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Buying a Horse

Buying a Horse

Once you have some $DERBY, it’s time to buy your first horse on our marketplace.

This article will provide insight into buying a horse, but if you’d like some simple strategies many players use when buying their first horse, skip ahead to this guide.

Click the “Marketplace” tab on the left side of your screen, and you should see a list of horses that looks something like this:

There’s a lot of information here, but let’s start with the basics. Each horse has:

  1. A letter Grade
  2. A Fleet Figure (the little number next to the grade)
  3. Three sets of Preference stars
  4. The price
  5. Age
  6. Record
  7. Gender


Each horse has a Grade. D is weaker than C, B, A, S, SS, and SSS. The lower the grade of a horse, the lower the entry fees and purse sizes it runs for.

Don’t be scared off by low-grade horses, though, as each horse grade can be competitive and potentially profitable within certain races.

The grade is an average of the horse’s hidden attributes that are shown when it retires and a measurement of the strength of the horse’s lineage, not a straightforward prediction of future performance!

To learn more about the hidden attributes, see this article.

Note: Horses in the game currently range from B- to SS-

The best (and worst) horses in the game have yet to be bred.

Fleet Figure

Every time the horse runs a race, its finish time is used to compute a speed figure. These figures are tuned so horses of different grades running different races are comparable. Two horses that earn 70 in other races are about matched in the quality of those runs. 


The “stars” show the conditions the horse likes to run in; the more stars, the better. Horses that aren’t suited to the conditions of the race often don’t perform to the best of their potential.


How much the horse will cost in $DERBY.

Remember, 80 $DERBY = $1.00, so if the horse is 800 $DERBY, it’s $10.00.


Remember, 28 real-life days (one season) equals one year in the game. Zero-year-old foals and one-year-old yearlings cannot race.

Once a horse turns two, it can run in juvenile races. You can retire to breed at age three if desired, but retired horses can no longer race. Horses can race until age nine when they are forced to retire.

Thereafter, they can breed until they die in their 20s. Every horse has a different “peak age” where they perform best on the track, and figuring that out is part of the game’s strategy.


The numbers that look like 52 (5-8-4) are the horse’s racing record. The first number is the number of races it has raced in total.

The second number is how many races it has won. The third number is how many races it has “placed” (come in second), and the fourth number is the number of races it has “shown” (come in third).


A “Filly” or Mare is a female horse, and a “Colt” or Stud is a male horse. Fillies and colts race the same; the difference is in the breeding. Fillies can breed once per season (4 real-life weeks) and get to keep any foals, so they tend to be priced higher than colts.

Colts can breed up to 35x per season and are paid stud fees by filly owners.

For more information on any horse, click on their card to go to their Horse Page. There, you’ll find a wealth of data from bloodline to Fleet Figures (be sure to click on the various tabs).

To delve deeper into what makes a good horse, you can find an in-depth explanation: Horse Basics.

Purchase A Horse

Deciding which horse to buy can be difficult, just like in real-life horse racing.

We suggest watching past races here: https://photofinish.live/races/history and studying which horses do well and where reading this horse buying strategy guide and talking to the fantastic members of our community via Discord linked below.

We understand this is a lot to take in, but we’ve spent years creating this very in-depth, realistic game we feel is well worth the effort to learn.

Join Discord

Need help selecting a horse? Join the community Discord chat, and members from the community will be happy to help.

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