Types of races

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There are currently six major types of races in the Sim. These are Maiden Claiming, Maiden Special Weight, Claiming, Starter, Allowance, and Stakes races. These can be further separated by distance, surface, and race conditions.

Winning all six different types is the goal of the 3-man contest.


Maiden Claiming

Maiden Claiming races are a type of claiming race restricted to maidens, which means horses that have not yet achieved their first win. Maiden claimers are considered the easiest type of race.

Maiden Special Weight

Maiden Special Weight, MdSpWt or MSW races are a type of allowance race restricted to horses that have not yet won a race. Along with maiden claimers, this is where most new horses get their start.


Claiming races or claimers are races where each entered horse is available to be claimed, or purchased, for a certain price. This price varies depending upon the level of claiming race. This type of race is among the easiest and thus tends to have the lowest purses, though breeding point rewards can equal or even exceed other types of races. After running in a claiming race a horse not ranked in the top 50 will gain a claim tag (shown as Low-Tag/6 Mo), which is used for entering into Starter Allowance races and is equal to the value of the lowest claim race entered in the last six months. Running in a claim race may also effect a horse's claim penalty value if the horse was purchased in the past 120 days and the value of the race entered is lower than the current claim penalty value.

Common Sim claiming prices include: $2000, $2500, $3500, $4000, $5000, $7500, $10000, $13500, $15000, $20000, $25000, $30000, $40000, $50000, $60000, $75000, $100000, $125000, $150000.


Starter Allowance or starter races are a type of allowance race restricted to horses that have recently run in a claiming race. Like claiming races, starters have different values. To enter a starter, a horse must have a claim tag equal to or lower than the starter restriction. A horse's claim tag is equal to the lowest value claimer it has been entered in during the past six months. Horses ranked in the top 50 are not eligible for starter races.

Starter races generally give less breeding points than other types of races.


Allowance races are high level races that are open to any horse that fits the race's conditions. Allowance runners cannot be claimed, do not need a claim tag, and do not need to be maidens.

Placing in an allowance race earns stakes points.


Stakes races are the highest level of races in the Sim. These are separated into two types, Graded and ungraded (sometimes called listed) stakes. Placing in a stakes race earns stakes points and all runners earn breeding points even if they finish worse than fifth place. Entry into a stakes race requires horses to meet one of the following conditions:

  1. Having a stakes point in any category (even fractional points qualify).
  2. Having won at least half of the races run.
  3. Having finished in the top 3 of at least 66% (2/3) of races run.
  4. Having earned an average of $5000 per race or more.
  5. Have a CPU value of at least ten times the purse of the race, and at least 5 career starts.
  6. Being age 2 and unraced.
  7. Belonging to the sponsoring stable of a bought race. (this applies to nongraded stakes only)

Graded stakes

Graded stakes are the hardest type of stakes race. Graded races are divided into three types: Grade I, Grade II, and Grade III, with Grade I being the hardest and Grade III the easiest. These races generally have the highest purses, give the most stakes points, and the most breeding points (although some claim race bonuses may exceed this). Winning a Grade I stakes is considered by many to be the highest achievement in the Sim.

As of week 4022, entry into a graded race requires a certain amount of stakes points for horses three years old or older.

Graded races are often based upon a real world equivalent:

Sim Graded raceReal horse race
Bluegrass DerbyKentucky Derby
Middle JewelPreakness Stakes
New YorkerBelmont Stakes
Breeders Bowl ClassicBreeders Cup Classic
Derby De EnglishEnglish Derby

Future types

In an announcement on March 3, 2009 Mike said that a new race entry system was being developed which would allow new race types including Optional claimers.

An optional claimer would be a claiming race where an owner has the ability to reject a claim request and thus keep the horse. How this would work is unknown.

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