Fueled by higher purses -- driven by VLTs, increased simulcast exports, revenue through expanding outlets, and 244 days of racing -- the claiming business is booming at Yonkers Raceway.
Since the beginning of 2009, some 558 horses went through the claiming ranks at the old Hilltop Oval, starting with the claim by trainer J. Rousse of Twin B Impact on the first night of the meet through the claim by Ron Burke of Gerald N Sam on October 3.
While the number of successful claims are huge, they represent but a fraction of the number of claims slips put in by horsemen in multiple claims situations.
The claiming business continues to be brisk. On the Monday, October 5 12-race card alone, 13 more horses changed hands out of the 17 entered claims.
Horsemen who have long suffered through the drought and lean years at Yonkers are seeing opportunities to actually turn a profit and merely need to get the horse to do it with.
A vibrant claim box is one of the best indicators that horsemen have a strong interest and desire to race at Yonkers. Not every track can boast this type of activity, and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York is very proud that horsemen, knowing full-well about the 30-day rule, nonetheless want to buy horses to continue to race over the half-mile oval.
(With files from the SOANY)