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In horse racing there's so much term that everybody who loves racing should learn. One of these is the optional claimer. Organizing horse races at meets across the country is not easy, with hundreds of owners trying to get their horses into races they think they'll win. And that's why races such as optional claimers exist. An optional claiming race is both a claiming race, for horses who can be claimed for a specific price because they fit the allowance conditions laid out in the condition book. Optional claimers exist primarily to ensure race organizers can fill races. Often it can be complicated to find a competitive number of horses to race at the same standard, on the same day, at the same racetrack.

There are some types of races that are simple to understand like stakes races and some claiming races. Yet some conditions can be quite confusing, such as a starter optional claiming race. In a sense, these are hybrid races. The claiming part is the easy one to understand. It's the price another owner must pay to buy or claim the horse. Claiming races are the most common horse races at most horseracing tracks. The concept of claiming races can be a little confusing. A claiming race gives people the chance to buy a racehorse running in a race. It's a unique opportunity not available in any other sport. But like other sports there are a lot of rules must follow and things that need to know before claiming a horse. To claim a horse, a person must be a licensed racehorse owner or an agent registered at the track and have a horse or horses running at the track the horse is being claimed. At many racetracks, there's a shortage of good allowance horses that's where the optional claimer is run. The key to making a good marriage in this type of race condition is for the racing secretary to know the quality of the two sets of horses- claiming horses versus allowance horses.

Horses that have run out of allowance conditions but haven't made the grade at higher levels may be fielded in optional claiming races. This is often done so that owners can chase a big win and a potential payout if the horse is sold. What's more, the odds don't always reflect the true quality of the horse in optional claimers. That's because their poor form in higher-level races disguises how good they are in lesser meets. The primary reason for claiming races is to even the playing field and create fair competition. The horses are valued equally, so the outcome is less predictable, and the races are attractive to owners and gamblers.

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