Finger Lakes Adds Three New Claiming Series

Finger Lakes | Horsephotos

Following the successful debut of its North Warning Distance Claiming series in 2023, Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack has added three more claiming series to its 2024 meet which opens Apr. 29. Pending approval from the New York State Gaming Commission, the track's racing secretary Jerry Richards will add an additional distance series for fillies and mares and two sprint claiming series.

All three series are named after some of the winningest horses to ever compete at Finger Lakes.

The Unhinged Iron Distance Claiming Series is the female version of the North Warning series, while the sprint series are named the Mt. Rushmore, and the Wise Awake for fillies and mares. All three series feature two claiming legs prior to a final.

Each series kicks off Aug. 5 with $5,000 claimers vying for $14,000 (added). The sprint distance will be a five-furlong dash, while the Unhinged Iron series starts out at 1 1/16 miles.

The claiming price increases to $6,250 for leg two, scheduled for Labor Day, Sept. 2. Sprinters will compete at 5 1/2 furlongs with the ladies in the Unhinged Iron Distance Series racing an extra sixteenth of a mile to 1 1/8 miles. The purse money increases to $17,500 (added).

All finals will be run on New York Breeders' Futurity Day, Oct. 21, and will each feature a $25,000 purse. Distances will be six furlongs for the sprinters and the Classic distance of 1 1/4 miles for the Unhinged Iron. To be eligible for the finals, horses must have run in one of the first two legs and have earned enough points to make the finals. There is no claiming in any series final.

The North Warning series will return for its second year on July 1 and feature three legs and a final. The final of the North Warning, also to be run on Oct. 21, will be contested at 1 3/4 miles for a purse of $30,000.

The Oct. 21 program will be one of the richest days in the 63-year history of Finger Lakes. The card will feature the $200,000 (estimated) New York Breeders Futurity, $50,000 Jack Betta Be Rite stakes and $50,000 Genesee Valley Breeders, as well as the four claiming series finals.

“We see a lot of value to our horseman by running these claiming series,” said Richards, who is in his third season at Finger Lakes. “The rich final of each series gives these lower-level claimers a nice opportunity to make some good money, and we're all for that.”

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