Getting Started with Flat Racing by Neco

Are you interested in starting up a racing string here at Seeing Stars? That’s great! Thoroughbred racing here is a great way to get involved with the community and pit your horses against some of the best runners we have racing at the moment. It’s also a fun and different way to interact with your horse and the other members of the community!

If you’re new the system, don’t worry, this post will tell you everything you need to know in order to get started. Just read through and if you have any questions, please PM me or Wildfire and we’ll be more than happy to help you!

Getting Started

In order to compete in Thoroughbred racing, you obviously need a Thoroughbred. We don’t discriminate against any versions or mods - if you have a V1 that you decide is a Thoroughbred, feel free to enter! If you have a mod of a V2 Thoroughbred or created your own, again, feel free to enter!

Once you’ve adopted your horse and named him or her, you’ll have to assign its stats, abilities, track preference and distance preference. It’s these things that will allow your horse to potentially dominate its rivals with the perfect combination.

Stats and Abilities

All horses have the same stat categories, and all start out with 50 in each stat. To up your horse’s stats, you may enter your horse in training camps where you can choose a training exercise and the horse will accumulate more points in certain stats relating to that training program. However, once your horse reaches 60 in four stats, it is no longer eligible for training.

After your horse is done training, if you’ve chosen to do so, your horse can accumulate the rest of its points through racing. Just like our halter program here, placing in the Top 5 will earn your horse 1 to 5 points, while racers that place 6th and below will often be awarded 1 or 2 consolation points, depending on the race host’s preference. Any points you earn in races are yours to place depending on your own preference – you may place the full points in ONE stat of your choice and thus bump up your horse’s chances of winning its next race.

PLEASE NOTE: You CANNOT earn your horses' points other than through racing on the forum. Running your own "personal" races is not allowed and any horse that has been found doing this will have its stats reset to its previous level. You can ONLY EARN STAT POINTS FROM RACING ON THE FORUM.

Now that you’ve got your stats in order, you can choose your horse’s abilities, my personal favorite! A horse may have two good abilities and one bad ability, usually portrayed in green and red colors to help differentiate them. In her barn, Kbev made a comprehensive list of the horse abilities and their descriptions, in order to help out the rest of us when deciding what we want to decide for our horses. Remember, these abilities are PERMANENT and you cannot change them once you pick them and enter a race! Please keep that in mind when choosing abilities – you’ll want the perfect combination of good and bad to sweep your competition under the rug.

Distance Preferences

Distance plays a big role in horse racing – is your horse a sprinter, a router, or that highly coveted Classic horse that can cover classic distances?

Unlike the old system, we are allowing a handler to choose their horse’s distance in a 3 – 5 furlong range. As long as the distance the horse can handle as its preferred racing distance is between 3 – 5 furlongs, you’re free to pick your own customized furlongs for your horse!

However, if you’re uncertain as to what to do, or you want your horse to be considered a “specific” type of racer, here are our general guidelines for what we consider horses that race within these confines:

  • 5 – 7.5 – Sprinter
  • 7.5 – 9.5 – Middle/Common Distance
  • 10 – 12 – Classic Distance
  • 12 – 16 – Router/Marathoner

Obviously these are NOT strict guidelines, as your horse could be anything from 5 – 9 furlongs, 7 – 10 furlongs, or only 7 – 8.5 furlongs. It really depends on you!

For horses that were registered during the old system, you may either change their distances or keep them the same. They still must stay within a 3 – 5 furlong range but are no longer confined to the old set brackets.

Track Preferences

In TB racing here, we have only two types of track - dirt and turf. What your horse prefers is entirely up to you.

If your horse loves the dirt and the mud, put “Great” as his preference and “Okay“ for turf; if she’s more of a grass runner, put “Great” in the turf category and “Okay“ in the dirt. Or if you have one of those versatile horses that loves both surfaces, put “Good” for both.

