The most popular types of horse racing include flat racing (thoroughbred), harness racing (standardbred), and quarter horse racing (short distances).
Graded stakes races are the highest level of competition in US thoroughbred racing. Grade I is the highest classification which includes the US Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes).
Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing
The triple crown is thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious award. The triple crown comprises three separate races for three-year-old thoroughbred horses which include the Belmont Stakes, Kentucky Derby, and Preakness Stakes.
The Breeders’ Cup (world championships) is an annual series of Grade I Thoroughbred horse races. There are 14 total championship races in the Breeders’ Cup. Breeders’ Cup championship races allow a maximum of 14 horses. To learn how horses qualify for the Breeders’ Cup read about how it works.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is a series of thoroughbred horse races. Winners of each challenge race earn an automatic spot in a corresponding Breeders’ Cup race.
Breeders Crown and Hambletonian Stakes
The Breeders Crown is an annual series of harness races. The Hambletonian Stakes is harness racing’s most prominent race which is held annually for three-year-old trotting standardbreds. The Hambletonian Oaks is held annually for three-year-old standardbred filly trotters. The Hambletonian Maturity is held annually for four-year-old trotting standardbreds.