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The term "DISTANCE/SURFACE CATEGORY" is used frequently throughout the explanations of Bloodstock Research's Ratings and must be defined before proceeding. Race, Class, and Speed Ratings, as well as basic handicapping principles used to bet or claim horses are based upon the evaluation of a runner's performance in the same "distance/surface category". The importance of this will be explained as you continue reading the explanations in this section.

	  Distances Are Divided Into Two Categories:
	   * Sprint - All races less than a mile.
	   * Route - All races greater than a mile.

	  Surfaces Are Divided Into Two Categories:
	   * Fast or Good Track Conditions
           * All Other Track Conditions

Before a runner qualifies as running at the same distance/surface category, its previous races must have been in the same surface and distance category and within one furlong of the race you are handicapping. (Exception: If the race you're evaluating or handicapping is 10 furlongs or longer.)

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