Choosing a Grade
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Choosing a Grade

Introduction
Factors and Tools
As you will learn throughout this page, there are many factors that go into determining your horse’s talent and grade level, and this page will explore the tools that can be used to help a player do so in a useful manner. While Potential isn’t the only factor at play, it is considered the baseline for determining a horse’s talent level. Potential, as discussed in the Stats & Traits section of the Handbook, is simply the sum of a horse's six base stats. For players with Hidden Stats, you can see their exact potential while players without Hidden Stats can see a Potential Range. If a horse has 1 Breaking, 1 Early Speed, 1 Versatility, 1 Rating, 1 Acceleration, and 1 Late Speed their Potential would be 6. On the other hand, a horse with a 10 for each stat would be 60 Potential, otherwise known as Peerless.

Potential is simply another word for aptitude or talent. It is a measure of a horse's predisposition for racing well - or racing poorly. The higher a horse's Potential, the more likely they are to end up performing in the highest grades of races.

Please keep in mind that these are just a suggestion and if you can see Hidden Stats and/or Performance Ratings, you will likely have better results by utilizing those tools instead.
Entry Suggestions
Potential Grade
The first grade suggestion included is the Potential Grade. This is simply the grade a horse should do well in based upon their Potential. Potential is always the primary way to figure out what grade a horse is capable of entering, though some horses may end up in a higher or lower grade depending upon their feeding, training, and entering routine. The suggestion here generally aligns with the chart found further down on this page. You could consider this suggestion a target for your horse.

Potential Grade is adjusted based on Peak Gene for 2 and 3 year olds as appropriate for age. If you use an item to increase a horse's Peak (percentage) but not their Peak Gene, you will likely want to enter higher than is suggested. You may also see "Highest Available" for 2 year olds, which indicates that the horse should do well in the highest available grade. These horses are typically series candidates and will do well in G1, but can enter G3 or G2 races when G1 aren't available. Potential Grade for 3 year olds assumes they are entering 3 year old only races. If entering against older horses, refer to their Performance Grade.
Performance Grade
The second grade suggestion given for a horse is called Performance Grade. This looks at race performance and suggests what grade is appropriate based upon their recent, non-Handily, Performance Ratings (PRs). This suggestion resets in January each year due to the many things that can change as horses age up or perform off season training. Performance Grade will not offer a suggestion until a horse has raced within the new year.

Once your horse has an eligible race under their hooves, you might notice an icon next to this suggestion. You will see the Underperforming icon () when a horse is running lower PRs than their Potential indicates they should be running. You can click the icon to go directly to the Performance Ratings Handbook page to troubleshoot what might be hurting your horse's PR.

On the other hand, you'll see the Overachieving icon () if your horse is running higher PRs than expected for their Potential. This is a great thing to see, but does mean you may need to enter the horse in a higher grade than Potential suggests to avoid getting Handily notes in future races. For example, if you have a 15 Potential horse it likely has a Potential Grade of Allowance, but if that horse is running 170 PR it will have a Performance Grade of Grade 1.

Considering the unpredictability of 2 year olds, they will never show Underperforming or Overperforming icons. You should pay more attention to Potential Grade than Performance Grade for them since their PRs can fluctuate significantly from race to race.
What it Indicates
Your horse’s Potential & Performance Grades give you an excellent idea of where to enter your horse. This would be a solid guideline for where your horse will place best against other horses. If a horse is performing very poorly at his suggested level, it’s a great time to ask a moderator or admin for help determining what might help your horse perform better!
Performance Ratings (PR)
What it Measures
Performance Ratings are a measure of how well a horse ran in a specific race. You can purchase these as a stablewide upgrade, but you can also estimate them by looking at a horse who placed before or after your horse in the race: Lengths Apart * 2 = Difference in PR. PRs can vary from race to race for even the most accomplished horses. They are influenced by many factors each to varying degrees. Some larger components of PR include: Potential, Peak, Rest, Morale, Equipment notes and in some cases Mud and Experience. Other components of PR include: Energy, Consistency, Courage, Experience, Favorite Distance, Distance Proficiency, Surface Proficiency, Equipment, Jockey (and Familiarity), Track Conditions (Mud), Style Proficiency, sometimes Colt Composure/Filly Power, Track Familiarity, Travel, Soundness, Maturity, Pace, and Track Bias. This sounds like a whole lot of stuff, but it gets a lot easier to understand as you begin to race more!

