Chapter 15: Claiming Races

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15.01.01 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).

15.01  No horse will be eligible to start in a claiming race unless the owner has provided written/electronic authorization, which must include the minimum price for which the horse may be claimed, to the race secretary at least one hour prior to post time of its race. If the horse is owned by more than one party, all parties must sign the authorization. Any question relating to the validity of a claiming authorization shall be referred to the Judges who shall have the authority to disallow a declaration or scratch the horse if they deem the authorization to be improper.

15.02  Unless a horse is on the electronic registration system, the registration certificate in current ownership must be filed with the race secretary for all horses claimed within forty-eight (48) hours after the race from which the horse was claimed. All horses claimed out of a claiming race will automatically be put on electronic registration by Standardbred Canada (See Rule 15.19).


  Colts, Stallions, Geldings and Spayed Mares  Fillies and Mares
2-year-old 75% 100%
3-year-old  50% 75%
4-year-old 25% 50%
5-year-old and older 0 25%

Claiming prices recorded on past performance lines in the daily race program and on eligibility certificates shall not include allowances.

15.04  The claiming price, including any allowances, of each horse shall be printed on the official program adjacent to the horse’s program number and claims shall be for the amount designated, subject to correction if printed in error.  Claiming prices given in past performance lines in programs and in the official performance records shall not include allowances.

15.05  In handicap claiming races, in the event of an also eligible horse moving into the race, the also eligible horse shall take the place of the horse that it replaces provided that the handicap is the same. In the event the handicap is different, the also eligible horse shall take the position on the outside of horses with a similar handicap, except when the horse that is scratched is a trailing horse, in which case the also eligible horse shall take the trailing position, regardless of its handicap. In handicap claiming races with one trailer, the trailer shall be determined as the 4th best post position unless otherwise mandated by the Registrar.

15.06.01   To be eligible to be claimed a horse must start in the event in which it has been declared to race. For the purposes of this rule, a horse shall be deemed to have started when the horse’s nose has reached the starting line. If a horse that has been drawn in to start in a claiming race in Ontario is scratched for reason other than being ineligible to the race, the horse shall be subject to claim in its next start in Ontario, provided such start occurs within 30 days of the date of the scratch, regardless of type and condition of the race, at the claiming price it was subject to in the race in which it was scratched. Where a horse drawn in to start in a claiming race has been declared to start in a subsequent race, the successful claimant, if any, of the horse, in the first race shall have the option of scratching the horse from the subsequent race and the 30 day provision of this section will not apply.

15.06.02 A horse may be exempt from rules 15.01 and 15.06 if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The horse has not raced in any jurisdiction in 120 days
  2. The horse is entered for a claiming price equal to or greater than the price it last started for; and
  3. 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.

15.07  Any person or the authorized agent of such person who holds a current valid Commission licence may claim any horse, or any person who has properly applied for and been granted a claiming certificate shall be permitted to claim any horse. Any person or authorized agent eligible to claim a horse shall be allowed access to the grounds of the Association in order to effect a claim at the designated place of making claims and to take possession of the horse claimed.

15.08  Claiming certificates are valid on day of issue and are valid for up to 1 year.


  1. A claimed horse, regardless of ownership, shall only race at a track or tracks in the province of Ontario for the next 60 days, except where such a horse has been nominated to participate in an added money event before it was claimed. 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 60 days of the horse being claimed.
  2. Deleted.

15.10  Prohibitions on claims:

  1. A person shall not claim directly or indirectly his or her own horse or a horse trained or driven by him/ her that day or cause such horse to be claimed directly or indirectly for his or her own account;
  2. A person shall not directly or indirectly offer, or directly or indirectly enter into an agreement, to claim or not to claim or directly or indirectly attempt to prevent another person from claiming any horse in a claiming race;
  3. A person shall not have more than one claim on any one horse in any claiming race;
  4. A person shall not directly or indirectly conspire to protect a horse from being claimed by arranging another person to lodge claims, a procedure known as protection claims;
  5. A trainer shall not have more than one claim on any one horse in any claiming race. In the event of multiple claims for the same designated trainer, the qualifying claim from within that group shall be drawn by lot for the claim. All claim forms must identify a designated trainer.

