Basic Rules for Claiming by eddieboo
Friday, November 11, 2005 at
Words of Wisdom from TB and other claiming vets!
Hey New Players!I did not write the following article.It is, primarily, the work of Tbgifted.Trace is an experienced and accomplished claimer, and he posted this wonderful tutorial on the basics of claiming on the New Players Help board.This article features his post as well as some selected bits of advice from other experienced trainers in the SIM.
‘Most older players already know this but for you new folks, here are some hints to make your stables start rolling a little sooner.
New stables have a claiming advantage up until you reach the 20 race mark. Your claim will count more over older stables so if you see a good horse in a claimer, jump all over it because you have the advantage and the horse should come to you unless another new stable also has a claim on the same horse.
First, Stay away from 2yr olds. Learn the game before you start claiming 2yr olds. New stables need horses that can run and run often and 2yr olds need 4 to 5 weeks rest between races. Do not claim 2yr olds until you figure things out.
The things I will list here are primarily for 4yr olds and up. Older horses can run every 2 weeks and sometimes every week. These are just claimers so don't be afraid to send them to the track as often as you feel like it. Unless they start showing that they could become allowance horses, run them in claimers and run them like claimers. Claimers are BP earners so the more you run them, the more BPs they can earn.
Look for lightly raced horses that may have not tried both surfaces. Look for horses that may have only run in sprints but never tried routes. The same can be said for horses that have only run routes but never a sprint.
Look for sprinters that can run 90+. If they can not run above 87 speed figures, avoid claiming them. (Note from eddie:Please, note that Mike has adjusted speed figures downward since Trace wrote this.I would subtract about 5 from any speed numbers he gives here to adjust them to today’s numbers.)
Look for middle distance (8f to 11f)horses that can run 85+ speed figures. These horses will be able to compete at this level and win some races doing it.
Look for long route (12f to 16f) horses that can run 70+ speed figures. These horses can win a lot of extreme distance races and well worth the investment of a few BPs and sim bucks. The only problem is the lack of these types of races. They are sometimes hard to find.
Something to keep in mind, grass horses usually don't run quite as fast as dirt horses so when you are looking through claimers, keep this in mind.
When running your horses and trying different distances, say your horse runs an 82 speed figuire at 9f and runs 75 speed figuire at 14f. Just because the horse runs faster at 9f, it will not win more races running at that distance. The horse will win more running at 14f because the horses at that distance run slower and you will find smaller fields. Run your horse at the longer distance and you will win more races.
When you claim horses, keep them in claimers. Do not jump them into allowance races. If you claim one for $2000, run it next in a $3500 or $5000. If you claim a horse for $5000, run it next in $7500 or $10,000. If it gets claimed, you made money for your new stable and more than likely if it does get claimed, it probably placed well and you eaned back more BPs than it cost to get it.
Here is another rule. New players should avoid claiming maidens. A decent maiden is hard to spot and the better ones ussually have little information to go on. The problem with claiming maidens is that they are hard to judge and you don't want to end up with some junk in your stable right off the bat.
Once you get some experience and can read the bllodlines and see what the horse may or may not be missing, then start claiming maidens. Very often, getting the maiden win can be easy. If I see a cheap maiden in a claiming race that has just been run at conditions that were wrong but will never be real fast, I will take the chance and grab it. The thing is, all I want is that one maiden claim win to pick up the BPs. The horse will probably never compete well in open claiming events so I will pick up that one win to break it's maiden, then dump the horse in the auction.
If you search all the claiming races where you have horses running and you do not find horses that fit the standards you are looking for, don't worry about it. You may have spots to be filled but filling them with sub-standard horses is not the answer. There is always next week and the week after that and there will always be better horses to choose from. You do not have to keep your stables full and you do not want to sacrifice a spot in your stable for a horse that can not win.
In another thread there was a question about how do you keep your stable full running claimers. As you look through your entries and if you see that one of your claimers has low odds, your horse will be a target to be claimed. Put in a claim on one or two more horses to fill that spot if the horse gets claimed. This will keep your stable full!’