It is worth noting here that injuries incurred during a race can reduce PRs and some things that have little to no influence on PR can contribute significantly to chance of injury.
What it Indicates
You can use PR to determine what grade your horse should race in, as it is the most specific and detailed way to gauge a horse's true ability at a specific point in time. While all horses will experience rise and fall in PR, a significant change in PR can also indicate a problem. A horse could run a 200 PR one week and turn around and run a 190 PR the next week, but running 200 and then 150 would be concerning. Looking at the various factors that contribute to PR can help you determine why your horse's score might vary.

Horses who are downgraded will also have handicapped PRs, causing them to run a lower PR than they would have in the appropriate grade. Performance Ratings are never a reliable indicator of talent if accompanied by a 'Handily' note. Should you ever see this note, enter your horse in a higher grade immediately.

Always keep the date of last PR in mind. If a horse's last PR was 6+ months ago, it may in no way indicate their current capabilities. If you're looking at a 4 year old who last raced as a 2 year old, you might as well ignore their previous PR(s).
Putting it Together
What to Use When
Now you're probably feeling a bit confused about when and where to use the various ways to measure your horse's talent. While any and all of these measures can be useful throughout a horse's life, there are certain times when one may be more useful than others. The sections below give some general guidelines as to determining where to enter horses of various ages and circumstances.
2 Year Olds & 3 Year Olds
2 year olds, as a whole, are lower (current) Potential than older horses as they have not yet reached their maximum Potential. There is not significant difference between one horse and another, so Potential is rarely the deciding factor in 2 year old races. What is the most important factor? Peak! In fact, a 6 potential 2 year old can win series races over much higher Potential horses if their Peak and other smaller factors are better. PR can be useful as the year goes on - however, Potential is rarely a reliable grade or talent indicator for 2 year olds.

3 year olds are often somewhat in the same boat - as they are not maxed usually when it’s time for their Series races.
Normal Mature Horses
Normal older horses are loosely defined as horses who are maxed in Potential, have high Morale, and are at Peak. These horses are the easiest to manage and enter in races, as they are very straightforward with little variability. Unless there is a problem, high Potential horses should race well.

When determining what grade a mature horse should be competitive in, look to Potential Grade suggestion. This is the easiest evaluation method and, thankfully, reliable for most well-attended horses.
Special Circumstances
Every now and then you will come across horses with special circumstances. These may be horses who meet any of the following cases: out of Prime and losing Peak, low Morale, and/or low Courage and/or Consistency.

Performance Ratings are the most reliable indicator of what grade horses with special circumstances should enter. You may also find PRs more useful when determining whether a horse should enter regular G1 races or Stellar races or when deciding which of your horses to campaign for series races.
Guidelines
The chart below serves as a loose guideline for choosing which grade to enter. . When in doubt, always check PR if a recent, not 'Handily', PR is available.

Potential PR 2yo PR
Allowance 6-29 0-99 0-30
Grade 3 (G3) 30-39 90-119 30-60
Grade 2 (G2) 40-49 120-159 60+
Grade 1 (G1) 50-60 160+ 60+

If you don't have Hidden Stats (and exact Potential) and don't want to calculate out PRs, you can use the chart below to figure out what grade to enter based on your horse's Potential range. This guide is for horses entering 3yo+ division races. Younger horses of any potential may be able to enter higher grades. Refer to Peak (or PR) for young horses.

It's recommended that you start with the lower suggested grade for a horse's first race as they will probably have race notes. After that, try entering them in the higher grade a few times to see how they do. Only bump back down to the lower grade if a horse is never placing 6th or better.

