A quote posted back in 2012 referenced the long out of favor “welter weight” handicap class.
“Welter weights shall be 28 pounds added to the weight for age. In heavy handicaps the top weight shall not be less than 140 pounds. In all handicaps when the added money exceeds $600, the top weight shall not be less than 126 pounds.” (Daily Racing Form, 06/01/1909)
One example of welter weight racing came in the third race at Sheepshead Bay on September 11, 1883 in the 8 ½ furlong “Welter Handicap.”
Four starters lined up at the barrier:
3-year old filly Pike’s Pride [aka Mike’s Pride] (120 lbs.)
7-year-old gelding Assurance [aka Victim] (138 lbs.)
4-year-old filly Rica (151 lbs.)
4-year-old gelding Volusia (156 lbs).
Low weight Pike’s Pride would ultimately take the race by 1 ½ lengths over Rica.