what does s mean in horse racing form

S in Horse Racing Form: Maiden Victory

The letter ‘S’ in horse racing form signifies a horse’s first-ever victory in a race. Maiden races are designed for horses that have yet to win, and the ‘S’ notation indicates that the horse has broken its maiden status.

It is important to note that the ‘S’ notation only appears in a horse’s form for a limited time. Once a horse has won a maiden race, the ‘S’ is removed from its form. This helps bettors identify horses that have not yet won a race and may offer value betting opportunities.

In addition to the ‘S’ notation, there are other symbols and abbreviations that can appear in horse racing form. Here is a table summarizing some of the most common:

SMaiden Victory
DNFDid Not Finish

By understanding the meaning of these symbols and abbreviations, you can better interpret horse racing form and make more informed betting decisions.

Stakes Performance

The letter “S” in horse racing form stands for “Stakes.” Stakes races are races that offer a higher purse than ordinary races, and they are typically restricted to horses that have met certain criteria, such as having won a certain number of races or having earned a certain amount of money. Stakes races are often named after famous horses or people, and they can be very prestigious.

There are many different types of stakes races, including graded stakes races, which are the most prestigious stakes races. Graded stakes races are divided into three categories: Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3. Grade 1 stakes races are the most important and offer the highest purses, while Grade 3 stakes races are the least important and offer the lowest purses.

  • Grade 1 stakes races: These are the most prestigious stakes races and offer the highest purses.
  • Grade 2 stakes races: These stakes races are less prestigious than Grade 1 stakes races, but they still offer high purses.
  • Grade 3 stakes races: These stakes races are the least prestigious of the graded stakes races and offer the lowest purses.

Winning a stakes race can be a major accomplishment for a horse and its owner. Stakes races can also be used to identify potential future champions.

Grade 1$1 million or more
Grade 2$500,000 to $999,999
Grade 3$250,000 to $499,999

S in Horse Racing Form: Distance Restrictions

In horse racing, the letter “S” in the form indicates that a horse has “distance restrictions.” This means that the horse has run well over a specific range of distances and may not perform as well when racing at shorter or longer distances.

Distance restrictions can be based on several factors, including the horse’s breeding, training history, and past performances.

Distance Restrictions and Racing Performance

Horses with distance restrictions may struggle to maintain their speed or stamina over longer distances or may not have the speed to compete over shorter distances.

  • Short Distances: Horses with an “S” in their form are unlikely to succeed in sprints or races under 1 mile.
  • Middle Distances: These horses may excel in races between 1 mile and 1.5 miles.
  • Long Distances: Horses with distance restrictions may perform well in races over 1.5 miles, but their performance may decline at distances over 2 miles.

How to Use Distance Restrictions in Handicapping

When handicapping a horse race, it is important to consider the distance restrictions of each horse.

Horses with distance restrictions should not be considered favorites for races outside their preferred range.

Horses without distance restrictions, on the other hand, are more versatile and can be considered for races at various distances.

Examples of Distance Restrictions

Horse NameDistance Restriction
Secretariat1.5 – 2 miles
Man o’ War1 mile – 1.5 milesSeabiscuit7 furlongs – 1 mile

Surface Preference

In horse racing, the surface preference of a horse refers to the type of track surface that it performs best on.

The three main types of track surfaces are:

  • Dirt
  • Turf
  • Synthetic

Each horse has its own preferences and may perform better on one surface than another. This information can be found in the horse’s past performances, which are typically listed in the racing form.

The surface preference of a horse is often indicated by the letter “S” in the racing form. This letter is typically found in the “Surface” column and may be followed by one or more of the following letters:


For example, a horse that has the letter “DS” in the “Surface” column has a preference for dirt and synthetic surfaces.

Thanks for sticking with me through this quick breakdown of the enigmatic “S” in horse racing forms. I hope it’s given you a clearer picture of what this seemingly innocuous letter can reveal about a horse’s past performances. If you’re ever puzzling over a race card again, don’t be a stranger – swing by and I’ll be happy to decode the cryptic clues for you. Until next time, keep your eyes on the track and your bets on the winners!