This category is reserved for horses that have been running in inferior claiming company, but have improved to the point that they would not be risked being sold in a claiming race. In effect this race is an allowance race restricted to horses that have previously run in a claiming race at a specific level (e.g. starters for a claiming price of $5,000). In a starter handicap race, horses are weighted similar to a handicap race.
Races are classified as STAKES races when the meet two basic criteria, 1) They have money added to the base purse of the race in the form of nomination, entry and or starter fees paid by owners; 2) Nominations for a STAKES race must close at least 72 hours prior to its running.
Stakes races can be under allowance conditions (weight off allowed based upon number of wins or money won); handicap conditions (Racing Secretary or Handicapper assigns weight based upon past performances with the goal of giving each horse an equal chance to win the race) or weight for age conditions, (each horse carries equal weights based upon their age and sex).
Similar to a Starter Race, but with a much bigger purse (see above for definitions of both).
Starter allowance races are identical to starter handicap races with the only difference that horses competing in this race are weighted through allowance conditions (i.e. number of races or money won).
This race type refers to a race where the weights are assigned by the track’s Racing Secretary or Handicapper based upon past performances. Their goal is to assign weight to each horse so that all entrants have an equal chance of winning the race. THERE IS NO ADDED MONEY IN A HANDICAP RACE.
Maiden Special Weight
These races are reserved for horses that have never won a race. They are not eligible to be claimed. The term special weight is derived from the fact that arbitrary weights are assigned to horses by age. (e.g. 3 year olds 118 pounds, older 122 pounds.)
Claiming races are the most commonly run races in the country. Horses competing in claiming races are offered for sale for a specified priced to eligible buyers.
This race type is quite involved and incorporates features of starter allowance and claiming races. Horses competing in this type of race can either compete as a claimer, or as a starter allowance horse, with no claiming price.
Those competing in this race that are not eligible to be claimed must have competed at or below the claiming level specified, and have not won a race at the specified claiming or higher since last competing at the specified claiming level or a lower claiming price.
Maiden claiming races are for horses that have never won a race and are eligible to be claimed.
Optional Claiming Handicap
This type race is an OPTIONAL CLAIMING race that is run under HANDICAP conditions. See both race types listed for a further explanation
Maiden Optional Claiming
This type race is restricted to maidens (non-winners lifetime) that run under the conditions exactly as those for optional claiming races (see Optional Claiming above).
A race for horses entered to be claimed, with weight assignments similar to those of a handicap race (see Handicap listed above).
A race for horses entered to be claimed. Nomination and possibly entry and starters fees are added to the base purse.
A match race is a race that involves just two horses. It can be run under a number of conditions, but generally is run in allowance or handicap conditions.
To qualify as a MATCH RACE, only two horses were entered in the race. The race does not qualify as a MATCH RACE if more than two horses originally entered the race and some were scratched, making it a two-horse field. .
This race type is to be used ONLY in conjunction with Steeplechase races. The National Steeplechase Association has designated some races run on the "Flat" as TRAINING races.