Deadline To Enter NYRA ‘Under 20’s Claiming Challenge’ Set For Dec. 2

The deadline to enter the New York Racing Association’s unique ‘Under 20’s Claiming Challenge’, which offers local trainers an opportunity to compete for cash prizes during the upcoming Aqueduct winter meet, is set for December 2.

A concept launched in April at the Belmont spring/summer meet, the Under 20’s Claiming Challenge is open to trainers with 20 or fewer horses. Trainers earn points based on their horses’ performances in all winners’ claiming races at Aqueduct through the close of the winter meet on March 31, 2019.

At the end of the contest, the top eight trainers will share in a prize pool of $80,000, with $18,000 going to the winner. Stall allotments for the Aqueduct winter meet will be used to determine eligible trainers.

Trainer Ed Barker earned $18,000 for winning the inaugural Under 20’s Claiming Challenge with a final tally of 41 points from top-five finishes in claiming races for winners at the Belmont meet, with six points awarded to the winner down to two points for a fifth-place finish.

Robert Falcone, Jr. finished in second with 28 points, good for a $15,000 bonus while Jim Ryerson earned $13,000 for finishing third with 27 points. Rounding out the order of finish were James Ferraro ($11,000, 25 points), Patrick Quick ($9,000, 24), Randi Persaud ($7,000, 23.5), Oscar Barrera, III ($4,000, 23) and Mertkan Kantarmaci ($3,000, 22).

“It’s the kind of thing we need here at NYRA for the smaller trainers. It works out really well and makes for good competition,” said Barker. “The claiming end of the business is important. It helps fill the cards and we put the game on 12 months of the year. Things like the Claiming Challenge and the Starter Loyalty Program are very good ideas for both the owners and the trainers. I hope I can win it again this year.”

The veteran conditioner oversees a stable of 18 horses and should be in the thick of the competition again when the winter meet kicks off on December 7.

“I’ve been training in New York for almost 26 years and trained here year-round for that entire time,” said Barker. “We don’t go down to Florida. I’ve got some nice owners who play the game locally and I really enjoy it.”

Ryerson will look to improve on his third-place finish at an Aqueduct winter meet that was recently boosted by significant purse increases.

“It gives us incentive to try and keep the horses here during the winter,” said Ryerson. “I find that if you try and be patient, you can find spots where you can do well. Being able to collect points through fifth helps. If you make enough starts, they add up.

“The money I made last year, it was important,” he added. “For all of us that are competing with smaller numbers of horses, it really helps. It’s a great concept.”

There can be no more than 20 horses on a trainer’s roster at any given time, although a trainer’s stable may grow above 20 horses through claiming activity, but not all horses will be eligible for the contest, and only roster horses can earn points.

A trainer may replace a claimed horse who was on their roster with another claimed horse. After a horse is claimed, it will be added to the trainer’s roster only at the trainer’s request.

Points will only be earned for top-five finishes in claiming races for winners. Winners of a qualifying race will earn six points regardless of claiming price.

Horses in for a tag in an allowance optional claiming race will qualify for contest points. Points are not earned in maiden, allowance, starter allowance, or stakes races.

For additional information on the Under 20’s Claiming Challenge, please contact the Aqueduct race office at (800) 221-6266.

Contest Point Structure:
Dirt Races – All claiming races for winners, including horses in for an optional tag:
1st Place – 6 points
2nd Place – 5 points
3rd Place – 4 points
4th Place – 3 points
5th Place – 2 points

Trainer Bonuses:
The top eight trainers in the contest will share in a prize pool of $80,000:
1st Place – $18,000
2nd Place – $15,000
3rd Place – $13,000
4th Place – $11,000
5th Place – $9,000
6th Place – $7,000
7th Place – $4,000
8th Place – $3,000

Important Dates, at a Glance:
December 2, 2018 – All contest applications due no later than 3:30 p.m.
December 6, 2018 – List of eligible contest trainers posted
December 7, 2018 – Contest begins; Opening day, Aqueduct winter meet
February 25, 2019 – Final day to add horses to a roster
March 31, 2019 – Contest ends; Closing day, Aqueduct winter meet
April 21, 2019 – Awards paid out

The post Deadline To Enter NYRA ‘Under 20’s Claiming Challenge’ Set For Dec. 2 appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.