When you look at a pedigree, there is a lot of stuff going on. I wrote a post about it the other day (link to previous post) where I went into some detail about how to read a pedigree. But what I didn’t talk about was all the black type. Well we’ve been writing pedigrees for a while. I think around 40 years, and if we are confident with one thing it’s this: Black type rules are confusing.
There is a great reason why they are confusing, and we aren’t mad that they are confusing. It’s just when you have so many horses and so many races happening every day, there needs to be some classification of what’s good and what isn’t. It only gets more complicated with expansions of the black type rules. That’s all. We aren’t mad at SITA or anyone else for the way it is, just a small preface for why it’s confusing.
So lets begin.
Black type, the way International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, SITA and all the other smart people who wrote the rules for pedigrees define it as:
- Minimum purse value of $50,000
- Close entry at least 72 hours before race starts and the owner needs to pay a fee and total purse value needs to meet or exceed the established race minimum.
- All horses need to be eligible for the purse monies.
- No restrictions on a race other than state-bred, non-winners of a sweepstakes, sales graduations or stallion progeny.
- May not contain a preference clause based on criteria unrelated to the quality of the horse if such preference clause could possibly exclude any horse of superior quality from competing.
- Must have a Black-Type Race Quality Score equal to or above the established minimum Race Quality Score for its age/sex division. New races with a minimum purse of $75,000 available to all entries may be submitted to North American ICSC for review to determine if the inaugural running will receive black-type status.
So lets dive into this real quick.
Total Purse Size.
A black type race needs to have the total purse above $50,000. That is the easiest part of a race to tell if it is on it’s way to being a black type race. Anything below $50,000 is not eligible no matter how much you beg for it to be.
Pay the Fee
A black type race is essentially a stakes race. Stakes, in the horse world, means that they put stakes into the race. They put some amount of money down that goes into the total purse. The track also needs to close entry for the race at least 72 hours before the race starts.
All horses need to be eligible
This seems a little obvious. You can’t have a race where some of the horses aren’t eligible and it be prestigious enough to call it a black type race. The point in this rule is that makes the competition stronger. No one wants to race a horse that has no shot of getting any earnings. So when all the horses have the same shot of winning that purse money, the race will be more competitive.
There are a lot of restrictions you can have on a race. You’ll see the restrictions at the top of a race program. They can become excessive with different restrictions. You have restrictions like “restricted to horses who have won less than 4 times in their life and are limited to 4 year olds who have only raced twice this year.”
The only race restrictions allowed are state-bred, state progeny, non-winner of sweepstake, or sales graduate. By limiting it to these, there is still a lot of competition on the track. This helps make a somewhat level playing field while having a lot of competition be eligible for the race.
A preference clause is put in a race in case a race is overprescribed. If more horses are entered than can compete, then the preference clause kicks in and horses that meet that preference clause are entered. The reason why that is important is a preference clause can keep a higher quality of a horse from competing in a race. So for that reason, preference clauses aren’t considered black type races.
There are a lot of other tiny rules that can come into play if all the other rules are met. Like one rule is it needs to be ran for 2 or more years consecutively for it to be considered black type. But there are races that meet can have a minimum purse of $75,000 and meed all the other race criteria and will be considered a black type race.
A race also has to meet a certain Race Quality score. To determine the race quality there are some statistics that go into play that are done by North American International Cataloging Standards Committee. (http://northamericanicsc.com/)
Now you know a little bit more about what it means to be a black type horse. Well, you might not know what it means to be a black type horse, but you know what it means when you see or hear someone mention black type. It doesn’t matter about how many horses are in the race, or how much money your horse won or how the purse was distributed. If it doesn’t meet all of the above qualifications, then it isn’t a black type race. That is also why a horse can be a stakes race but not a black type race.
There are other types of races too, like maiden races, claiming races, listed races, etc. So tune in next time. Where we will lean in on the different types of races so you’ll be more versed horseman than before you read this!
If you prefer to look at infographics instead, you can check this one out. I made it for this blog post specifically. If you like it, share it out on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest or any other social media for that matter! [Link for Infographic]