15.11  Claiming procedure:

  1. Person desirous of making a claim, hereinafter referred to as the claimant, must remit the required amount. The required amount shall include the claiming price plus the transfer of ownership fee and applicable taxes;
  2. The claimant shall provide all information required on the claim form provided by the Association;
  3. The claim form shall be completed and signed by the claimant prior to placing it in an envelope provided for this purpose by the Association. The claimant shall seal the envelope and identify on the outside the date, race number and track name only;
  4.   The envelope shall be delivered to the race secretary, or licensed delegate, at least 30 minutes before post time of the race from which the claim is being made. That person shall certify on the outside of the envelope the time it was received, the current licence status of the claimant and whether credit in the required amount has been established;
  5. It shall be the responsibility of the race secretary to ensure that all such claim forms are delivered to the Judges prior to the race from which the claim is being made;
  6. The Judges shall disallow any claim made on a form or in a manner which fails to comply with all requirements of this rule;
  7. Deleted.
  8. Copies of claim forms may be delivered directly to the Judges stand from the race office. The original claim form must be kept on file in the race office for the period of twelve months.

15.12  When a claim has been lodged it is irrevocable, and is at the risk of the claimant.

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

15.14  Upon determining that a claim is valid, the Judges shall forthwith notify the paddock judge of the name of the horse claimed, the name of the claimant and the name of the person to whom the horse is to be delivered. Also, the Judges shall cause a public announcement of the claim to be made prior to the race.

15.15  Every horse entered in a claiming race shall race for the account of the owner who declared it in the event, but title to a claimed horse shall be vested in the successful claimant from the time the horse is deemed to have started, and the successful claimant shall become the owner of the horse, whether it be alive or dead, or sound or unsound, or injured during or after the race. If a horse is claimed out of a heat or dash of an event having multiple heats or dashes, the Judges shall scratch the horse from any subsequent heat or dash of the event.

15.16 Deleted.

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

15.16.02  Notwithstanding the requirements under 15.16.01, 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 area following completion of the test and after the sample tags have been signed by the original owner or their representative.

15.17  Any person who refuses to deliver a horse legally claimed out of a claiming race shall be suspended, together with the horse, until delivery is made.

15.18  A claimed horse shall not be eligible to start in any race in the name or interest of the original owner for 30 days, unless reclaimed out of another claiming race. Nor shall such horse remain in or be returned to the same stable or care or management of the first owner or trainer for the same period of 30 days, unless reclaimed out of another claiming race.

15.19  The claiming price shall be paid to the original owner only when the Judges are satisfied that the successful claim is valid and the registration certificate has been received by the race secretary for transfer to the new owner (See Rule 15.02).

15.20.01  The Judges, shall rule a claim invalid:

  1. At the option of the claimant, if the Official Chemist reports a positive test on a horse that was claimed, provided such option is exercised within 48 hours following notification to the claimant of the positive test by the Judges;
  2. At the option of the claimant, if the horse has been found ineligible to the event from which it was claimed;
  3. At the option of the claimant, if approved post-race testing procedures discloses that an improper medication or drug was found to be present in the sample of the claimed horse and reported in the analysis report from the lab, provided such option is exercised within 48 hours following notification to the claimant by the Judges.
  4. If the horse dies on the racetrack; or
  5. If the horse suffers an injury which requires euthanasia while on the racetrack as determined by either a Commission Veterinarian or an Official Veterinarian.

15.20.02  In the event that the sex of a claimed horse has been inaccurately described in the racing program, the claimant or his/her authorized representative must notify the Judges of the error within a one half (½) hour from the time that the horse is physically retrieved by the claimant or his/her authorized representative whether he/she wishes to retain the horse. If the claimant or his/her authorized representative fails to notify the Judges of the error within this prescribed time, the claimant shall be deemed to have accepted the horse so claimed.

15.21  Mares and fillies who are in foal are ineligible to claiming races. If a claimant determines within 48 hours that a claimed filly or mare is in foal, he/she may, at their option, return the horse to the original owner.

15.22  When the Judges 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; and
  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.