A recent rule change going into effect at Parx, Penn National, and Presque Isle Downs will lighten one of of Pennsylvania's claiming “jail” rules, shortening the amount of a time a trainer is restricted to running the horse at a higher claim price.
Previously, if a trainer claimed a horse for $10,000 and wanted to run it in another claiming race, it had to enter races with a tag of $12,500 or more for 30 days. That window will now be shortened to 20 days, according to the Daily Racing Form. As we explained in our 2017 series on claiming horses, claiming “jail” rules focusing on claiming price are aimed at preventing trainers from claiming a horse and dropping them in class rapidly to guarantee a win. The hope is this waiting period will encourage trainers to get to know new horses in their barn better before running them, and to make horses less disposable.
David Osojnak, director of racing at Parx, said the original rules tied trainers' hands too much if they claimed a horse and felt it couldn't be competitive at a higher level.
Claiming jail rules also refer to restrictions on where a horse may run next, and are used to keep horsemen from dropping into a meet, claiming horses, and removing them from that track or state's population.
Pennsylvania also clarified requirements for claimed horses preparing to enter starter allowances to make those requirements the same as for claimers moving up to starter handicaps.
Read more at the Daily Racing Form
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