If you read my previous article Claim Is the Name of the Game (https://blueblueseaottb.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/claim-is-the-name-of-the-game/), you have an understanding of what most races being run each day in the USA. Allowance races are another common race that you will see at tracks each day in the USA.
I never ran in an allowance race during my career, but famous Rapid Redux (http://www.equibase.com/premium/eqbHorseInfo.cfm?refno=7704652®istry=T) has made his streak and name from running in a particular kind of allowance race, so I’ll refer to some of his races to give you an idea.
The first thing to understand is that there is no ability to make a claim in an allowance race, so none of the horses in an allowance are going to be for sale. In an allowance race, the racing secretary will set conditions that determine how much weight each horse will carry in the race. The theory behind assigning weights is to level the playing field – better horses carry more weight to give the other horses a better chance at winning, so theier is better competition. Allowances are based on things like the age of the horses, the gender of the horses, how many races the horses have won and when those wins came, among others.
When you look at the racing form, it will state that the race is an Allowance and you might see something like this:
Three Year Olds 119 lbs. Older 124 lbs. Non-winners of a race other than Claiming since March 16 2 lbs.
These are the allowances – how much weight a horse can subtract from the standard depending on age. In this example, all 3 year olds would start at 119 lbs and those over 3 would start at 124 lbs. If a 3 year old entered that had won a claiming race since March 16, would only need to carry 117 lbs. If a 5 year old was entered who had won a Stakes race, the horse would not get any allowance and would carry the full 124 lbs.
Now, a special Allowance race is a Starter Allowance, and this is where Rapid Redux found his niche. Generally, you will find the best of the Claiming runners in a Starter Allowance. To enter a starter allowance, a horse must have run at a certain claiming level according to the conditions of the race during a specified time period.
So, there you have it, Allowance races. Hope you will find reading the form easier now that you understand these two races better.
Allow yourself some time, and you’ll be a pro in no time. 🙂
Blue Blue Sea