I once had a friend who claimed a horse with a cracked knee. The response from folks in racing was the usual, "buyer beware" or "boy, you got burned." It is a part of the game and it is accepted as such. I say poppycock. What if you spent $200,000 on a house and you found out that the previous owner did not disclose a foundation problem and the house is ready to fall down? Would your neighbours say "buyer beware; too bad so sad"? Of course not.
It is about time we brought the investment in racehorses to some sort of level that is on par with other investments. In one small step, vets are calling for horses that receive a catastrophic injury during a race in which they are claimed to be sent back to the original owner. The hope is that shady owners, running badly damaged horses for financial gain, or to hoodwink another owner will think twice, and possibly give the horse time to heal and race soundly.
Ask people in any other business and this would be considered common sense, and ethical. It would be implemented already, or take minutes to implement with unanimous support. I bet it won't be embraced with alacrity in racing though. The minute you want to take something away from someone, somewhere in this sport, no matter how bad it is for the business, there tends to be a fight.
Man who gathers wind has a post up on this stuff. Some interesting other tidbits.