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The Process of Entering Races for Racehorse Owners

Have you wondered what the process of entering horses into races entails? The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) provides excellent educational resources for owners and published The “Chronology” of Entering a Race:

Entries are the official submissions by trainers which take place 48 or 72 hours, beginning at 7 a.m., before the day of the race to be run. (Note that Stakes and Handicap Races require a much longer lead-time). Because the tracks are generally closed at least one day a week, you must mentally “back up” the Entry date for a race being run on the day the meet resumes to the last racing day at the track.

Before any entry can be made, the specific horse must be registered with the Clerk of the Course (in the Racing Office), and its foal registration papers from The Jockey Club must be on file in the Racing Office.

Each entry must be accompanied by a form, filled out by your trainer, stating the name of the owner (or Partnership, Farm or Stable); the silks the horse will be running under; the name of the trainer, and which jockey is set to ride the mount — as well as the horse’s name, age, sex, color and parentage. The trainer must also specify if a horse runs with Lasix, if it has been gelded since its last race, and if it will be running with blinkers on or off.

Once all entries have been checked and processed, the Racing Secretary determines which races — and their accompanying purses — will be used to make up a day’s program, or “card.” He then determines “the set,” meaning the order in which the races will be run on that day.

The “Final” is the announcement — usually about 9:00 a.m. on a race-day — of all the accumulated, confirmed entries for the day’s written races. For any races that can accommodate more horses, entries will continue to be taken until about 10:30 a.m. The Draw is held.

Click here to visit TOBA’s website to continue reading and to learn what happens when a race overfills or does not attract enough entrants.

Want to see examples of things this article references?

Click here to see an example of an overnight.

Click here to see a condition book index- a listing of races at a particular track.

Click here to see a full condition book.

Have a question about the condition book or the process of entering horses into races? Leave a comment on this blog, and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.


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