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 April 22, 2014.
In part because of the Easter holiday, claiming activity dipped during the last week. But it remained robust in a week which saw a new trainer atop the Midlantic Claiming 7 list of most active claiming trainers.
For the first time in three weeks, trainer Scott Lake moved back to the top of the list, supplanting Ronney Brown, who’d been first in each of the last two weeks. Lake’s 10 claims are one more than both Brown and Wayne Potts have made. Lake also leads by the gross value of his claims, with his 10 worth a combined $128,500 (average: $12,850). The highest average, however, went to Kieron Magee; his five claims, worth $80,500, have averaged $16,100.
There was only one newcomer this week. Kimberly Graci’s six claims over the last month make her the sixth most active trainer. She replaces Michael Pino.
Lake led all trainers in net gain of horses in the last 30 days. While claiming 10, he’s had just three claimed from him, giving him a net gain of seven horses. That’s one more than John Locke and two more than Kimberly Graci. Jamie Ness led all trainers on the other side of the ledger, in net loss of horses; he’s claimed just one in the last 30 days while losing seven, a net loss of six. Hugh McMahon has had a net loss of five in the same period. Ness’s seven claimed-from horses are the most in the region. McMahon, Patricia Farro, Ronney Brown, and Timothy Kreiser have all lost six.
For the week…
Following a near-record week, claiming activity dipped back to more normal numbers this week. Still, key metrics remained above recent averages.
Overall, 62 horses were claimed during the seven-day period ending April 22, a 20 percent dip from the 78 that changed hands a week ago. The average value of those claims fell 17 percent, to $9861, and as a result, the gross value was down more than a third, to $611,375. For all that, however, the week’s horses claimed and gross value numbers were well above 2014 averages (50 and $507,000, respectively).
Pimlico remained the busiest track in the region, with 25 horses claimed. Those horses were worth a combined $235,875, also tops in the region. The average value of those claims, $9435, lagged behind regional leader Parx Racing (12 claims worth a combined $152,000, average of $12,667) and Penn National (16 claims worth a combined $154,000, average of $9625). Nine horses changed hands at Charles Town with a combined value of $69,500.
Claiming activity was somewhat dampened by a couple of factors this week. For one thing, neither Parx nor Pimlico ran on Easter Sunday, and both would likely have seen some claiming activity had they done so. For another, Parx canceled after just one race on Monday because of track conditions. Finally, Charles Town’s Saturday card, highlighted by the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic, had only two claiming races, an unusually low number for the track.
The claimbox report covers claiming activity at Laurel Park, Parx Racing, Penn National, and Charles Town.