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Changes To Claimers Coming?

Published: February 17, 2009 4:22 pm ET

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On Monday, February 16, the Lexington, Kentucky-based American Association of Equine Practitioners released its 'white paper' regarding problems in the thoroughbred industry.

One of the most intriguing recommendations within the report had to do with claiming races, which was touched upon in a broader scope looking at racing's business model.

According to a report by the Herald-Leader, the vets recommended revising this policy so that horses that suffer catastrophic injuries or don't finish the race remain the property of the original owner. The idea was introduced because of the fact that some lame horses are entered into claimers solely for the purpose of having the current owners wash their hands of an investment gone bad.

"The claiming game is a great game. It's a great way to get a horse that's fit and ready to go," Dr. Scott Palmer, chairman of the task force, was quoted as saying. "But we all know a claiming opportunity is often used to move a horse on. Doing that in a way that is irresponsible can put that horse at risk."

The report states that the claiming issue surfaced in the recent rash of fatal injuries at Turfway Park, when some on the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission suggested the health of the horses might be more to blame than the track's artificial surface.

To read the Herald-Leader article in its entirety, click here.

(With files from the Herald-Leader)

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