Types of horse races

Allowance A non-claiming horse race with special entry conditions
Claiming A race where the participating horses are for sale for a predetermined price. If you want to purchase one of the horses, you must claim it before the race. However, you will not assume control of the horse until after the race.
Derby A high-level race contested of high-quality 3-year old horses
Distaff A race for female horses only
Handicap A race where individual horses are assigned weights that they must carry. How much a specific horse is assigned to carry depends on the conditions of the race.

 

Handicap races are usually, but not always, stakes races.

Maiden A race where the participants are maidens, i.e. have no past victories
Oaks A high-level race contested of high-quality race for 3 year old fillies
Route A race where the distance is at least one mile
Sprint A race where the distance is less than one mile
Stakes A high-level race contested of high-quality horses

 

Track conditions

Fast The track is dry, even and resilient.
Wet fast The track has a wet surface due to recent raining, but the base of the track is firm.
Good The track is somewhere between fast and slow. Assume a good amount of water to be on a track that is described as “good”.
Muddy The track is wet to the base, but there is no standing water on top.
Off track The track is not fast.
Sloppy The track is wet on the surface and there is standing water, but the base of the track is still firm.
Slow The track is wet on the surface and has a wet base at the same time.