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 March 4, 2014.
With racing activity gradually picking up — the four operating mid-Atlantic tracks ran most of their scheduled days last week — claiming activity rose to its highest level in 2014. And there was a commensurate shuffling of the Midlantic Claiming 7 list of the busiest trainers.
For the third straight week, Scott Lake and Michael Pino were one-two in the Claiming 7 list, and they once again flip-flopped positions, with Lake taking over the top spot. He’s made eight claims in the last 30 days with an average value of $10,000. Pino and Patricia Farro have made six claims each. Ronney Brown’s four claims averaged $13,875 each, the highest average value among the top seven.
Three trainers entered and three left the top seven. Dane Kobiskie, who made three claims in the week ending March 4, Ferris Allen, and Ronney Brown all entered the list. They replaced Marcos Zulueta, Hugh McMahon, and Ramon Preciado.
Despite losing the top spot in the Claiming 7, Michael Pino led all trainers in net gain of horses during the last 30 days. He added six horses via the claimbox while losing just one, a net gain of five with a combined gain in value of $59,000. Ferris Allen’s five claims in the last month left him with a net gain of four horses. On the flip side of the ledger, Philip Aristone saw a net loss of five horses during the month, as he had six claimed away versus just one claim.
For the week…
Claiming activity reached its highest level in 2014 this past week.
The number of horses claimed rose from 43 to 56, a gain of just over 30 percent, and four horses more than had been claimed in any previous week in 2014. The average value of horses claimed rose slightly, to $9,817, and as a result, the total value of claims rose nearly 33 percent, to $549,750. That came although Parx missed one of its scheduled days and Penn National was forced to abandon its February 27 card after just four races.
Laurel Park was by far the busiest track in the region for claiming activity last week. Twenty-five horses changed hands via the claimbox at the central Maryland track — nearly half the region’s total claiming activity — with a combined value of $257,250 (average: $10,290). Both the number of claims and the gross dollar value were tops in the region. Penn National led the region in average value of claims; the 13 horses claimed there had an average value of $10,500.
The claimbox report covers claiming activity at Laurel Park, Parx Racing, Penn National, and Charles Town.