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Submitted by John Conte on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 1:14 PM

Horse Racing Is No Different…When You Want To Know Who is Well Meant
Follow The Money!
John Conte, Tuesday, July 31

One of the many things I have learned about Saratoga, something which happens much more often and with greater expectation of return here than during any other New York Circuit race meet is that those barns which claim horses from other barns do so because they believe they will win right back.

This is because winning at Saratoga, as you know, has a higher priority race to race than at any other time.

Of course during the year as well, barns want a quick return on their claim purchases. But during the non-Saratoga meets barns are apt to be more patient with their new acquisitions. At Saratoga a barn claims because they have the next race already in mind. These barns know the condition book. They know the potential of each other’s horses. And because these barns are in a heightened state of profligacy at Saratoga they step in.

With this in mind let us take a look at some of these claims and what to expect.


I said that these barns are in action because they know the condition book. And as an owner and handicapper/bettor, I cannot stress how important it is to have the condition book handy at every moment. Trainers and ownerss have to know the kinds of races that will be written throughout the meet. With this in mind they arrive at Saratoga with solid barns including various horses which cover many of the conditions. These barns also arrive knowing that they have certain vacancies in their stables. And with that in mind, when a race runs which includes one of the claimable horses that will fill that vacancy, they are all in

You don’t have to take my word for it. In Race One on Day One seven veteran claimers went postward in a mile and an eighth 25K claimer. Five of those runners were haltered and went back to a different barn from the one that ran them in the race.

In fact, over the course of the first 10 days of the meet there were 42 races, from open claimers, maiden claimers and allowance optional claimers in which at least one horse was available to be haltered.

Not every race had a horse claimed from it, but over the 10 days a total of 54 horses raced for one barn and went back to another after the race.

What is also significant is that this claiming game during the opening 10 days of the meet was not played only at the “bargain” level (12.5K, 14K, 16K, 25K and 35K.) There were 24 horse claimed for 40K or more.

For purposes of a “follow” list, if you will, here are the 24 horses that were claimed for 40K and up listed by the price claimed and trainer who claimed them.

75K – Eagle Pass – Linda Rice
62.5K – Rocket Heat – Michael Tannuzzo
62.5K – Maniacal - Michael Maker
50K – Team Colors – Robertino Diodoro
50K – Monster Bea – Carlos Martin
50K – Heiroglyphics – Linda Rice
50K – Fox Red – Linda Rice
50K – Secret House – Tom Amoss
50K – Hera – John Kimmel
50K – Shangroyal – Michael Maker
50K – Backtohisroots – John Terranova
50K – Catch Me If U Can – Steve Asmussen
40K – Strong Side – Robertino Diodoro
40K – Monteleone – Linda Rice
40K – Hello Holiday – Michael Lauer
40K – Always A Suspect – Robertino Diodoro
40K – Forge – Michael Maker
40K – Full Salute – Gary Gullo
40K – Riff Raff – George Weaver
40K – Candid Desire – Gary Sciacca
40K – Fiduciary Values – Joe Sharp
40K – Consensus Thinking – Rudy Rodriguez
40K – Air On Fire – Jason Servis
40K – Love Next – Tom Albertrani


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It is worth repeating that over the years there have been more higher-end horses claimed in the 40 race period than at any other 40 race period on the New York Circuit. And this makes sense. First of all, the collective level of the horses racing at Saratoga is elevated. Also, many of these horse which run at 40K, 50K, 62.5K and 75K might actually be racing a bit “below” their actual value simply because so many of these outfits want to win at Saratoga no matter the cost…even the cost of losing their horse.

These horses often win back right away and if I find other handicapping plusses I will not hesitate to use them.

In fact, many of them will not really be taking what might be perceived as a hike in class if they run back at the meet because moving from a 40K to a 50K or entry level or other allowance level might be a level they have shown in the past they can win or be competitive at.

These are live horses which I will definitely keep in my radar. You might want to do the same.


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