What Is A Stakes Race ?

All the horse racing talk for the next 6 weeks will be dominated by the Kentucky Derby and the prep races leading up to The Run For The Roses.  So with that in mind, you may ask yourself why all the fuss ?  Aren’t all the races the same ?  Not even close people.

A Stakes race is the highest class of race reserved for the best horses.  Derived from the word sweepstakes, it applies to the upper echelon of horse racing.  Owners of the animals typically pay an entry fee to nominate, enter, and run their horses.  The nomination and entry fees are usually not refundable.  Stakes racing offers the largest purses of all the various types of races.  Conversely they also have some of the highest entry fees.

I’ll talk about the other levels of competition in up-coming posts.  But leading up to Louisville, it’s all about stakes racing.

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