Saying ‘Hello’ to a Longshot Winner via the Claim-Back Angle

Eclipse Sportswire

There’s an old Beatles song that can offer a reliable handicapping tip.

You’ve probably heard “Hello, Goodbye” and might have even mused about what it means in regards to the duality of mankind.

Well, putting that aside for the moment, think about the lyrics, “I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello” and think about a claiming race.

A trainer loses his horse via claim and then reaches right in and claims the horse back. He said goodbye, now he’s saying hello, and it says great deal about that horse.

Most times trainers are content to move on if they lose a horse via a claim. Perhaps the horse is in a poor form cycle or maybe the trainer believes there’s no longer a big upside with the horse.

But by reacquiring the horse, it usually says there’s something about that horse the trainer likes and believes there are still benefits to reap from racing him.

And bettors can harvest a reward simply by tagging along.

As an example, let’s look at a filly named Ready for Summer, owned and trained by Steve Klesaris.

On Aug. 31, 2015 at Saratoga, Klesaris claimed Ready for Summer for $25,000, but she did not race again until June 12, 2017 at Parx.

You say why, I say I don’t know.

But the best guess is that the filly sustained an injury that shelved her for about 22 months.

When she returned to the races, Klesaris entered her in a $16,000 claimer and the rust showed as she broke slowly, was carried wide and finished third, beaten 1 ½ lengths.

She was also claimed by trainer Scott Lake for that $16,000.

About three weeks later, Ready for Summer ran in a $20,000 claimer at Parx and finished second by 3 ¼ lengths.

More importantly, Klesaris claimed her back for the $20,000.

Put it all together and initially it didn’t make sense. After paying for about 22 months worth of training bills, plus losing another $9,000 on the claiming price, Klesaris was willing to lose another $4,000 to get her back.

Beyond that, after reacquiring her, he said goodbye to Parx and hello to Saratoga, shipping her to the Spa to run in a $35,000 claiming race on Aug. 20.

Either Klesaris was going daffy due to the impending solar eclipse or, after caring for the mare for so long, he knew she was improving and ready for a top effort.

At post time, Ready for Summer was 14.60-1 and if someone was running to the betting windows you probably said stop while I said go, go, go.

After being passed for a brief moment in the stretch, Ready for Summer showed what Klesaris liked in her and battled back to prevail by a neck at juicy odds and say hello to the winner’s circle.

For handicappers who followed the claim-back angle, the return was $31.20, which I say was high, but you say low.

And with that, I say goodbye.

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