Two changes to the claiming rules in Pennsylvania take effect Saturday. The new rules will apply to races at Parx Racing, Penn National, and Presque Isle Downs.

The claim protection window, during which claimed horses must be raised 25 percent or more in price, is being shortened from 30 days to 20. A horse claimed for a price of $10,000, for example, previously could only run back in a $12,500 claiming race or higher for 30 days. That same horse will now be able to run for any claiming price after 20 days.

The second change clears up language associated with claimed horses returning in starter-allowance races. The rule, as written, was being interpreted to mean that a claimed horse could run back in any starter handicap it was eligible for based on its prior races but that it would have to be raised 25 percent in price for 30 days in starter-allowance races.

Starter-allowance races will now be exempt from the claiming protection rule, just like starter handicaps.

David Osojnak, who was hired as the director of racing at Parx in October, petitioned the Pennsylvania Racing Commission to make the changes.

“The shortening of the claiming protection window does not tie the horsemen’s hands quite so much,” Osojnak said. “At 30 days, there is a greater chance of an owner missing a next race for a horse if he doesn’t think he can raise it 25 percent and still be competitive.

“As for the second rule, it makes sense that starter-allowance races are treated the same as starter handicaps.”

Osojnak also received permission from the racing commission to add an early pick four to the Parx wagering menu. There are now pick fours on races 1-4 and races 5-8 daily. Both have a 26 percent takeout.

On Tuesday, Parx had a healthy handle of $2.43 million. The early pick four handled $52,046. A single winning 50-cent ticket returned $38,512.

Original news source credited to: https://www.drf.com/news/pennsylvania-adjusts-claiming-rules 

Jim Dunleavy
Mar 13, 2019

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