Anyway, it's cold here in North Texas: 31º F. (Note to all Canadians, New Yorkers, and Yankee "Others": Don't give me any lip by making comments that include words such as "heatwave" or "balmy" or "wuss"). We rescheduled my visit for later in the week, but we briefly chatted about her other rescue projects as well as the development of a 501c3 non profit fund for the Keen's rescue operation, Remember Me Rescue.
"I hated to [ask for donations]," Donna told me, "but we can no longer afford to pay for the rescue operation ourselves. Everything - feed, hay, and help - has gotten too expensive."
This in turn led to a conversation about the economy and its effect on horse racing, a dangerous territory for people like me. Sort of like discussing transmissions with my mechanic. (Note to Economists, Steve Zorn, and Smart Business Types: Please refrain from making comments that include words such as "moron" or "dork" or "bubblehead"). I stated the obvious: Purses are higher at the Fair Grounds than at
But Donna pointed out that it wasn't so much the purchase price of a racehorse at the Keeneland Sale that was the horseman's problem, rather an economical factor that I had never even considered. "Where I see a real downturn is in the claims. Nobody is claiming anymore. We end up running a $30,000 claimer for $10,000 because there are no claims at the higher level. There used to be a couple of claims in every race, or lots of claims if a horse is real good," said Donna, "but it's becoming tough to sell a horse."