03/24/2016 3:06PM

Claiming rule changed to include horses who bleed


The criteria to void a claim at California racetracks will be expanded on July 1 to include horses that bleed through the nostrils, California Horse Racing Board executive director Rick Baedeker said on Thursday at the monthly meeting of the racing board in Sacramento.

The racing board voted to approve the rule change last December, and it was recently granted approval by the state’s office of administrative law, Baedeker said.

Previously, claims could be voided for unsoundness or if a horse dies during the running of a race or is euthanized before leaving the racetrack. Last December, Rick Arthur, California’s equine medical director, said 41 horses were placed on the vet’s list for bleeding from Jan. 1 to Dec. 1, 2015. He said 27 of those horses ran in claiming races, and four were claimed.

The determination of whether a horse has bled from the nostrils will be made by an official veterinarian.

* All-sources handle at California tracks was static through February when compared to the first two months of 2015, according to data presented at Thursday’s racing board meeting.

Handle for the first two months of the year on Thoroughbreds at Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita was $447.4 million, down less than 1 percent from the 2015 figure of $450.3 million. With harness racing and Quarter Horse meetings included, the total for the state was $501.4 million, down fractionally from the 2015 figure of $502.6 million.

Betting on all three breeds fell 2.7 percent in February after showing an increase of 1.9 percent in January. Handle on Thoroughbred races in February was $203.7 million, a decline of 3.7 percent compared to $211.6 million in February of last year. There were 16 days of racing in both years. With harness and Quarter Horse meetings included, handle in February was $227.7 million compared to $234.2 million last year.

Brian Russell More than 1 year ago
This is making their already ridiculous rules even more ridiculous. When you claim a horse you are generally getting a significant discount to what a private purchase price would be. The reason is because the previous owner gets to run for the purse. The system worked well because you had to take the risk of not being able to do a pre-purchase exam to obtain the discount you received acquiring the horse VIA claim. California is trying to take all the risk out of claiming process and upend a system that has worked efficiently for decades.
Richard Glassman More than 1 year ago
I think people are looking at the welfare of the racehorse which is a great thing. If a horse is a serious bleeder he should be turned out not dropped to get claimed and possibly injure the horse and the jockey. An owner is not getting a discount when claiming a horse. In my opinion, a bigger majority of racehorses that get claimed within a couple of races are dropped below the claimed price. This is just my opinion Brian looking at it as an owner and for the welfare of the horse.
Richard Glassman More than 1 year ago
As a matter of fact, I even retired within the last couple of years a bleeder that would have definately won and got claimed at Los Al at night.