Gallop Racer features 1400+ horses, 28 racetracks, and secrets to be unlocked. Three modes of play in which players can become a jockey or a spectator are included: Season, Practice, and Versus.
Before beginning a season users must first select from a number of options in order to create themselves. As a jockey players will need to name themselves, choose a gender, select a difficulty level, and design their uniform. Once the jockey setup is complete a horse will need to be purchased. While up to 10 horses can be owned at one time, some races will need to be won before a player can afford to purchase and maintain more than one horse.
The objective of Season mode is to become the best jockey which will require maintaining a stable of strong horses. Since game players can only own 10 horses at a time they may choose to sell or retire horses. Selling horses does, of course, earn money. However, selling a horse is not always the best route to take as retiring can eventually lead to breeding. If a player retires both a male and a female horse they can then breed their own original horse. The new horse's abilites will be a direct result of their parents' strengths and weaknesses.
When entering a race a horse must meet specified requirements. Also, users will have to take into account their horse's current condition before entering a race. Horses can be in their best condition, too rested, or too exhausted. Each horse will be affected by the track conditions as well. Some horses run better on turf tracks while others prefer dirt.
Horses that were bred during season mode can be used in Practice mode too. Here players can race on any track with any horse. Users do not have to control horses if they do not wish to. Instead they can set up a race and be a spectator. As spectators, two players can pit the horses they bred during Season mode against each other by importing horses off of memory cards.
Versus mode pits players against each other in a three or five races. Users select the track and which horses will be entered in each race. Another option available is how the screen should be split. Players are given the choice of splitting the screen either vertically or horizontally. While racing against one another players also must compete with eight computer controlled horses. A point value is assigned to each rank so that after the predetermined number of races are run the player with the most points wins.
Getting a top horse is important because Gallop Racer leaves little room for error. Each horse is rated in a number of categories: speed, stamina, guts, temper, breaking style, incline, track condition, and pace. Knowing exactly what the horse your riding on rates in each category is very important. For one, you don't want to enter a horse with a short amount of stamina into a long race. Another aspect, and probably the most important, is how to position the horse. Some horses prefer to run in the back of the pack until the very end while others prefer to take the lead right away and stay there. Season mode will keep players busy for a long time with its realistic level of play, large number of horses, and the ability breed.