Thoroedge Claimer of the Year: Gentleman Jackson
I love claimers, my family has owned several dozen over the past 30 years and they are the backbone of the US racing industry, comprising I think of about 70% of our races. Of the horses I work with on a yearly basis, probably a like percentage are also of claiming stock, and today I have decided to blog about the best of that bunch. I am not alone in this recognition, as the DRF beat me to the punch in publishing a nice article about Gentleman Jackson (photo above by Norm Files) and his connections yesterday – while I was working on this piece:
Neat to see that trainer Marty Drexler has had a few big claiming successes in his career, including a G3 winner a few years back – bought for $40k and a $200k earner. Amazing how these guys consistently pick up these diamonds in the rough. Coincidentally, as last weekend saw Gentleman Jackson’s 3rd consecutive ALW win at Woodbine, we also had the Claiming Crown races down at Gulfstream Park. Years ago Thoroedge also provided some insight into the conditioning of Antrim County – who I believe is the only claiming crown winner to successfully defend his title:
So I thought I would take some cumulative data from the 7 winners in 2012 and see how Gentleman Jackson fits in as a claiming value play:
The average claiming price was $18,857 that produced average 2012 earnings of $151,609 for a rough Return on Investment multiple of 8.04, before associated carrying costs. The average winner of the claiming crown races at GP made 11 starts this year: with 5 wins, 2 places, and 1 show.
How does our gelding stand up? Pretty well with his $12,500 price tag leading to $181,676 in winnings and a 14.53 ROI multiple. He made 10 starts this year: going 5-1-2, all at Woodbine, which currently makes him the leading performer in terms of wins at the 2012 WO meet:
In his last race, he led wire to wire at 8-1, beating a deep field which included 4-time winners Jomelo, Run to the Bank, Consolidator Joe, and Seething. Here are his PPs leading up to that big race:
Important to note that conditioner Drexler has taken 4 horses from Ft. Erie and Assiniboia Downs up to the big circuit at Woodbine and posted impressive wins. For those of you outside of the US – that is a very large jump in class, nearly as big a leap as possible.
So again, much deserved congratulations to all involved in the successful 2012 campaign of Gentleman Jackson, don’t we wish they could all be like him!-
EDIT: 1/24/13: After being claimed away from Drexler on the last day of the Woodbine meet for $62,500, Gentleman Jackson went to the barn of top trainer Mark Casse, moved to Gulfstream, got off STORM – and ran a dull 7th in his first effort.