Thoroughbred — Chapter 12: Claiming Races

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12.01.01  In claiming races, any horse is subject to be claimed for its entered price by any owner who:

  1. Is the holder of an owner’s licence, in good standing from the Commission;

  2. Has started a horse in Ontario, either on his/her own behalf or in a multiple ownership during the racing season in which the claim is being made;

  3. Is eligible to claim under Rule 12.29.

A claimed horse, regardless of ownership, must race only at tracks in Ontario for the next ninety days or until the end of the track’s meet where the horse was claimed, whichever of the two that occurs first. Exceptions will apply only by permission of the Stewards.

12.01.02 A horse may be exempt from rule 12.01.01 if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The horse has not raced in any jurisdiction in 150 days.
  2. The claiming race in question is the horse’s first Ontario race of the current season;
  3. The horse is entered for a claiming price equal to or greater than the price it last started for; and
  4. At the time of entry into a claiming race, the owner or trainer has advised the Race Secretary that they are opting to declare a horse exempt from being claimed. Any failure to declare an exemption may not be remedied.

An Association shall note a declaration of exemption in the official program.

12.01.03 Owners who were licensed and stabled in Ontario in the previous year shall be eligible to claim in the first 30 days of the current meet.

12.02  The claiming price of each horse in a claiming race shall be the entered claiming price and shall be printed on the day’s official program.

12.03  A claim may be made by an Authorized Agent but only for an owner by whom he/she is authorized. However, when making out such claim the claim slip must include the Authorized Agent’s licence number or said claim shall be voided.

12.03.01 A trainer may claim horses on behalf of an owner(s) only if he/she is properly licensed as an Authorized Agent for that owner(s).

12.04  No claim shall be valid unless the claimant has a credit balance in his account with the Horseperson’s Bookkeeper in an amount sufficient to satisfy the claim together with all applicable taxes relating to such claim. The said sum must be deposited in the claimant’s account at least fifteen (15) minutes prior to the published post time for the race for which the claim is submitted. In the event that the full sum applicable to the proposed claim has not been credited to the claimant’s account within the time limited, any claim made by the claimant, who is in default, shall be void.

12.05  Should any of the individuals or entities involved in a Partnership submit a claim for the same horse the qualifying claim will be drawn by the Stewards from within that Partnership group, preceding the final draw for the claim by the Clerk of the Scales

12.05.01  No owner may claim any horse from any other owner if a Partnership exists between them with respect to that horse or any other horse which is currently racing, which that partner owns in whole or in part.

12.05.02  A trainer shall not have more than one claim on any one horse in any claiming race. In the event of multiple claims identifying the same designated trainer, the qualifying claim shall be drawn by the Stewards from within that group preceding the final draw for the claim by the Clerk of the Scales.

12.05.03  Deleted.

12.06  A claim shall, in all cases, represent a bona fide offer by the claimant to buy, and on the owner to sell the horse in question at the claiming price. The Stewards may fully inquire into any and all circumstances leading them to believe that the above is not the case and shall punish violators in such manner as the facts warrant. (See Rule 12.17).

12.07  If a horse is claimed, it shall not start in a claiming race for a period of thirty (30) clear days from the date of claim for not less than twenty-five per cent (25%) more than the amount for which it was claimed.

12.08  If a horse is claimed, it shall not be sold or transferred to anyone in whole or in part, except in a claiming race, for a period of thirty (30) clear days from date of claim. It shall not, unless reclaimed, remain in the same stable or under control or management of its former owner or trainer for the same thirty (30) clear days. It shall not race outside Ontario, nor shall the foal registration papers be removed from an Association’s Race Secretary’s offices for the next ninety (90) clear days from the date of claim other than for the purpose of racing at any thoroughbred racetrack in Ontario, or until the end of the track’s meet where the horse was claimed, whichever of the two that occurs first. Exceptions may apply with permission of the Stewards, for a claimed horse to compete in stakes races in other jurisdictions during the ninety-day (90) day period.  Any person who violates this rule shall be subject to a suspension or monetary penalty of 10% of the claiming price or 100% of the purse for each race, whichever is greater and the horse may be suspended. A claimant shall be held in violation of this rule if he or she disposes of the horse in any manner other than by claiming and the horse races outside of the province of Ontario within 90 days of the horse being claimed.   

12.09 Deleted.

12.10  All claims shall be on forms and contained in envelopes provided by the Association.

12.11  All claims must be signed, sealed, and the envelope time-stamped and deposited in a locked box at least 15 minutes before the post time of the race in which the claim is made. Such box shall be in the custody of the Clerk of Scales. The following information must be correctly filled in on the claim blank:

  1. Date of claim;
  2. Printed name(s) and appropriate signature(s);
  3. Authorized Agent number if required;
  4. Correct claiming price;
  5. The number of the race from which the horse is to be claimed;
  6. Name of horse;
  7. Designated Trainer;
  8. Initial claiming form, if applicable.

