all-age race

A race for two-year-olds and up.

allowance race

A race for which the racing secretary drafts certain conditions to determine weights to be carried based on the horse’s age, sex and/or past performance.

baby race

A race for two-year-olds.

claiming race

A race in which each horse entered is eligible to be purchased at a set price. Claims must be made before the race and only by licensed owners or their agents who have a horse registered to race at that meeting or who have received a claim certificate from the stewards.

Derby

A stakes event for three-year-olds.

distaff race

A race for female horses.

free handicap

A race in which no nomination fees are required. More recently, and more commonly, a ranking of horses by weight for a theoretical race.

futurity

A race for two-year-olds in which the owners make a continuous series of payments over a period of time to keep their horses eligible. Purses for these races vary but can be considerable.

heat

A single race or a single trial of a race that is one of a series of races that make up an event (race).

listed race

A stakes race just below a group race or graded race in quality.

maiden race

A race for non-winners.

oaks

A stakes event for three-year-old fillies (females).

overnight race

A race in which entries close a specific number of hours before running (such as 48 hours), as opposed to a stakes race for which nominations close weeks and sometimes months in advance.

shadow roll

A (usually sheepskin) roll that is secured over the bridge of a horse’s nose to keep it from seeing shadows on the track and shying away from or jumping them.

shank

Rope or strap attached to a halter or bridle by which a horse is led.

sprint

Short race, less than one mile.

stake

A race that will be contested in a year subsequent to its closing, in which the money given by the track member conducting the same is added to the money contributed by the nominators.

starter race

An allowance or handicap race restricted to horses that have started for a specific claiming price or less.

substitute race

Alternate race used to replace a regularly scheduled race that does not fill or is canceled.

trial

In Thoroughbred racing, a preparatory race created in tandem with a subsequent, more important stakes race to be run a few days or weeks hence The Derby Trial.

walkover

A race in which only one horse competes.

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