It’s hard to say what “weight for age” means on the track, and what “weight before the age of six years” means in the open track. Generally there’s a limit to how many pounds a horse can weigh before his first year of open racing, and with all the horse racing being done in the United States, the maximum weight the first time a horse reaches the age of 6 years is about 220 pounds. If a horse’s mother wasn’t used for breeding but she would have had to wait a full 12 years before her maiden race, then she’d weigh 220 pounds at her first racing year, 220 pounds at her second racing year, and 220 pounds at her third racing year. However, some horses have been bred in the United States to weigh below that 220 pound limit. In a way, a horse may be a little bit “older” than the limit, but in other ways its the same horse as the 220 pound horse that would have otherwise reached the age of 6 years if his mother had continued breeding her, and as a result the 220 pound horse is a little bit “younger.” When an open horse reaches the age of 6 years, the maximum weight a horse can have without a doctor’s order isn’t 220 pounds, but rather 218 pounds.
How the horses in a racing season compare in weight with their parents is also a factor. Most races in a season start when the horse race field is about half filled to the starting line. Normally the horses in this half fill would weigh about the same as the horses that start first in the race. However, as the open season progresses more and more horses in the first half fill race enter the race. After about half the horses in the first half fill race are gone, some of the horses in the second half fill race will go off on their journey and will weigh less than the horses that have already gone off, and some have already gone back out on their journey and have weighed less than the horses that have not gone out yet. In this way, many of the horses in the open race are going to be the same as those that start last in the race in the open season. Also because a horse’s weight decreases as he goes up in the race, there is a tendency for an animal to gain weight as it goes up in the race.
Also, the race weight may go down if the course is longer than the average length for a given time. The most common example is at racing times where the course can be 30
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