If you claim a really nice horse that defeats claimers easily, look for starter allowance races. A horse cannot be claimed from a starter allowance race, and is only eligible if it has run in a claiming race in the past six months. It is a good intermediate step between claimers and allowances.
I like to see if the horse's speed figures seem to be all over the place, I look to see if there's a reason why. Is the horse switching surfaces or distances? Is it running too often? Is its running style changing from race to race?
I typically look for a few things:
1. Horses that have not tried some obvious condition - There are an amazingly large number of horses in this game that have never done anything other than sprinting on dirt, and a lot of them have route or turf breeding. I will take a horse like this and try the things it hasn't tried yet.
2. A horse that tried routing once and posted a good speed figure (especially against allowance horses) without winning, or sometimes even hitting the board, or who has a single route try that is 11 furlongs or longer that they flopped at. I have milers that stop on a dime if I ask them to run 9 furlongs, so I don't take a bad race at 11 furlongs or more too seriously especially if it is at a level that is too tough for them.
3. A horse that has been moved away from what it does best. Often a horse's speed figures are all over the place for a good reason. It has a turf mile that it got a 90 or 85 or something like that at. Then it was put into a turf marathon (11 furlongs or more) and got a 50. Then it was raced on dirt a couple of times and got 70s. Then switched back to turf, but sprinting. You get the picture. Obviously, that horse wants to mile on turf but for some reason the horse's owner won't stick to those kind of races. This is another thing that I see all the time that I don't even begin to understand.
These are the angles that I love to find. But I will also claim a horse that is appropriately placed and competitive at the level it's been running. I prefer to be able to move horses up the ladder, but I won't refuse a horse that pretty much guarantees a quick return on bps and is likely to be claimed away after just a couple of starts.
Lots of good advice on here. I'll also add one thing about starter allowances. Early in the year, there are a lot of newly turned 3yos, and 3yo starter allowance races, if you have a decent 3yo, can be a way to rack up a lot of easy wins. Every year around this time, I can usually find a 3yo who is running at least high 70s, preferably low to mid 80s (later in the year, you want these numbers to be about 10 point higher), who might need a bit more distance, and then can run him or her in starter allowances at distances of a mile or more, and beat some weak competition. Sometimes the 3yo can cut it in allowance company once the claiming tag expires, sometime it can't, and needs to return to claimers, but in the meantime you pick up some wins and some bps, and for a new player, it's nice to get some wins early on - it makes things much more fun, particularly when the original five horses are usually pretty bad.
And, as other people have already said, don't be afraid, either in claiming, or in the auction, to take a chance on a horse that has never tried turf, or never tried dirt. Sometimes the horse is no better on the other surface, but sometimes, the improvement is dramatic.
My claiming tip is to run and claim horses at tracks where you can travel the horse for less than 300. California, (track 1) Florida, (track 2) only have 3 tracks close by to travel for less than 300. Tracks 3,7,8, Kentucky, Illinois and Maryland have 21 close by tracks each. Making it much easier to find a race for your horse's next race.
My favorite angle is speed and fade. If I see running lines full of 1's, but the horse doesn't finish on the board, I claim them and set the jockey instructions to .50 . I claimed 7 horses recently showing this pattern, and 3 of them didn't respond, but 4 did. Those 4 have already won for me.
My second favorite angle is off track performance. It's surprising how many horses run a career best time on an off track, and the owner doesn't run them back on off tracks.
Two additional pieces of advice:
1) If you have a stable with multiple openings, consider claiming a few horses from the same race. Two weeks ago I ran across a strong $20,000 claiming sprint with several horses I liked a lot. I entered claims on four of them. As it turned out, I got only one. The one I wanted the least. But I turned around and sold it for $30,000 at auction the next week. I could have sold the ones I didn't get for much, much more.
2) I know very well that it can be frustrating starting out with a bunch of two-bit plow horses, but through judicious use of the auction and claiming box, you can become very successful.
It will take time. Be patient. Enjoy the journey.
Great way to close, NB!!If you have claiming questions that weren’t answered here, stop by the New Player’s MB and ask away.Most of the above writers check-in often to answer questions.