Allowance G3/G2 G2/G1
6-20 20-40 40-60


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Making Magic
Issa (#1)
06/12/24 10:54 am
The Appaloosa yearling raffle will be held sometime Friday afternoon or evening. Tickets are available to purchase through 2:00pm Friday. For more information, see the recent news post.
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06/05/24 9:22 am
Reminder: Tickets for the broodmare raffle must be purchased by tomorrow at approximately 1:30-2:00pm. If you need a last minute ticket tomorrow, contact me to be sure it gets in. (If I'm not around I'll still see your message before finalizing horses for the raffle.) For more info, see the recent news post about the raffles.
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06/04/24 5:29 pm
The limit on Horse Trader Appaloosa broodmares has been (temporarily) increased to 20.
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06/01/24 1:20 pm
Reminder: Today is the last day for the GAO dispersal!
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05/29/24 12:59 pm
June Board Game Arena tournaments are open for registration! Links can be found in Discord. Please reach out if you have any questions.
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05/28/24 1:06 pm
Radiant Truffles are no longer limited by a horse's race starts or remaining Prime.
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05/20/24 7:28 pm
A Breeding Workshop is beginning now in Discord! Head over to ask any and all questions related to breeding and matching.
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05/19/24 9:54 pm
Springo now gives rewards for up to 20 games per day in January and February.
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05/19/24 8:09 pm
February will again be 2 weeks with rollover running on Sunday, June 2nd.
Issa (#1)
05/19/24 10:38 am
Racing dispersal is available at the Golden Apple Orchard through the end of February.
Issa (#1)
05/13/24 1:18 pm
Beginning with the Y57 Year End Awards, contesting horses must have 15 races within their division to qualify for awards.
Issa (#1)
05/11/24 2:43 pm
Contesting horses who would have earned points in a race no longer drop below earning 1 point in their race. This means horses who would typically earn 1-2 points in a race earn 1, while horses who would have earned 3 or more points still earn 2 points less than normal.
Issa (#1)
05/10/24 9:02 pm
Gelding now offers a higher compensation for retired stallions. However, gelding compensation is decreased for any horse that is already graded before gelding. Details can be found on the Gelding page.
Issa (#1)
05/10/24 1:08 pm
Genotype Search now includes an option to search for horses who have earned a Minor, Major, or Master from a transition discipline.
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05/08/24 1:39 pm
Experience decline when feeding Focus, Hype, and Gleam has been reduced.
Issa (#1)
05/07/24 1:24 pm
All Paint marking genes are now weighted by breed. Paint Horses have a higher chance of passing Paint markings to their foals, while all other breeds have a lower chance of passing Paint markings to their foals. This makes the classification of Paint markings Common for Paint Horses and Rare for all other breeds.
Issa (#1)
05/05/24 5:21 pm
Prime has been broken and has not been declining at all for several game years. As a result, most horses have substantially more Prime than should be appropriate. (Ex: A 6yo who hit 100% Peak by the time they turned 4 should have lost 24+ Prime but has actually lost none.) Rather than setting all horses to what they should have, horses 5 and older will temporarily lose Prime twice as fast to accommodate.
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05/04/24 4:51 pm
Sunkissed Tarts may only be used on horses 3 years or older.
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05/03/24 2:14 pm
Penalties for neglecting care of horses have been reduced.
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04/26/24 6:19 pm
Reminder: The Pro Shop Sale ends Sunday!
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04/26/24 6:19 pm
Reminder: The Pro Shop Sale ends Sunday!
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04/26/24 11:53 am
May Board Game Arena tournaments are now open for registration through Discord. Tournaments begin May 1st.
Issa (#1)
04/16/24 1:14 pm
