On November 10th, Jean And Rick went down to Louisville's

Churchill Downs

to try to claim Todd Pletcher trained, Justa Streak for 32k.   Justa Streak is a 4 year old Chestnut colt that was up for his first claiming tag in his life.  His sire is More Than Ready, the 4th place finisher in the 2000 Kentucky Derby whose stud fee to produce Justa Streak was a whopping $60,000.

Justa Streak seemed like the right horse for our stable, so we drove down to Lousiville starting at 4:45 AM with our certified check in hand to deposit into the Churchill Downs Racing Office.   We were afraid we might be in a shake situation, but were hopeful it would be no more than 1 or 2 others we would have to beat to claim this mule.

We arrived at 11:00am local time and talked our way into the Horsemen's Parking Lot even though we had no Kentucky credentials for a front row parking spot at the entrance to the track.   From there Jeanie went to the Churchill Downs racing office and deposited our money with the ever helpful Carla - who runs the office.  Carla ensured that our money would be available immediately for any claim we might wish to make.

Following that we went into the Horsemen's lounge where we talked them into giving us a Complimentary Owners Box on the Finish Line - without having to show a single credential.  They even booked us Luncheon reservations in the restaurant reserved for owners overlooking the finish line.  These people couldn't have been more accomodating.

As our Trainer Chris Block could not be at Churchill Downs that day, he had arranged a fellow Trainer, Mike Dini, who was at CD that day to view Justa Streak in the paddock before the race and if he saw no problems to get the claiming slip entered for us.  Additionally, should we win the claim, Chris' colleague would be transporting Justa Streak back to Hawthorne for us that very evening, so he could continue his training under the banner of the Red Rabbit Racing Stable.

When it was time for the 5th race, we went to the paddock and got our first look at Justa Streak and he looked magnificent.  Big chestnut colt with a flaxen mane.  Rippling muscles throughout his body made him look faster than hell. Everything went off without a hitch as we met up with Chris' colleague, who saw no problems with the horse and the claim tag was entered.   Then Justa Streak did his part by blasting down the stretch and running down the leaders for an impressive win.

We turned our atention to the racing office.  Alas, the racing office confirmed that there would be a shake  - and horror or horrors, it would be a six way shake.  Crikey, we didn't ever fathom that 6 parties would be vying for the same horse - but that was the case.  With the odds stacked against us we lost the shake to trainer Steve Hobby - who no doubt was the happiest man in Louisville that moment. 

Disheartened, Jean & I looked at each other and headed for the car, to begin our 5 hour ride home with no horse.


click here for all the pictures on the day