? What tracks / state would you highly recommend? You mentioned Church Hill Downs among possible tracks and that threw me as I always felt those tracks and horses were out of my range of possibility at this time. In one of your emails you also mentioned Turfway Park. If there are trainers who have partnership possibilities in the 10K - 30K range that may work I have not seen this type of claiming race at Fairmount. Highest claiming race I have seen is about 4,200 - 5,000 You have convinced me that looking for a higher quality horse even though more expensive would yield better returns at tracks other than Fairmount.
What do you feel the potential would be as far as the horse and its ability to provide income after expenses? As an estimate, can you break down the cost for trainer, jockey, vets, etc?
- I would guess that expenses are much the same for both Illinois and Kentucky. I mentioned in the last post the page to look at the breakdown of the trainer's "day rate", with farrier, vet, shipping and some other small expenses on top of that. These extra expenses can vary greatly depending on the horse you end up with, which is why it's important to have a good horseman pick a horse out that hopefully will not have too many "extra" expenses, or if he does have special needs such as custom farrier work or special vet care, he is a good enough horse to make up his expenses in purses. Since expenses can vary, that's another good reason to have some reliable partners to share expenses, that way nobody is overwhelmed if an unusual expense arises.
Whatever you do, insure any horse you claim or buy with mortality or loss of use insurance. A lot of people don't know but you can call an equine insurance company right before a race that you plan to claim a particular horse from, on your cell from the track when the horses are in the paddock if necessary, give the company the horse's details, and they will cover the horse in the race that you claim him out of. When you claim a horse you own him from the time the gates open on that race you claim him from, so if he should break down during the race, you would take the loss. If you have insurance before the race you will be covered for the full claiming price. The company that I have used in the past to cover a horse I plan to claim is Independent Equine Agents, I believe a search will turn up their web site.
Most tracks pay purse money through 5th place - 1st place gets 60%, 2nd gets 20%, 3rd 10%, 4th 5% and 5th 5% and occasionally they break it down even further and pay through more places so every horse gets something, depends on the track. There is no entry fee generally unless it's a stakes race.
I think what happens is say the 1st place horse wins his 60% of the purse. The track takes 10% of that 60% and puts it in the trainer's "horseman's account" at that track, and takes another 10% of the 60% and puts it in the jockey's "horseman's account", and the remainder goes into the owner's "horseman's account". So the money sits there in the horseman's account until you go to the "horseman's bookkeeper" at the track and ask for a check. So as an owner or partnership you can leave your money sitting there indefinately until it's needed to pay for expenses or to use for claiming the next horse - you can use your horseman's account funds to pay for a horse you claim at that track.
Similarly if someone claims your horse the track puts the money paid for your horse directly in your horseman's account. A lot of owners just keep turning that money around constantly in the quest to increase the funds by claiming, winning, and possibly losing the horse to another claim but making money in the process to claim the next one (this is Jere's specialty:)