Like its predecessor, Stakes Winner 2 is a 2D horse racing game. Choosing from one of the game's selection of horses, players must compete in a series of races on different tracks to earn money and prestige. Each horse that players can select is rated according to speed, stamina, and burst. Players control their horses with the joystick and three buttons. Pressing the A button repeatedly keeps the horse accelerated with a slight drain of the stamina bar, while pressing the B button applies the rider crop to the horse. This results in a slight burst of speed at the cost of draining the horse's stamina bar faster.