'Used To Being The Underdog,' New Trainer Alexis Claire Breaks Top 25 At Horseshoe Indianapolis - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

‘Used To Being The Underdog,’ New Trainer Alexis Claire Breaks Top 25 At Horseshoe Indianapolis

Trainer Alexis Claire with Lt. Junior Grade

Each year, Horseshoe Indianapolis welcomes new trainers and one of those individuals made her mark during the 123-day racing season was Alexis Claire, who hails from Chicago. Claire, who is in her second year as a Thoroughbred trainer, completed the meet with 13 wins in 42 starts to rank in the top 25.

Claire moved over from the show horse industry where she was a riding instructor with off-the-track Thoroughbreds trained into Hunter/Jumper prospects. She has always had a strong interest in being involved in the Thoroughbred industry. After working as an assistant for Edward Rodriguez and barn foreman for Brendon Walsh, she started her own stable in 2021 and spent her first year at Horseshoe Indianapolis in 2022.

“I'm really grateful to Indiana,” said Claire. “Everyone was really accommodating, and it was a great place to run. They write and use races that suit a lot of horses. I enjoyed claiming some Indiana breds and had the leading horse for the majority of the meet. I really look forward to continuing to support this meet.”

Claire is referring to Bootdaddy Justice, who she claimed for $10,000 in early June and eventually reeled off four wins in six starts before the horse was claimed in late September. The majority of his $50,000-plus bankroll this season came while stabled in the Claire barn.

“A highlight of the meet was having a leading horse in Bootdaddy Justice and winning four races in a row with him after he had an incident and clipped heels in his first start for me,” added Claire. “I also enjoyed success winning three allowance races with Lt. Junior Grade before taking him to Keeneland and getting my first career win there as well.”

Owned by Claire and one of her main owners Hoffman Farms Racing LLC, Lt. Junior Grade was claimed for $40,000 from his race at Keeneland, double the price she claimed him for from Hawthorne last fall. Four of his seven career wins came under the direction of Claire, who had a strong “first off the claim” percentage and concluded the season with a 43 percent win average in the claiming ranks. Her overall average was 31 percent in the win column and 62 percent in the top three.

“I self-started my business last year by selling my car and buying two racehorses for myself so I could build my business,” said Claire. “I now have 10 horses and to have an over 30 percent meet in the win column was huge for me. I'm used to being the underdog. I like exceeding expectations and surprising people.”

The Claire Stable is spending the winter at Fair Grounds, also a first for the 29-year-old. She hopes to return to the Midwest to the Kentucky circuit in the spring and also race at Horseshoe Indianapolis. She has 32 career wins and more than a half-million in purses to get started at Fair Grounds.

The 21st season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing is expected to resume Tuesday, April 18 for a 123-day meet. The Indiana Horse Racing Commission is set to review the proposal for 2023 at its next meeting Thursday, Dec. 1 at Harrah's Hoosier Park.

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