The Horse Races of Harvest Moon 64 are held twice a year. The first is held on Spring 17th and the second on Fall 28th.
If the player's horse is fully grown, they will be asked by Doug the day before the contest if they'd like to enter their horse into the race to participate. The day of the races, the player should head over to the Town Square around between 8:00-9:00am. There are three races held throughout different times of the day: 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 4:00 pm. The race the player and their horse participate in is random.
Winning the race depends on the horse's stamina and care by the player. These can be built up by brushing the horse, calling it with the whistle, and riding it a little bit each day. During the race, the player should keep an eye on their horse's stamina in the top left corner; it starts at green, but will go down to yellow and red if too much stamina is used, so the player should conserve their horse's energy in the beginning and then expand the rest to cross the finish line.
The player can bet on the other horses in other races to win medals, except for the race they're participating in. These medals can buy many different items to improve everyday living back on the farm.
- 1st: New Stable 3000 Medals: A newer stable with a red painted roof.
- 2nd: Stuffed Horse 1000 Medals: A stuffed horse that is placed on the cabinet in the house.
- 3rd: Sustaining Carrot 500 Medals: A carrot that supposedly improves the horse's stamina (the item was later revealed to have been broken).
- Participation in the first race of a new game will not be possible as the horse is still a pony around that time.
- Zack can be found in the Town Square selling food the player can purchase. Jeff will also be selling food and drinks in the race viewing area.
- There is a glitch in the game where the player does not lose any money while betting. After making a bet, by not pressing the "Ok!" icon, the bet will be made but no money will be lost if the player loses. This can be useful to make large bets by knowing which horse wins if the player restarts the day (WARNING: sometimes the results will change).
- This is one of the few festivals where the game does not end after it is over. This can be useful in saving some chores around the farm for later.
- If the player wins their race, Doug will come by the farm later in the evening and propose a celebration (this will NOT save the game's progress).