'Claim-Proofing' Rule Sought in Delaware

Delaware has proposed a rule whereby some horses could be "claim-proofed."

The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission has proposed a rule whereby horses laid off for 180 days or more could be declared ineligible to be claimed.

The rule is modeled after one proposed by the California Horse Racing Board earlier this year. The Delaware commission submitted the proposal for consideration at its April 30 meeting.

The proposed rule states: “At the time of entry into a claiming race, the owner or trainer may opt to declare a horse ineligible to be claimed provided that the horse has been laid off and has not started for a minimum of 180 days since its last race and is entered for a claiming price equal to or greater than the price it last started. Failure to declare the horse ineligible at the time of entry may not be remedied.  Ineligibility shall apply only to the first start following each such layoff.”

DRTC member W. Duncan Patterson said the rule is progressive in nature.  “It will protect the horseman who has worked diligently to get a horse back in the races by giving the owner the option of running his horse in a claiming race for the same price at which it last started, or more, and declaring it ineligible to be claimed.”

Patterson suggested the rule may encourage more participation by horsemen that have horses that fit the criteria.