When a horse wins a Maiden Special Weight race, the next logical step in its progression toward fame or obscurity is the Allowance race, more specifically a race for non-winners of one race (NW1) other than Maiden, Claiming, or Starter Allowance. These races are usually segregated by sex and generally include better quality horses, well-bred fillies and colts making their way through the conditions, hopefully proving themselves capable of winning Stakes races at some point.
Horses entered into these races are not for sale, and are typically made up of horses which have only a Maiden Special Weight win to their credit, However, as the conditions often allow, such races may include seasoned horses, horses that have won several races, albeit in Claiming events. Horses without the ability to make it through their allowance conditions usually end up racing for a “tag” in Claiming races, seeking to make enough money to warrant keeping them.
From the standpoint of a traditional handicapper, understanding the conditions of Allowance races can be crucial, as such races are often carded by the racetrack with a particular horse in mind. When such an event presents itself, I tend to pass the race as the odds on the horse for which the event was carded are often so low as to make backing them at the windows barely worth the effort.
As a bettor seeking to make money, I would much prefer to find an Allowance race that includes a mixture of Maiden Special Weight winners and horses that have already proven they are capable of winning multiple times; horses making lateral moves from Claiming races that had similar sized purses.
Ask yourself, would you rather have your money riding on a horse that has won only one race in its career (against other horses that have never won a race), a horse going to post at odds of 3/5, or would you rather have that money backing a horse that has won three races, with current odds of 9/1 listed on the tote board?