We do not allow horses to be “Great” in both turf and dirt, at least as of the moment. We are currently discussing a breeding strategy that may allow this to happen through careful breeding bloodlines, but at the moment, your horse can ONLY be “Great” in one track or “Good” in both.

Leg Type

Is your horse a leader or a follower? Does he like to make his move at the top of the homestretch or within the sixteenth pole for a thrilling finish?

That’s what you need to decide with leg type. For our system, there are four types of running styles: Front Runner, Stalker, Follower and Closer. Each is explained in more depth below.

Front Runner: This type of horse loves the lead and loves to run uncontested at the front of the pack. Often these horses hate the idea of other horses bumping or pushing them in the middle of the pack and will run away at the start to lead the rest of the field on a merry chase. These horses may or may not be able to hold off closers – more often they can fold under pressure.

Stalker: This type of horse is usually only a few lengths off the pace and tracking the leaders through each turn. These horses will bide their time then throw in a big move near the top or middle of a stretch, wearing down the leader to take over the top spot and hold on for the wire. Much like front runners, they may or may not be able to fend off the challengers of deep closers.

Follower: This type of horse is often found in the middle of the pack, happily running along and bumping into its fellows without a care in the world. They’re content to run five or more lengths off the leaders and make their moves near the middle of the stretch and can sometimes simply overwhelm a tiring leader or kick back a challenging closer. They are similar to closers, but run closer to the stalkers and leaders.

Closer: This type of horse often drops to the back of the field and trails the field throughout the race, until it lets loose an explosive turn of foot. These horses will often look to be hopelessly beaten, then suddenly turn it on in the middle or deep stretch and charge down the track hellbent for the finish line. They can often overwhelm horses that ran near the pace and repel challenges from other closers.

Graded Racing

Once your horse has reached a certain stat number in three of its stats, then that horse is considered a “Grade III” racer. Graded stakes and races are more much coveted than the open stakes we run for the lower stat’d horses and will definitely up a horse’s stud fee and desirability when people are looking for a stud or dam for their horse. For our system, we follow the American system of “Grade III,” “Grade II,” and “Grade I” for how they grade their races. Grade III is the lowest tier, Grade II is the middle and Grade I is the best of the best - everyone wants a Grade I winner and a multiple Grade I winner is the holy grail of TB racing anywhere!

Here’s the grading system we use in regards with stat numbers:

  • Grade III: 65 in any three or more stats of your choice.
  • Grade II: 75 in any two or more stats of your choice.
  • Grade I: 85 in any one or more stats of your choice.

Once your horse has reached Grade III status, it may NOT compete in Open Level anymore – it may only compete in Graded competitions. A horse from Open Level may decide to jump into Graded races without the required stats, but if it places in the Top 3, it may not return to Open Level races and will have to compete against top horses with better stats. Please consider this when entering in top tier races!

For Grade II and I horses, they MAY compete in lower races, but they will be handed a higher weight impost and will be heavily penalized for it! This is to keep the playing field even so that a Grade I racer can’t continuously dominate Grade II and III races. We encourage people to compete in their appropriate Graded level, because after all, a race won against your peers is better than one against lesser competition!

Important Information! Once a horse has reached Grade I status and was WON a GI race, it is automatically retired. This has been decided upon in order to open up competitions to more horses as we are limited in our gate positions and to give others a fair chance at winning. There will, however, be special competitions for GI winners to compete exclusively against each other in order to accumulate more points, more purse money and more prestige in stud fees and desirability for the breeding shed.

PLEASE NOTE: You CANNOT earn your horses' points other than through racing on the forum. Running your own "personal" races is not allowed and any horse that has been found doing this will have its stats reset to its previous level. You can ONLY EARN STAT POINTS FROM RACING ON THE FORUM.

As time goes by, we’ll be refining and adding more information to this page, but until them, please PM either me or Wildfire any questions if you have some regarding racing. We’ll be more than happy to help you out and point you in the right direction.

Happy Racing!