The Racing Biz has been tracking claiming activity in the mid-Atlantic region and reporting on it weekly for the last several months, in our Claimbox report. We continue that, along with our Midlantic Claiming 7 — the trainers who have been busiest over the prior 30 days, ending in this case on December 10.
On the heels of one of the busiest weeks of claiming activity in recent months, the mid-Atlantic region experienced one of its slowest periods in the week ending December 10. Likewise, the Midlantic Claiming 7 list of the regoin’s busiest trainers remained virtually unchanged, with only one newcomer and little change in order.
John Locke remained atop the Midlantic Claiming 7 for the third straight week. He has claimed 14 horses in the last 30 days, three more than both Jamie Ness and Kieron Magee. It is, however, Ness who holds down the top spot in terms of the value of those claims at $125,250 (average: $11,386, versus the regionwide 3-month average of $10,528). Patricia Farro, fourth on the list with eight claims, also reached six figures in value, with her claims worth $108,000 (average: $13,500).
The only notable change on the list is the reappearance of Scott Lake, now in fifth place with eight claims during the last 30 days. Though he’d been in the top 7 previously, it had been five weeks since he last appeared.
Lake and Jamie Ness remained one-two on the list of trainers losing the most horses via the claimbox. Lake lost 14 in the last 30 days (value: $112,000), and Ness lost nine ($114,750); no other trainer had more than six claimed from them. Locke, Magee, and Dale Capuano topped the net gainers, having claimed 11, 7, and 5 horses more than they lost, respectively. On the flip side, Lake and Claudio Gonzalez each lost four more horses than he claimed.
The list tracks horses claimed in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and at Parx Racing and Penn National in Pennsylvania and at West Virginia’s Charles Town Races.
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It was the slowest week of claiming activity in nearly two months.
The number of horses claimed dipped 35 percent, from 74 to just 48. With their average declining eight percent (to $9,964), that meant the gross value of claimed horses dropped more than 40 percent, to $478,250. Those were the lowest one-week numbers since the week ending October 22.
Nasty weather played a significant role in the decline. Parx, often the busiest claiming track in the region, canceled its Monday and Tuesday cards, leaving it running just two days during the week; as a result, just nine horses changed hands at that track, though their average value of $12,944 was the region’s highest. Laurel led in both the number of horses claimed — 19 — and their gross value ($201,000).