races that have no claiming prices.
People could still purchase a horse privately and without the risk of it getting hurt/killed in said claiming race. I'm certainly not against all claiming races and I have utmost respect for people who step up and claim horses in order to give them a good home. Unfortunately in the claiming ranks it seems that more people lose horses they'd rather keep.
lurkey mclurker
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Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:41 pm

Gemini wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:01 pm

I've been a racing fan since I was in first grade... and even after that much time I still don't understand why claiming races are the only option for horses of modest talent in this country. All it serves to do is put humans and animals in the midst of a Byzantine labyrinth where horses disappear and people can abuse the system.
Same... and I'm amazed at myself that I never questioned before why we don't have more lower-purse races that are non-claiming. I guess I figured that was what allowance races were?
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ElPrado2
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Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:47 pm

Which is entirely predictable.
The new owner claims a horse whose name is recognized. Even the a---oles can see themselves in the winner's circle. The horse has a name. The owner (in what mind it has) can look good for at least 30 seconds.
The horse in reality is going through the motions. What else does it know? Go out and try. Maybe it found a spot it is sound in mind or body enough for a few races, maybe not.
The new owner still has a dream, hopefully not until it is too late.
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Sparrow Castle
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Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:53 pm

I think claiming (selling) races can exist along with non-claiming (non-selling) races. My understanding is that non-selling races group horses by class level similar to the rating levels horses receive in Europe and other countries. I think this is one change that can be implemented little by little and, if it proves popular to owners and trainers, maybe those will naturally exceed the number of claiming races some day. I don't see how this change would affect handicapping, handle and tracks at all. I also think this type of race could replace what we now call Starter Allowance races.

Since any horses we've been able to race throughout the season get the winter off at the farm, their first race back is usually whatever level Waiver Claiming race they qualify for at no risk of losing them. After that, when they're out of conditions we get stomach ulcers, with one exception, Starter Allowance races.

Our track cards a very small number of Starter Allowance races a year, which we take advantage of when we meet the conditions and the distance is right. The conditions are strict (eg Fillies/Mares, 3 years&up, which have started for a claiming price of $XXk or less in 2017 or 2018 (current and last year). You have to decide if you are okay with the distance and that the race fills, which it often doesn't. The purses are set at the level of the claiming race that qualified you for the race.

Then you either run them where they don't belong (we ran our girl in an overnight stakes last year that was quite a stretch) or you expose them to a claim.

I wish the folks who read this board and are from countries that use the non-selling system for mid to lower level horses would discuss it with us. I really don't know enough about it to see any downsides.
sweettalk
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Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:10 pm

Gemini wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:27 pm
sweettalk wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:01 pm
however, without claiming races, the stories of "we claimed the horse to save it" might go away, and more horses may be at risk - what horse was it that was recently claimed and retired, but the owner refused to sell and wanted to keep racing? now give them the option to keep running in low tier races that have no claiming prices.
People could still purchase a horse privately and without the risk of it getting hurt/killed in said claiming race. I'm certainly not against all claiming races and I have utmost respect for people who step up and claim horses in order to give them a good home. Unfortunately in the claiming ranks it seems that more people lose horses they'd rather keep.
IF the current owner is willing to sell. they aren't always.
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Curtis
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Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:01 pm

sweettalk wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:10 pm
Gemini wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:27 pm
sweettalk wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:01 pm
however, without claiming races, the stories of "we claimed the horse to save it" might go away, and more horses may be at risk - what horse was it that was recently claimed and retired, but the owner refused to sell and wanted to keep racing? now give them the option to keep running in low tier races that have no claiming prices.
People could still purchase a horse privately and without the risk of it getting hurt/killed in said claiming race. I'm certainly not against all claiming races and I have utmost respect for people who step up and claim horses in order to give them a good home. Unfortunately in the claiming ranks it seems that more people lose horses they'd rather keep.
IF the current owner is willing to sell. they aren't always.
Very true, I tried to buy one of my OTTB’s, Anniversary Year, privately. I offered the most recent claim price as well as the winner’s share of the purse. His owner/trainer said he wasn’t for sale. One of his former trainers had felt bad she hadn’t retired him so she claimed him for me and I’ve had him now for almost 16 years.
sweettalk
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Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:28 pm

and now he has the best home he could ever want! :D
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Curtis
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Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:09 pm

sweettalk wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:28 pm
and now he has the best home he could ever want! :D
I’m not sure how official your ranking is but thank you. A.Y. made into the Offspring of Secretariat Calendar this year along side Border Run. Had I known that was a possibility, I’d have taken his fly mask off. He’s a good boy. I’m not much of a rider and every time I was feeling lucky and decided to get on him, he always took care of me up there. Once, a big gust of wind blew an entire sheet of newspaper through the arena as we were trotting. A.Y. slowed down, stopped and rolled his eye back to look at me as if to say, “You al’right up there?” His trainer, at the time, turned white as a sheet. Let’s just say A.Y.’s biggest attribute hasn’t always been known as his head. The trainer figured A.Y. would be up in his hind legs and that a call to 911 would be in order.
Catalina
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Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:54 pm

