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 29, 2014.
It was a strange sort of week in mid-Atlantic racing, especially as regards the claiming game. As a result, claiming activity regionwide plummeted to its lowest levels since February weather caused a sptate of cancellations. It didn’t slow down trainer Scott Lake, however, who remained atop the Midlantic Claiming 7 list of most active claiming trainers.
Lake was one of three trainers — Ronney Brown and Wayne Potts being the other two — to have claimed nine horses in the last month. However, the total value of his claims, $139,000 (average: $15,444) easily outpaced those two. Indeed, his average was the second highest among the top seven, surpassed only by the $17,333 average of Kieron Magee’s six claims.
The only newcomer from last week’s Claiming 7 is Michael Pino, who returned to the list after a one-week absence. He knocked off John Locke.
Four trainers — Lake, John Locke, Kimberly Graci, and Wayne Potts — all added four more horses than they lost via the claimbox in the last 30 days to tie for the lead in that category. Jamie Ness, meanwhile, experienced the largest net loss, adding two horses while losing nine for a net loss of seven, four higher than any other trainer’s net loss. Ness’s nine lost were also the highest, two more than Ronney Brown’s seven claimed away.
For the week…
Charles Town ran only two of the last seven days following the Charles Town Classic. Parx Racing didn’t, as racing shifted to Atlantic City — a track at which there are no claiming races. As a result, claiming activity fell to its lowest level since February.
Overall, 35 horses changed hands via the claimbox, a drop of more than 43 percent from last week’s 62 claims. The gross value of those claims fell nearly 40 percent, as well, to $367,000. The one bright spot was that the average value of claims rose more than six percent, to nearly $10,500. The median, $7,500, was unchanged.
Pimlico was the only track in the region with double-digit claims. Twenty-two horses changed hands in Baltimore, with a combined value of $282,000 (average: $12,818). All three of those figures were the region’s highest. There were nine claims at Penn National during the week and four in the two days of racing at Charles Town.
The claimbox report covers claiming activity at Laurel Park, Parx Racing, Penn National, and Charles Town.