Forever Pro Traits are now publicly visible on horses whose owners have Forever Pro. This should be helpful when troubleshooting race performance.
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04/07/24 8:40 pm
A racing workshop is starting now in Discord!
Issa (#1)
03/31/24 10:47 am
The Y56 Yearling Sales are now open for consignment. Yearlings may be consigned through the beginning of September when the auctions open for bidding.
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03/22/24 2:21 pm
Alfalfa Cubes will no longer raise Maturity of 2yos who are already at least 60% or 3yos who are already at least 80% mature.
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03/22/24 12:41 pm
Bundle of TLC can no longer be used on horses under age 3. Alfalfa Cubes can no longer be fed to yearlings.
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03/22/24 11:28 am
The amount of Risk gained when feeding Hype now varies based upon a horse's current Energy. Horses with higher Energy gain less Risk.
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03/02/24 9:11 pm
Spring season Board Game Arena tournaments begin March 5th! Visit #🎲board-game-arena in Discord for more information.
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02/24/24 10:46 am
Reminder: It's the last day for open dispersal at the GAO!
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02/15/24 5:42 pm
All horses need to be retested for Genetic Merit. There are no changes to the award, but some horses lost their GM/GD and retesting ensures they all have the awards they should.
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02/11/24 2:05 pm
February will be 2 weeks, with rollover happening on Sunday, February 25h.
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02/10/24 5:07 pm
Although Appendix stock horses cannot enter flat series races, they are eligible for contesting series races.
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02/10/24 1:38 pm
Sparks of Joy, Grooming jobs and Sanctum of Gold all now award player experience.
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02/10/24 12:54 pm
A new Yearling Quick View has been added. It shows Morale, Maturity, Risk and indicates if a horse has Genetic Ratings purchased (as required for YA). Additionally, yearlings now show Forever Pro Traits in their Trait & Stat Panel so that you can more easily manage Risk.
Issa (#1)
02/07/24 10:56 am
Stallions with tested Above Average or Legendary Producer Quality can no longer grade F. If you have one who is currently F, his grade will adjust if inspected again.
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02/06/24 8:20 pm
Would like to earn a free Appaloosa stallion? Complete this form to claim your tickets for the upcoming raffle! Tickets must be claimed by Sunday, February 11th at 11:00am.
Issa (#1)
02/06/24 11:41 am
If you used a Cupid's Arrow for Y56 foals and all of your mares do not show the green 'Guaranteed' + icon in Mare Services, please contact me on FFH or Discord so that your mares can be fixed before they foal.
Issa (#1)
01/28/24 10:25 pm
Reminder: The January Pro Shop sale ends at the end of the month. Prices of several items and upgrades will be adjusted at the beginning of February, as explained in this news post.
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01/28/24 10:23 pm
Horse care has been enabled again. You can resume feeding and training horses.
Issa (#1)
01/26/24 6:32 pm
Horses who have used either Family Jewels or Mythos Scepter now show a magic wand icon under Producer Quality (even if not visible) to indicate that their PQ is not what they were naturally born with.
Issa (#1)
01/26/24 6:31 pm
Mythos Scepter has been revamped and is now an item you can use to change either Colt or Filly PQ of retired horses. More information can be found in the item's description and notes.
Issa (#1)
01/26/24 1:07 pm
The Appaloosa raffle will be held at 9:00pm tonight. You do not need to be present to win. Since the raffle is happening pretty late, ticket sales will remain open through 6:00pm.
Issa (#1)
01/26/24 1:06 pm
Mare grade inspections have reopened. There is a now a fee for grade testing mares, as listed on the inspection page. Mares do not need to be tested to be eligible to breed. The only other adjustment to mare grading is the removal of surface from the grading formula.
Issa (#1)
01/23/24 11:26 am
Don't forget it's the last week to purchase yearling partnerships for Y55!
