Charlie’s First Race and El Dorado Farm Tour

The number one question on everyone’s mind is when will Charlie race?

We already established that Charlie Thomas was “in jail” for 45 days after the claim, which made him eligible to race on May 18. So how do we determine when he will race?

For that, there is the condition book. The condition book is the primary tool for the trainer to determine when the horse will run. It is a set of races planned out by the racing secretary, Bret Anderson, and then printed for the horsemen and published online.

The condition book truly is the realm of the trainer, and a good trainer knows how to read the book and tailor their training to point to a particular race.

The condition book only covers a couple weeks at a time so that the racing secretary can adjust the races written based on the needs of the current horse population.

For example, Condition Book #1 covered 7 days from April 18 – May 3. Condition Book #2 covered 9 days from May 8 – May 25.

We are now into Condition Book #3. You can find the condition book in hard copy at the racing office or online at >Horsemen>Condition Book.

The easiest place to start when looking at the condition book is the index. The index below is from page 8 in Condition Book #3 and is a quick glance at the races ahead that are in the book for colts and geldings (fillies and mares are listed in the index on page 9).

CB3 8

Charlie is a four year old so we can skip the two year old and three year old races and go straight to the “three year olds and upward”.

There we see a number of dates listed across from the category of race and distinguished in two columns: short and long. Short refers to any race under 1 mile and long refers to any race a mile and over.

Next we look at the category of race. Charlie was claimed for $10,000 in California, so it’s safe to say that his first race at Emerald Downs will be for a slightly higher value, perhaps $12,500 claiming or $15,000 claiming.

As we continue down the list, you’ll see the first six races for three year olds and upward start with a “M”. This designates a maiden race. Charlie has won a race so he is not a maiden and doesn’t qualify.

Next come the conditional claiming races. The “C” designates it as a claiming race, then the number designates the claiming price, and finally the “NW” and a number designate conditions.

For example, C7500NW2 means a claiming race for $7,500 non-winners of 2.

There are no conditional claiming races listed for Charlie so we keep going down the list and we come to the wide open claiming races. We call them “open” claiming races because there are no conditions attached.

Here we find C15000, a $15,000 claiming race with a short race on May 30 and a long race on June 14.

From the index we now know the basics that there are potentially two races in this condition book that we would want to point Charlie to. Next we find the date of the race in the following pages.

CB3 13

The ninth race in the condition book for May 30 shows the $15,000 claiming race going six and a half furlongs. This is the “short” date.

If you look at the full condition book here, there are 16 races “in the book” for that date to choose from. Entries are taken Wednesday, May 27. The racing office will then build the official race card with the races that have the most entries, i.e. betting interests for the wagering public. Those races will be used for the Saturday, May 30 card.

So after that long explanation we get back to the question “when will Charlie race?”

We will know on Wednesday, May 27 if enough horses entered the race in order to make it a go. If the race is used, then Charlie would race Saturday, May 30.

However, this doesn’t take into account the “Xtras” but that’s a topic for another blog!

Farm Tours

Saturday, May 23, 10 am and 11 am

El Dorado Farms

41818 228th Ave. SE

Enumclaw, WA 98022

(360) 825-7526

El Dorado Farms is owned by Ron and Nina Hagen. El Dorado Farms has also earned WA Breeder of the Year award, most recently in 2009. They are a full service facility, standing stallions Music Of My Soul, Abraaj, Car Talk, Coast Guard, Private Gold and Raise the Bluff. They breed, raise and sell Thoroughbreds. They also provide rehab and layup facilities and have a nurse mare program.

Tours will begin at 10 am and 11 am. They will have mares, sucklings, minis, vet work with ultra sound for breeding follicles and looking for pregnancies, plus ovulations.

There is also the possibility of a live breeding if a mare needs to be bred (as determined by the ultra sound and their teaser stallion Mongo Man).


You’ll also see a lot of kittens, chickens and other critters at El Dorado!

Tribal Waters Update

Tribal Waters has finally arrived! TW arrived late Monday night after an extremely long van ride up from Golden Gate. He walked yesterday and we will have the vet go over him to make sure he’s in good health. He is stabled next to Charlie and will train over the track later this week.




10 thoughts on “Charlie’s First Race and El Dorado Farm Tour

    • Great question! If you don’t want your horse claimed, you don’t run it in a claiming race. You’d run in an allowance. However, an allowance race may be way over your horse’s ability and while you may not lose your horse, you may never win a race. So as an owner, you have to make a choice on what is more important to you. As we get into finances, you’ll also see that the trainer makes their money on the performance of the horse. So if you as an owner opt to run your horse way beyond it’s means, the trainer may not support you in this endeavor because they are there to get you to the Winner’s Circle!

  1. Are we allowed a barn visit on Monday, 5/25? I ask because, though it is one of the days you told us was OK to visit between 6.30-11.30am, it is also a race day.


    • Hi Lauren,

      Holly, our volunteer, can escort a private group back on Monday. She can meet your group at the Quarterchute cafe at 11 am. Please confirm if you’d like to go back then.

  2. Thanks Sophia. I am checking at this end about doing this and will get back to you ASAP. I’m really eager to see our guys, now that both of them are here!


  3. Hi Sophia,

    Could I and also my husband join in going with Holly to the barn visit on Monday the 25th, meeting at QCC at 11?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s