That's too funny! I am so glad you were able to obtain him and retire him.
summerhorse
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Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:38 pm

They could at least make them all OPTIONAL claimers so your horses could run at their level but not be for sale if you want to keep them.
RugbyGirl
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Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:31 pm

New Zealand uses a Rating system for most races. This is from the NZ Racing website

Rating Bands
Maiden horses

Will almost always be rated from 45-54 with the exception of those that perform in a higher class or in say a black-type three year old race. They can expect a higher rating. After three “misses” a maiden horse will revert to a mark of 45. These races will continue to be raced under set-weight conditions.

Rating Races
Races in New Zealand can be run under any Ratings band, but generally the following broad ratings band can apply:

Rating 65

These races are open to all horses with a rating up to and including 65 at the time of nomination. Given the fact that all horses with a rating up to 65 are eligible to run, the ratings band generally includes maidens, one win horses and horses with two or more wins, with an extended run of poor form line.

Rating 75

These races are open to all horses with a rating up to and including 75 at the time of nomination. Given the fact that all horses with a rating up to 75 are eligible to run, the ratings band generally includes maidens, 1 win horses and most two win horses, three win horses with a recent loss of form and horses with four or more wins with an extended poor form line.

Rating 85

These races are open to all horses with a rating up to and including 85 at the time of nomination. Given the fact that all horses with a rating up to 85 are eligible to run, the ratings band generally includes horses from maidens up to and including most 3 to 4 win horses as well as some open grade horses with poor recent form.

Open Class

Open Class horses will be rated from late 80’s upward. These races will be raced under handicap conditions with the exception of black-type weight-for-age races. It is important to remember that horses of a particular class that excel or conversely perform poorly, or drop-back horses, may well rate outside these parameters.

Ask me any questions you have about New Zealand and Australia racing
RugbyGirl
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Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:39 pm

For Example these are the conditions for a minor racecard on this Friday

R1 Starting limit 16, Ballots: 6 Rating 72 Benchmark 1600m - $15,000
R2 Starting limit: 14, Ballots: 6 Rating 72 Benchmark 1200m - $11,000
R3 Starting limit: 16, Ballots: 6 Rating 65 Benchmark* 2100m - $10,000
R4 Starting limit: 16, Ballots: 6 Rating 65 Benchmark Fillies and Mares* 1400m - $10,000
R5 Starting limit: 16, Ballots: 6 Maiden 1600m - $10,000
R6 Starting limit: 16, Ballots: 6 Maiden Fillies and Mares 1400m - $10,000
R7 Starting limit: 14, Ballots: 6 Maiden 1200m - $10,000
R8 Starting limit: 16, Ballots: 6 Rating 65 Benchmark* 1400m - $10,000

Note there are Fillies and mares races here but fillies are welcome (and often do) race against males where they carry about a kilo less than males
Ask me any questions you have about New Zealand and Australia racing
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Gemini
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Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:30 pm

RugbyGirl wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:31 pm
New Zealand uses a Rating system for most races. This is from the NZ Racing website

Rating Bands
Maiden horses

Will almost always be rated from 45-54 with the exception of those that perform in a higher class or in say a black-type three year old race. They can expect a higher rating. After three “misses” a maiden horse will revert to a mark of 45. These races will continue to be raced under set-weight conditions.

Rating Races
Races in New Zealand can be run under any Ratings band, but generally the following broad ratings band can apply:

Rating 65

These races are open to all horses with a rating up to and including 65 at the time of nomination. Given the fact that all horses with a rating up to 65 are eligible to run, the ratings band generally includes maidens, one win horses and horses with two or more wins, with an extended run of poor form line.

Rating 75

These races are open to all horses with a rating up to and including 75 at the time of nomination. Given the fact that all horses with a rating up to 75 are eligible to run, the ratings band generally includes maidens, 1 win horses and most two win horses, three win horses with a recent loss of form and horses with four or more wins with an extended poor form line.

Rating 85

These races are open to all horses with a rating up to and including 85 at the time of nomination. Given the fact that all horses with a rating up to 85 are eligible to run, the ratings band generally includes horses from maidens up to and including most 3 to 4 win horses as well as some open grade horses with poor recent form.

Open Class

Open Class horses will be rated from late 80’s upward. These races will be raced under handicap conditions with the exception of black-type weight-for-age races. It is important to remember that horses of a particular class that excel or conversely perform poorly, or drop-back horses, may well rate outside these parameters.

Very informative; thank you for sharing. I'm glad I remembered to catch up with this thread today.
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