Horses Can Win Career-Level Purses at ‘Stakes’ Horse Races

When it comes to horse racing in North America, no races are bigger than stakes races, which include the most prestigious and richest horse races in the United States. A stakes race is for thoroughbred horses only and is called a “stakes” races due to the stake each owner must pay to enter his or her race horse in the event. The winner takes the largest share of the prize, which can top $1 million for the winner’s purse in the largest and most prestigious races, and the host race track generally adds to the purse, which makes the Kentucky Derby one of the richest single stakes races in the United States. . The single richest stakes event is the Belmont Stakes in New York, which on June 7 this year had a total of nearly $8 million across 13 races. Stakes generally are paid for the top four finishers in a race, and there can be several stakes races run in one day. Stakes events are regulated by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, which is based in Lexington, Kentucky.