Print and Go Back ESPN.com: HorseRacing [Print without images]

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Why is G1 racing booming again

By Edward Chamberlain-Bell
Digiturf.com

Grade 1 horse racing is making a comeback; and horse racing enthusiasts couldn't be more delighted with the bigger fields, higher stakes and increased competition according to Digiturf.com.

There had been a dramatic decline in the popularity of Grade 1 racing as the Grade 2 and Grade 3 races offered an affordable alternative for players to race their horses more cheaply and more frequently. The cheaper races with bigger fields had their appeal but they lacked substance compared to the Grade 1 races. The Grade 1 races offered higher stakes thanks to their larger entry fees beginning at $10 with $50 sponsorships but escalating as the more prestigious categories attract more sponsorships. The winner of those races receives 50% of the stakes while the horses that place 2nd, 3rd or 4th receive 25% to 10%.

Digiturf.com's Race Programmer noticed the renewed enthusiasm for Grade 1 racing and responded by creating Monster Nomination races with entry fees ranging up to $50 coupled with $500 sponsorships. The races attracted 21 runners and generated stakes in excess of $1892. They were so popular that more Monster Nomination races are being considered with $100 entry fees and $1,000 sponsorships.

While there is still a demand for the cheaper races, trainers have started heavily to purchase more Grade 1 horses. They have the option of buying Grade 1 horses for $25 each from the new Grade 1 Sales Ring but they can also buy them from other players who can set their own price if they think their horses are worth more. Auctions are extremely popular in the virtual horse racing community at Digiturf.com. In fact, a bidding war broke out this season when Trezza entered his virtual horse, Domination Train, into the auctions -- a bidding war drove his selling price up to $1,700.

The different grades in the races provide different price-points for players who can manage their stable according to their budget. The lower grades offer the most value in terms of you getting more play for your buck, but the stakes are lower so the returns are lower. For the high stakes virtual horse racing enthusiast the real money is in Grade 1 racing because you have to work so much harder, and run so many more races just to break even. Why race to win a Grade 2 race that could potentially pay out $10 to the winner when a Grade 1 race could pay out $84 to the winner.

It's not all doom and gloom for the Grade 2 and Grade 3 races. Their numbers may have dipped below Grade 1 but they're still pulling in decent fields. They're cheaper, offer better value for money and afford smaller players more racing time with their horses, but for the player who wants to see a higher return on their time and investment, they will find it in the Grade 1 races.

When budgeting for your future horse purchases at Digiturf.com we recommend that you save your cash for the Grade 1 Sales Ring but reserve the bonus credits that you accrue through racing for the traditional Sales Ring which sells a random mixture of all horses. If you want an even better bargain try claiming an older Grade 1 horse from a veteran trainer so you can learn from their training and racing histories. Claiming a strong Grade 1 racehorse is the best way to learn how top trainers train their horses. If you play your cards right, one day new players will be claiming your horses!

Digiturf.com is a simulated online horse racing game where players develop their skills and strategies in owning, training and racing virtual horses against others from around the world. The horses are computer generated but the stakes are real.