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 17.

For the fourth straight week, John Locke heads the Midlantic Claiming 7.  He’s claimed 11 horses in the last 30 days, three more than any other trainer.

Though Locke has claimed more horses than any other trainer, their value — $77,000 (average: $7,000) — falls behind those of three other trainers.  Jamie Ness leads all trainers in the value of his claims in the last 30 days, with his eight claims totaling $91,250 (average: $11,406).  Among the leaders, the highest average belonged to Kathleen DeMasi, whose five claims averaged $14,100.

The list’s only newcomer this week was DeMasi, who checked in in seventh position.  It was the first time in eight weeks that she joined the top 7.

Scott Lake had 10 horses claimed from him during the 30-day period, most among the region’s trainers, with a gross value of $98,500.  That left him net negative for the month.  On the other side of the ledger, Locke and Kieron Magee both added to their stables, with Locke’s 11 claims giving him a net increase of eight horses (and $58,000 in value) and Magee’s eight claims yielding a seven-horse gain ($65,000 value).

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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For the week…

Difficult winter weather in the mid-Atlantic led to a spate of cancellations, and that, in turn, led to the slowest week of claiming activity since The Racing Biz began tracking it in June.  Only nine of the scheduled 17 racing cards took place in the last week, with Parx canceling all four days it was slated to run, Charles Town losing three days, and Penn National losing one.

As a result, just 32 horses changed hands in the region via the claimbox last week, with a combined value of $334,750 — both off more than 30 percent from last week, which itself was a slow week.  The average did tick up in the last week, by about five percent to $10,461.

Laurel led the region’s tracks in the number of horses claimed and their value, with 22 moving for a gross value of $256,250 (average: $11,648).

Weekly Dollar Value of Horses Changing Hands