Woodbine Entertainment wants to see the improvement of Ontario’s horse racing field in this day and age. This Wednesday witnessed the Stronger Together video conference where various relevant topics were thoroughly discussed. Replacing claiming races was among the subject that sparked a conversation during the video panel, seeking an optimization for all parties involved.
The video conference makes it possible for horse people and the management of the racetracks to have a frank conversation about anything and everything related to the local horse racing industry. Jim Lawson, Chief Executive Officer of Woodbine Entertainment, discussed various important topics such as the classification system which could replace claiming races in the future. Trainer Mark Casse expressed his support for this system.
Horse claiming is considered one of the quickest ways an individual could become a horse owner. Approximately three-quarters of all horse races are of this type and their dynamic nature is what has drawn the attention of many individuals. During a claiming race, anyone interested could put up the sum associated with a horse and once it wins, it would automatically belong to the individual who claimed it.
Trainer Mark Casse wants to see the introduction of a new and improved classification system that could eventually make these claiming races redundant and obsolete. Mr. Casse, a Hall of Famer in both the United States and Canada, stated that The Jockey Club has been discussing possible improvements linked to the existing claiming system in Ontario. A classification system is being worked on at the moment.
It will see racehorses running in classes based on their racing performance throughout the years. In a sense, horse racing will be able to follow the example successfully set by greyhound racing and implement it in a new setting. Mr. Casse also pointed out that online sales could be the answer to the created demand, as a convenient form of equine purchasing and selling down the road.
Mr. Casse also stated during the video conference that the current situation and practices leave racehorses without races to participate in, wasting their potential. Trainer Kevin Attard used to platform to express his personal opinion and experience with horse claiming. Back in the fall of 2014, he claimed gelding Melmich for some CA$20,000. Starship Jubilee was another horse claimed at the beginning of 2017 for some CA$16,000.
He supports the claiming races and would not like to see them go, as they provide optimization to the entry process. People interested in becoming horse people have a shortcut for entering the field and possibly winning big as a result of it. Mr. Attard considers it a fair approach, whereas Mr. Casse expressed his position that the claiming process is one of the ways horse owners could essentially move along damaged goods.
Mr. Lawson listened to all points of view carefully and said himself that he was also looking forward to changes in Ontario’s horse racing industry. Woodbine Entertainment is considered the leader that could experiment and introduce a new approach to the racing scene.