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Mar 16, 2018
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NYRA to host ‘Under 20s Claiming Challenge’ for horsemen during Belmont spring/summer meet

by NYRA Press Office



The New York Racing Association has announced an “Under 20s Claiming Challenge” for modest-sized stables to compete for cash prizes during the upcoming 2018 Belmont spring/summer meet.

The Under 20s Claiming Challenge is open to all trainers stabled at NYRA facilities with 20 or fewer horses in their care nationwide at the start of the contest on opening day, Friday, April 27. Contestants will earn points based on their horses’ performances in all winners’ claiming races at Belmont through the close of the spring/summer meet on Sunday, July 15.

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. Standings will be updated on the overnight throughout the contest and records will be checked by August 15, after which awards will be granted.

Stall allotments for the 2018 Belmont spring/summer meet will be used to determine eligible trainers. Those trainers must then fill out a contest application and turn it into the racing office by 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 22. The application will contain the roster of horses that the trainer wishes to make eligible for the contest.

There can be no more than 20 horses on a trainer’s roster at any given time. 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 for a dirt race and five points for a turf race, 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.

A horse that ends up on the stewards’ list for poor performance will not earn contest points for that race and a horse may only earn points for two races within a given 30-day time span. A horse may enter in additional races within that timeframe but will not earn contest points for those additional races. Horses that are running for 50% or less of the claiming price from their most recent start will only be eligible to earn 50% of the typical points for that race.

Martin Panza, NYRA Senior Vice President of Racing Operations, and the Board of Stewards retain the right to review any actions pertaining to this contest. For more information and full contest rules, please contact the NYRA racing office.

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

Turf Races - All claiming races for winners, including horses in for an optional tag:

    • 1st Place - 5 points
    • 2nd Place - 4 points
    • 3rd Place - 3 points
    • 4th Place - 2 points
    • 5th Place - 1 point

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:

    • April 22 - All contest applications due no later than 3:30 p.m.
    • April 26 - List of eligible contest trainers posted with eligible contest horses
    • April 27 - Contest begins; Opening day, Belmont Spring/Summer meet
    • June 18 - Final day to add horses to a roster
    • July 15 - Contest ends; Closing day, Belmont Spring/Summer meet
    • August 15 - Awards paid out



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