Typographical or minor technical errors may be accepted at the discretion of the Stewards.

12.12  Not earlier than 15 minutes before and not later than ten minutes before each race, the Clerk of the Scales shall open the claims’ box and note on the envelope containing each claim the official post time of the race in question which he/she shall take from the totalizator board. Immediately thereafter and in no event later than post time of each race, he/she shall deliver or cause to be delivered to the Stewards all claims which were in the claims’ box for the race in question. No money shall accompany the claim.

12.13  Transfer of possession of a claimed horse shall take place in the claiming barn or designated area immediately after the running of said race, unless the horse is required to be taken to either the retention test barn and/or TCO2 test barn for post-race testing. The successful claimant or their representative shall maintain physical custody of the claimed horse. Transfer of possession of each claimed horse will take place after sample tags have been signed by the previous trainer and/or their representative.

12.13.01  Transfer of possession of a claimed horse to the successful claimant or their representative shall take place in the claiming barn or designated area immediately after the running of the race. Altering or removing the horse’s shoes prior to transfer is not permitted.

12.13.02  Notwithstanding the requirements under 12.13.01, in the case where a claimed horse must submit for post-race testing, physical custody of the claimed horse shall transfer from the original owner to the successful claimant outside the retention barn following completion of the test and after the sample tags have been signed by the original owner or their representative.

12.14  In the event that more than one claim is submitted for any horse in any race, the successful claimant shall be determined by lot by one of the Stewards or their deputy and all unsuccessful claims involved in the decision at that time, shall become null and void, notwithstanding any future disposition of such claims.

12.15  When a horse is claimed in another recognized racing jurisdiction, title to such horse shall be accepted in Ontario in accordance with the Rules of the jurisdiction in which the claim was made.

12.16  Any person refusing to deliver a claimed horse shall be suspended and their case referred to the Registrar. Any purse money earned by said horse shall be withheld and such horse may not be re-entered, until it is delivered to the successful claimant or his agent subject to the finding of the Registrar. In the event that the delivery of the horse is not made in the paddock immediately following the race, the claiming money shall immediately revert to the claimant’s account and if delivery of the horse is offered at some subsequent date, the claimant has the option to refuse such horse.

12.17  If the Stewards are of the opinion that any person is claiming a horse for the benefit of another they may require such person to give a statutory declaration substantiating that such claim is made only on their own behalf.

12.18.01  Subject to Rule 12.16, title to a claimed horse shall vest in the successful claimant from the time the stall doors of the starting gate open in front of such horse at the time the Starter dispatches the horses in a valid start for the claiming race. The successful claimant shall take possession of the claimed horse according to the Rules whether said horse is sound or unsound, or injured during or after the race.

12.18.02  When a claim has been lodged it is irrevocable, and is at the risk of the claimant. Determination of the true sex of a claimed horse shall be the sole responsibility of the claimant, and mistakes in that regard printed in the official program or elsewhere shall not be considered a basis for invalidating the claim.

12.19 Each horse shall run for the account of the person in whose name it starts.

12.20  No person shall attempt by intimidation to prevent anyone from running a horse in any claiming race for which it is entered.

12.21  No person shall offer or enter into an agreement to claim or not to claim or attempt to prevent another person from claiming any horse in a claiming race; nor shall any owner or trainer running horses in any claiming race make any agreement for the protection of their or any other person’s horses.

12.22  No person or persons shall enter or allow to be entered in a claiming race a horse against which any claim is held, either as mortgage, bill of sale or lien of any kind, unless the holder of the due obligation signs an official consent form. This form must be put on file prior to entry with the Racing Secretary of the Association conducting the meeting.

12.23  If a filly or mare has been bred she is ineligible to enter into a claiming race unless either (i) or (ii) of the following conditions is fulfilled:

    1. Full disclosure of this fact is on file with Racing Secretary and such information is posted in their office;
    2. The stallion service certificate has been deposited with the Racing Secretary’s Office. (All information contained on the slip shall be confidential);
    3. All payments due for the service in question and for any live progeny resulting from that service are paid in full;
    4. The release of the stallion service certificate to the successful claimant at the time of claim is guaranteed.

  2. A licensed veterinarian’s certificate dated at least 25 days after the last breeding of that mare or filly is on file with the Racing Secretary’s Office stating that the mare or filly is not in foal.

12.24.02  The stable of an owner racing in Ontario shall be deemed to consist of only those horses that were, at the time the stable was eliminated by claiming, registered with an Ontario racing Association for the current year.

12.25  When a horse has been claimed or sold and a urine or other test subsequently discloses that an improper medication or drug was administered and the Stewards suspend such horse from racing, such suspension shall remain in effect until it is rescinded by the Stewards or the Registrar.

12.26  No person other than an authorized agent acting for his/her principal shall claim a horse for, or on behalf of any other person and, for the purposes of the claiming Rules, an owner making a claim by merely executing said claim declares that he/she is claiming on their own account.

