? To race at Arlington, Hawthorne, Hoosier Park, Fairmount Park and other grades of tracks, would I be competitive with a $5,000 - $15,000 horse? Is it also possible that such a horse may be competitive at bigger tracks and stake races? What type of horse could I expect to obtain at the 5K, 10K, 20K level?
You mentioned a 2 yr old in training. (Never raced before?) Are they readily available? I thought I have seen 2 yr olds already racing at Fairmount.
- In TB racing claimers are divided up by quality/ability into price levels, so a $5000 claimer would have less ability than a $10k or $15k in theory but a good horseman can find a $5k claimer that may be able to move up to $10k or more, however it would be the 1 in a thousands horse that runs for $5k claiming and then moves up to the stakes level. It's pretty rare for a $5k claimer to move up to $10k or $15k UNLESS the horse moves from a tougher track like Churchill or Keeneland where he ran for $5k to a track that has less quality horses running every day, like Fairmount or Hoosier Park.
Sometimes you can get a $5k horse at Churchill and run him at a higher level at an "easier" track like Fairmount, but you must have a really astute horseman to pick the right horse if they are to move up in claiming level. The other part of the equation is the purse money - generally a bigger purse for $5k claimers at Churchill than for $10k claimers at Fairmount so even if you win the higher level at Fairmount you probably won't make as much money as you would running for $5k at Churchill.
The problem with claiming a $5k horse at Churchill is there aren't many races to run him in (if they even have $5k races, sometimes the "bottom" is $7500), most races are for higher level horses, and trainers stabled at Churchill are discouraged from claiming a horse and promptly running back at another track because that takes away from full fields at Churchill. For that reason most trainers wait until the end of a meet to claim a horse, good idea to spot horses and watch them run once, wait for them to be entered back near the end of the meet and then take him. You could find something to claim at Turfway or Keeneland for $5-$15k and then run back at the Churchill fall meet. Better to get with about 3 partners and you each put up $5k to claim a $15-20k horse.
2yos in training are readily available but more often than not you pay more than the horse ends up being worth if it hasn't raced yet because you have no idea of it's true ability. 2yos are racing but it's highly unlikely you'd find good ones racing for a claiming price under about $30k. Trainers and owners tend to enter 2yos at a higher level than they should be to find out their ability before dropping them down to where they belong.