Whether you’re looking to stake your claims at the track or just love watching a spine-tingling race, knowing the horse race structure is important.

There are 4 main categories of horse races. As there are various classes in these four categories, for this article, we will only focus on the main ones.

So let’s get right down to it.

1. Maiden Horse Races

I just love Maiden Horse Races, because as a horse racing gambler, I usually get the rush while wagering on them. This race consists of the horses that have never won before, but one thing that thrills me is when those horses enjoy their first victory. 

The horse’s maiden is broken when he/she gets his/her elusive first victory. You may be dealing a lot with the unknown situations as a horse racing bettor, but once you get one right, you’ll feel great.

As it happens, horses that have not won yet are not limited to maiden races, they still have the opportunity to race in other types of horse races. Check out a Maiden Special Weight race to watch the best maiden horses, all horses in this class are expected to be strong and healthy.

2. Claiming Races

This is the most active racing category by far.

You can call this race “shopping time” because, in this race, all horses are available for sale.

If you have enough cash, you can claim the horse before the race.

The process is quite simple. Before the race, any interested party claims the horse. Right after the race is run, the old owner gets the claiming price, and finally, the claiming party gets the horse.   

3. Allowance Races

Allowance race’s prize money (usually called Purse) is higher than the claiming and maiden races.

This particular race’s level is lower than the stake race. Normally, these horses meet the particular non-winning conditions; for example, NW3X is usually for horses that have not won 3 races other than claiming, maiden, or starter.

Alike other races, the allowance race has various classes.

4. Stakes Races

This is now the big-time race.

The majority of bettors and casual horse racing fans watch these races. Some popular ones are Belmont Stakes, Breeders’ Cup and Kentucky Derby.

All of the filler horses (and some best horses) participate in these races.

These races have the highest prize money (millions of dollars’ purses). As the stakes are high, these races are usually ranked grade-wise: G1 (being the king), G2, and G3.

Stakes race features horses from all over the world and country, that’s the reason it becomes quite tricky when it comes to evaluating the numbering system. Whenever you go for 3 grades, make sure these grades contain talented horses, and they know how to handle the running velocity at the track.

Wrapping up

Now you are all set to start breaking down the classes of each above category. Playing in sub-classes would worth it when you keep yourself well acquainted with the main categories.

Wish you best of luck at the track