Horse Racing/class


Regarding the conditions of a race, if a horse wins an Optional Claimer, is the win considered an Allowance or Claiming win?

It depends on where you're going to use this information. Let's say we're talking about an allowance for non-winners of a race other than maiden, claiming, or starter (NW1M/C), or optional $40,000 claimer. This level, or something like it, is regularly carded at every major racetrack. Whichever horse wins the race, the race will count against him as the winner of that level of allowance class, unless he's won that level already and was entered for the claiming price. So, if the horse had never won at that level and was not entered for the price, he's not eligible anymore unless he runs for the claiming price. If the horse had already won at that level and was entered for the tag, he can keep running for that tag. Does that make sense?

But we're talking about this from the standpoint of the owner and trainer. If you're talking about the standpoint of a handicapper, there are many ways to look at it. If your handicapping approach requires you to place some value on the class, I would look at whether or not the horse was actually entered for the claiming price or not (if you have that info), considering it a claimer for those entered for the tag, and as an allowance for those that were not. If you can't tell and don't have the chart, I would suggest using it as an allowance win.

Personally, I calculate class based on the rating earned by the winner of the race. But I only know one publication that lists that info and I do the ratings for them (so I'm not going to name it). Sometimes, this info can be especially valuable. For example, in the 9th race at Santa Anita yesterday, the par rating for winners at that class was 89 (a maiden claimer for $20,000). But two entrants were exiting a race that had earned a rating of 104. One (the 2) was 26-1 and one (the 13) was 75-1. The 13 won the race and paid $152.80. So I always take a long look at horses exiting the highest-rated race.

I hope this helps.

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Michael Goodman


I can answer questions about handicapping and betting horse races. I can answer questions about speed figures and morning workouts of race horses on the southern California workout circuit (Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, and Del Mar racetracks).


I started as a casual race fan in 1978, became a serious fan in the 1980's, worked as a pari-mutuel clerk in the mid-1980's, was a serious bettor (earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in the late 1980's and early 1990's), sold shares in race horse syndicates in 1992-93 as a part of the Team Valor stable, was the customer service director for the Handicapper's Report publication from 1993-1997, became the owner and publisher of Handicapper's Report from 1997-2001, continue to work as a writer and consultant to Handicapper's Report to this day.

Handicapper's Report ( SoCalSpecial ( Phillips Racing Newsletter Meadow's Racing Monthly

I've been involved in the horse racing industry for more than 34 years, learning by doing.

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