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01/22/24 11:52 am
Open dispersal of racers and broodmares at the Golden Apple Orchard will close at the end of February Y56.
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01/19/24 11:49 am
Ultra Wraps are now marked with a blue checkmark in Racing Quick View to easily find horses who are wearing them.
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01/06/24 7:12 pm
Tournaround Medallion may be used on any breed to improve their transition genes. Additionally, it now improves a horse's Endurance/Lead Change gene by one level. Before you rush out and buy some - note that it will be part of the upcoming January Pro Shop specials!
Issa (#1)
01/04/24 5:56 pm
Stallion Grade Testing has been reopened. Surface has been removed from the grade formula since it no longer impacts foal Potential.
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01/03/24 6:21 pm
Dance of the Dunes will have a new open division for all races this year, in addition to the usual colt/gelding and filly divisions.
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12/30/23 3:19 pm
Kickstarter is now available in the Golden Apple Orchard.
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12/27/23 4:58 pm
Initiate's Quest is no longer open to Amateur players and is now limited to only Green and Novice.
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12/23/23 12:56 pm
100yd races for 4yo+ have been added to the Midsummer Revelry series.
Issa (#1)
12/18/23 4:08 pm
The bug with miscarriages having a blank complication note on mare Breeding Info pages has been fixed. Additionally, complicates are now sorted with the most recent at top, much like progeny lists, BWs, and race history.
Issa (#1)
12/17/23 9:27 am
Grade testing is closed until further notice.
Issa (#1)
12/02/23 10:25 am
Today's the last day to participate in the Pro Shop Sale! (Possibly early tomorrow morning if you're in a different time zone.) Please also make sure you've voted in the polls for Colby's Crew and Old Friends. Colby's Crew has significantly less votes than Old Friends, so looks like some of you might have missed it in the news.
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12/01/23 11:49 am
The Year's End Calendar starts today! Don't forget to stop by the Vale of Runes to open the door each day in December.
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11/24/23 3:31 pm
Great news! We are able to sponsor a horse at Old Friends. Please vote in this poll to pick a horse.
Issa (#1)
11/15/23 3:11 pm
If you won an Appy stallion in the raffle and do not have Stat Gene, Heritage, Peak/Prime stablewide upgrades, please PM or DM me a link to the stallion.
Issa (#1)
11/14/23 6:19 pm
Answers to the Upgrade Raffle Challenge can be found here. Again, I'd highly recommend reading this even if you didn't participate as these questions address some incredibly important keys to racing success.
Issa (#1)
11/14/23 10:40 am
Upgrade raffles will be running tonight at 5:00pm! You don't need to be present, but are welcome to hang out in Discord to celebrate with the winners.
Issa (#1)
11/11/23 4:54 pm
Deadline for the upgrade raffles has been extended to Monday at 6:00pm. There's not many entries yet so be sure to get yours in!
Issa (#1)
11/11/23 4:41 pm
Gene Reducers may now only be used on bred horses, not Horse Trader, Import, or Select Sale horses.
Issa (#1)
11/11/23 12:11 pm
Answers to the Stallion Raffle Challenge, as well as the most relevant Handbook links, can be found here. Highly recommend everyone check this out, even if you didn't participate, because this covers a lot of the most important information for successful breeding!
Issa (#1)
11/10/23 4:56 pm
An additional rule has been added for raffle stallions - they may not be Cloaked.
Issa (#1)
11/07/23 8:24 pm
Stallion raffle tickets must be claimed by Friday at 5:00pm. The raffle will be held Friday evening.
Issa (#1)
11/07/23 11:13 am
Juuuuust kidding! (About the previous post...) I just added 1 additional Liver Chestnut and 1 additional Flaxen Liver Chestnut. Enjoy!
Issa (#1)
11/06/23 9:53 pm
We've added 7 new shades of Chestnut including 2 regular Chestnut, 2 Flaxen, 1 Liver, and 2 Flaxen Liver. All new shades can be viewed in the Horse Previewer.
Issa (#1)
11/05/23 5:09 pm
If you have an Appaloosa who is heterozygous or homozygous for Mottling, you may update their image to correctly show their mottling by reloading from their Image Gallery.
