Hovdey: 'Claiming game put under the microscope' - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Hovdey: ‘Claiming game put under the microscope’

Medication reform is certainly a 'hot button' issue in the sport of horse racing. Several articles, discussions, and opinions can be found regarding it, almost everywhere you look. Just a few years ago, however, the issue of medication reform, or there being 'too much' medication in racing was a topic that really wasn't broached-it sort of fell under the 'it's best not to talk about it' heading.

In his latest column for the Daily Racing Form, Jay Hovdey brings up another subject in racing that seems to be a little too controversial to discuss-what Hovdey states is the “American reliance on claiming races to fuel the engines of parimutuel betting.”

Claiming races make up about 70 percent of all the races run in North America each year. As Hovdey writes, claiming races “make it possible for many investors to put their money in the racing business at a level they can both enjoy and possibly afford.” However, at the lower level of the claiming ranks, many times horses are run on a quick turn around, much to the detriment of the horse.

Hovdey feels that there needs to be at least some discussion regarding reforming the claiming game, and enacting some new rules to make things better, or safer for the horses competing.

“Claiming is already a tough game, on both man and beast,” Hovdey writes, “and added restrictions certainly could discourage some to invest. Still, the issue needs daylight and honest conversation, if only to help protect the beasts.”

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