? If I tell my trainer to find me a horse to claim, how much involvement should I expect to have in that process?
It's a good idea to tell a trainer who will claim a horse for you that you want to go over the horse's past performances before making the final decision. You can ask him to fax the page of the daily racing form to you or you can ask the horse's name and which race he's entered in and look it up at drf.com or equibase.com. Then the trainer can go over the horse's chart with you and tell you why he'd like to claim that horse. Also ask the trainer what he knows about the horse, has he seen it in person, does it look sound, has he seen it race or train before, etc.
Horses are entered for a race only 2 days in advance generally so you may only have 1 day notice if you want to be there when the claim is put in. Also keep in mind that more than one owner/trainer could try to claim the same horse in the same race. When that happens they draw names to see who gets the horse!
Also you and the trainer may decide that a particular horse looks good on paper only to find that he looks terrible in the paddock before the race. So you could make the trip only to come up empty. Sometimes it takes several tries to successfully claim a horse, especially at Keeneland and Churchill where there are many people trying to claim horses.
If your trainer has a horse that is already racing that needs an additional partner, this is an option to consider. If he has such a horse he should fax you the pp's (or email them) and go over it with you. Or if it's an unraced horse, he should send you photos, full pedigree, description of it's training history and readiness for a race, and why he thinks the horse will be a winner and good investment.