Issa (#1)
11/05/23 4:39 pm
The Appaloosa Select broodmare raffle will be held tomorrow, Monday, at 9:00pm FFH time. Tickets must be purchased by 7:00pm.
Issa (#1)
11/05/23 12:31 pm
February will be 2 weeks this year with races running on November 19th. This is not a permanent change, but one we feel is best in the circumstances of Y55.
Issa (#1)
11/04/23 12:36 pm
Midsummer Revelry now includes 500yd races for 3yo ONLY and 700yd races for 4yo+.
Issa (#1)
11/04/23 12:35 pm
Trials of Olympus now includes 7F races for 3yo ONLY.
Issa (#1)
11/03/23 10:24 am
The Appaloosa Select broodmare raffle is being postponed to either Sunday or Monday. Tickets may be purchased up through 1 hour before the time the raffle begins, which will be announced on Sunday.
Issa (#1)
11/01/23 1:42 pm
Question #22 in the Stallion Raffle Challenge has been updated for clarity.
Issa (#1)
11/01/23 10:49 am
Stallion Raffle Challenge update: If you are confused about what a question is asking for, you may contact me (DM or PM) for clarification before submitting.
Issa (#1)
10/28/23 6:04 pm
2yo and 3yo stallion raffle eligibility has been updated due to an error in the script - a few more are eligible for tickets that weren't showing before. Additionally, you must have raced at least 20 2yo, 20 3yo, and 30 4yo+ to be eligible for the category.
Issa (#1)
10/28/23 3:19 pm
Appaloosa broodmares are now available in the horse trader. Each player may purchase broodmares until they have 20+ total Appaloosa broodmares.
Issa (#1)
10/28/23 2:12 pm
A new account setting has been added to show your barn names as buttons rather than text. A new option in barn naming allows you to designate a barn as the start of a new line.
Issa (#1)
10/28/23 12:25 pm
Appaloosa color shows are now published for January.
Issa (#1)
10/28/23 11:28 am
Surf and Turf has been added to the Golden Apple Orchard and is also now a possible reward when harvesting farm plots.
Issa (#1)
10/27/23 10:31 pm
The "|" dividing barn names has been removed to allow you more customization and improved aesthetics when organizing barns. Barn name character limit has been increased to 30 characters.
Issa (#1)
10/26/23 3:59 pm
The Pampered grooming buff has been renamed to Radiant.
Issa (#1)
10/26/23 3:57 pm
Grooming (the training action) has been renamed to Pamper to avoid confusion with Grooming Centers.
Issa (#1)
10/26/23 3:56 pm
Beginning in February, players will be awarded 126 Grooming Center slots per month (increased from 84).
Issa (#1)
10/26/23 2:56 pm
Broodmare dispersal at the GAO is temporarily available again.
Issa (#1)
10/26/23 12:49 pm
Surface Genes no longer impact a foal's birth stats. Distance Genes have a less significant impact on a foal's birth stats than they previously had.
Issa (#1)
10/26/23 10:29 am
Mares must now have an updated grade test to submit breeding requests to outside stallions.
Issa (#1)
10/22/23 9:35 pm
Training and feeding have reopened.
Issa (#1)
10/22/23 4:45 pm
The Y55 Training Sales are now open for consignments! Bidding will begin October 29th.
Issa (#1)
10/22/23 2:40 pm
Stock horses now maintain distance proficiency easier than other breeds.
Issa (#1)
10/22/23 2:27 pm
Goldbloods now maintain Coat Condition easier than other breeds.
Issa (#1)
10/21/23 9:00 pm
Contesting arenas can no longer have muddy weather. Contesting races held at series facilities will not be impacted by mud, even if the main track is muddy.
Issa (#1)
10/21/23 6:52 pm
Horses no longer have a chance to reveal genotype upon retirement. However, the chance to reveal transition genes is increased for horses who have a Minor, Major, or Master. (With each award offering a greater chance.)
Issa (#1)
10/21/23 6:47 pm
Prices for imports have been adjusted. Colts now cost twice as much as fillies, varying upon a player's rank.
Issa (#1)
10/21/23 6:27 pm
Preparedness is now available as a stablewide upgrade trait.
Issa (#1)
10/21/23 4:55 pm
Time Turner and Prismatic Time Turner have been restored from retirement. They now change a mare's due date to January or the current month and Prismatic also resets a mare's color show cooldown.
Issa (#1)
10/21/23 3:05 pm
Stock and STB stallions no longer earn bonus foal slots upon retirement.
Issa (#1)
10/21/23 2:04 pm
The mare grading formula has been updated. All mares may now be tested again, although most likely there will be few changes.
Issa (#1)
10/21/23 11:01 am
Horses who are Handily in races will now lose Experience.