12.27  No horse which is leased may be used by the lessee as a qualifying horse for the purpose of claiming, until the lease has been in effect for 30 days. However, a lease from a person to a corporation, of which the majority of voting shares are owned by such person or vice versa, shall be an exception to this rule. In the event that a leased horse is claimed, the lessee at the time of the claim shall have the right to reclaim said claimed horse during the balance of the meeting where the horse was originally claimed.

12.28  Any purse monies shall not be released to owners for 48 hours after being won, and if a holiday immediately follows, the money shall not be released for a period of 72 hours.

12.29  Any potential ownership which is desirous of entering racing in Ontario by claiming a horse, which is not currently, directly or indirectly involved in horse ownership in another jurisdiction, which does not qualify to claim a horse under Rule 12.01.01 (a) and (b) may be granted the privilege to claim a horse under a claiming certificate, issued by the Registrar, provided the following conditions are fulfilled:

  1. a payment is made to the Commission to initiate an investigation as to that ownership’s suitability to hold a licence. The new owner’s fee will be added to the cost of the claiming certificate;
  2. An application has been made and held pending until all necessary inspections have been completed to the satisfaction of the Stewards or the Registrar;
  3. A licensed owner who has raced in Ontario in the previous racing season is eligible to claim as an initial claimant without charge;
  4. with the exception of the first and last thirty (30) calendar days, a claiming certificate is valid during the racing season in Ontario;
  5. The above privilege to claim shall be valid for only one horse unless the claimed horse is physically incapable of starting in Ontario during the next forty-five (45) days of being claimed, as determined by the Commission Veterinarian;
  6. Deleted.

12.30  Any owner entitled to claim on their own behalf under the Rules, is entitled to claim in a Partnership with any other licensee(s) who are entitled to claim on their own behalf. No owner may be involved in more than one claim (in whole or in part) for the same horse in any one race.
12.31  It is the responsibility of anyone making a claim to see that the claim is properly executed. In the event the Stewards find that the claim is improperly executed, they may take any action within the Rules they deem necessary, including declaring the claim invalid.

12.32  Should notification be received by the Stewards, from the Official Chemist, that a positive test has been determined on an official sample from a claimed horse, the claimant of the said horse shall have the right to request of the Stewards that the claim be declared invalid. Such request must be made within 72 hours of the claimant, his/her trainer, or authorized agent, receiving notification of the positive test from the Stewards.

12.32.01  The Stewards shall rule a claim invalid, if:

  1. At the option of the claimant, approved post-race testing procedures discloses that an improper medication or drug was found to be present in the sample of the claimed horse which is reported in the analysis report from the lab. Once the claim has been declared invalid by the Stewards the claimant must request within 72 hours that the horse be returned to the original owner;  
  2. At the option of the claimant, if the horse has been found ineligible to the event from which it was claimed;  
  3. The horse dies on the racetrack; or  
  4. The horse suffers an injury which requires euthanasia while on the racetrack as determined by either a Commission Veterinarian or an Official Veterinarian.
  5. At the option of the claimant, if before the end of the Observation Period:    
    1. The Commission Veterinarian or Official Veterinarian places the horse on the Veterinarian's List;  
    2. The Commission Veterinarian or Official Veterinarian observes the horse is bleeding from the nostrils;  
    3. The Commission Veterinarian or Official Veterinarian determines the horse has suffered an injury which requires euthanasia; or  
    4. The horse dies. 

12.33  Claimants may choose to have the horse observed by an Official Veterinarian or Commission Veterinarian. A claimant or their representative must confirm with the Stewards by phone that a horse is going to be observed, prior to the horse being transferred to the claimant. If the claimant chooses to waive the Observation Period, Rule 12.32.01(e) shall no longer apply.    

 12.33.01  With respect to the Observation Period, the claimant or their representative shall proceed directly and without delay, to the designated observation area; failure to do so may result in the Observation Period being waived and/or the claim not being invalidated, as determined by the Stewards. 

12.33.02  The observation shall take place as close to one hour after the race as practical.  

12.33.03   Except in the case of an emergency, no horse shall receive treatment before the end of the Observation Period and any such treatment shall be reported to the Stewards as soon as practical.  

12.33.04  The Association shall create a process for the Observation Period referred to in Rule 12.32.01(e), which must be outlined in an Association’s track rules.  

12.34  When the Stewards rule that a claim is invalid and the horse is returned to the original owner:  

  1. The amount of the claiming price shall be repaid to the claimant;  
  2. Any purse monies earned subsequent to the date of the claim and before the date on which the claim is ruled invalid shall be the property of the claimant;  
  3. The claimant shall be responsible for any reasonable costs incurred through the care, training or racing of the horse while it was in his or her possession; and 
  4. The horse shall be returned to the original owner in the same material condition.