Claiming races are set to make a return if local horse racing resumes on June 19 at Santa Rosa Park.
Claiming races were abandoned several years ago because of alleged manipulation of the system by some owners and trainers.
The Arima Race Club (ARC), in its first Draft Index of the proposed races for June 19 and for the month of July, did not list any claiming races. However, that Draft Index was revised on Wednesday and their Draft Index for June 19 and for all of July, now advertised by the club, reveals that on June 19 there would be one race. It would be for horses rated 30 – 0, and they would race for a claiming price of T&T$15,000.
Another claiming race has been written in on July 18. That race would be for horses rated 40 – 25 and they would race for a Claiming price of T&T$20,000.
Arima Race Club president Robert Bernard, reached on the reintroduction of Claiming races, reported, “Our Index for June 19 and July, 2020 is out for comment. We have introduced Claiming races because we have been getting a lot of requests to introduce Claiming races from trainers. It (the Index) is not cast in stone. It is only out for comments. We are having a framing committee meeting for Tuesday and we will see what the comments or suggestions are and then formalise the programme.”
A number of trainers who saw the Index for June/July were surprised by the return of claiming races, saying the industry does not have the volume of horses to maintain a claiming system.
Regarding the ARC’s letter to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, seeking to allow the ARC to have local racing on June 19 at Santa Rosa Park without patrons, Bernard advised, “We will wait and see what announcement he will make on Phase 3 today (yesterday).”
A previous application for the resumption of horse racing was made to Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh for June 19, and the club was informed that the phase process would dictate the restart.
BY GLEN MOHAMMED