Basic Stable Strengthening Strategy by lebowski00
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at
When In Doubt, Claim
Commonly heard words from Derby Fever trainerís is that money doesnít matter. For some money holds little importance other than the occasional horse transfer. The reality is money is a new stables lifeline. With only 50 BPís to start with, BPís are less a factor early on.
A stable holds ten horses and a stable might as well be full of runners. After all the more runners you have the more potential for BPís. Now you have three choices for adding new horses to your stable. You can breed new horses, you can buy at the auction, or you can claim.
Letís focus our attention now on utilizing money in the sim to strengthen our stable through claiming. Claiming is a great way to strengthen our stables. This time of year owners are making room for newly bred horses. Some owners are growing impatient with horses they bred the year before. Some owners are just not sure where to place their horses that have just gone from being three to four. Now is the time to find bargain claims.
Have you heard Jim Morrisonís lyrics ďthe old get older, the young get strongerĒ? Well Morrisonís lyrics couldnít ring more true. Three year olds are now four, and turning four can be a very good thing. Often times it is a four year old that peaks and begins to shine, going from a solid claimer/allowance runner to an occasional stakes runner. Well it is true that turning four opens up a horse to more competition, it is also true that some of the competition is past their prime. After five some horses go strong right through to retirement, but some of those horses will begin showing their age. Targeting good four year old prospects can be well worth the while since often they are nearing their peak. A good four year old can usually find the right race.
Often four year olds are carelessly thrown into claimers just as they are about to go through a transformation from being a routine horse to being a respected horse. With a new stable our funds are limited, but we can find plenty of good claims between 2.5k and 5k. I recently claimed a horse named Chop The Bone (124802). Chop was claimed for 2.5k and in the race I claimed him in he ran a 100 speed to win. I knew Chop had been putting up speeds between 85 and 92 from September to January. His ITM% was a little lower than I would have liked, some of that could have been due to poor luck. One thing that did stand out was Chopís pedigree. When I saw the pedigree (Green Desert x Carson City x El Gran Senor) I knew the horse had strong potential. The horse had been run a little harder than I would like, but then again I figured it must be due to peak. For 2.5k I jumped all over Chop. Now high 80ís and low 90ís may not raise eyebrows, but I know 100 speeds do. That is the reason you should be looking to grab those horses who are about to hit the 100 speed mark. Now they are not easy finds, but with patience they can be found. Chop is a good example of that, now letís hope Chop the bone continues to hit the 100ís.
When targeting four year olds look for horses that have put up solid ITM%, made 40 plus grand, and have shown consistent high 80ís or better speeds from the second half of last year on. Look for strong bloodlines like Chopís, though this is not a must requirement it helps. Has the horse shown a steady trend of improvement? Also, donít penalize a horse because of one or two bad starts. Everyone stumbles a little now and then. If you are claiming a horse with promise for 2k to 5k than at worst you should be able to win your money and BPís back, but the upside can be huge. A newly turned four year old has the kind of potential to earn you serious BPís for years on end. The real test is whether you as a trainer have the ambition to search through countless low level trainers.
Three year olds can also be great investments, and often can find easier races to run in. Three year olds can become BP monsters too. Some horses that havenít broken maidens are excellent buys. Look for two year olds that have shown some good promise (speeds of 70+), consider pedigree much more with a horse that has been run limited times.
With older horse set your standards much higher and tread lightly. Older horses are often proven and can be a safe investment since you already have a good idea of where they are at as far as skill.
Aggressively pursue claimers choosing carefully which horses to claim each week. Donít worry if it takes a month or so to fill your stable. The difference between settling on an okay claimer and one with great promise can be huge. Be patient. The auction is expensive with regards to good prospects, so it should be avoided unless the right buy comes along. If you do enjoy the auction make sure not to spend too much. You donít want to buy a horse for 15k and then lose it in a 2k claimer. Remember new stables have a claiming advantage.
If you utilize patience, study pedigrees, and scour the claimers you can really add some pop to your stables. As your earning increase you can search higher level claimers for a shot at horses with even better potential. By years end you just may have enough BPís to breed your first Monstah!