Dictionary of Horse Racing Terminology
AbandonedA race meeting which has been cancelled because a club did not receive sufficient nominations to be able to stage it, or because of inclement weather that made racing on the track unsafe. An ongoing meeting may also be abandoned because of inclement weather. All bets placed on abandoned races are fully refunded.
AcceptorA runner officially listed to start in a race.
Acey-DeucyUneven stirrups, popularized by jockey Eddie Arcaro, who rode with his left (inside) iron lower than his right to achieve better balance on turns.
Across the Board(See 'Place') A bet on a horse to win, place or show. Three wagers combined in one. If the horse wins, the player wins all three wagers, if second, two, and if third, one.
Action1) A horse's manner of moving.
AcupressureUtilizing stimulation on acupuncture points to treat an animal.
AcupunctureA centuries-old means of treating an animal or human through the use of needles, electrical current or moxibustion (heat and herbs) to stimulate or realign the body's electrical fields.
Added MoneyMoney added to a purse by the racing association or by sponsors, state-bred programs or other funds added to the money paid by horse owners as nomination, entry, sustaining and other fees.
Added PursePurse money that was enhanced by payments made by owners and/or breeders.
Added WeightA horse carrying more weight than the conditions of the race require, usually because the jockey exceeds the stated limit.
AgeAll thoroughbreds share the same official birthday, January 1. That makes it easy to enforce the age restrictions that go with every race.
Age of a HorseComputed on the basis of a calendar year. All race horses have January 1 of the year they were born as their official birth date, regardless of their foaling date.
AgedThis usually refers to a horse of seven years or older.
AgentA person empowered to transact business of a stable owner or jockey. Also, a person empowered to sell or buy horses for an owner or breeder.
AiredA workout wherein a horse runs as if it were only out for exercise.
AiringNot running at best speed in a race.
All ClearSignified by a siren at the end of a race, the all clear means that the stewards deem the finishing order of horses is correct and bets may be paid out. It also means that no protest or objection has been made by the connections of any horse in the race.
All OutA horse who is trying to the best of his ability.
All Weather RacingRacing that takes place on an artificial surface.
All-Age RaceA race for two-year-olds and up.
All-OutA workout or race performance where a horse shows maximum exertion.
Allowance RaceA race for which the racing secretary drafts certain conditions to determine weights to be carried based on the horse's age, sex and/or past performance.
AllowancesReductions in weights to be carried, allowed because of the conditions of the race or because an apprentice jockey is on a horse. Also, a weight reduction female horses are entitled to when racing against males, or that three-year-olds receive against older horses.
All-the-Way WinTo lead from start to finish in a race.
Also RanAny selection not finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th in a race or event.
Also-EligibleHorses that originally entered in the race that will not run unless other horses are scratched (declared) out of the body of the race.
Also-RanA horse that finishes out of the money (first, second or third).
AlteredA horse that has been castrated (gelded).
Amateur RaceA contest involving amateur riders where, in most cases, there is no wagering.
Ante Post(Also, Futures) Bets placed in advance predicting the outcome of a future event. Ante-post prices are those on major sporting events, usually prior to the day of the event itself. In return for the chance of better odds, punters risk the fact that stakes are not returned if their selection pulls out or is cancelled.
ApprenticeA rider who has not ridden a specified amount of winners within a specific time period. These riders get weight allowances on all their mounts based on the number of winners they have. 10 pounds until the fifth winner, 7 pounds until the 35th winner and five pounds for one calendar year after the date of the 5th winner.
Apprentice AllowanceWeight concession to an apprentice rider: usually 10 pounds until the fifth winner, seven pounds until the 35th winner and five pounds for one calendar year from the fifth winner. Also, three pounds are sometimes permitted for an additional year when riding for original contract holder. This rule varies from state to state.
Apprentice Rider (Bug Rider)A student jockey. The term "bug" comes from the weight concession symbol found in the program (an asterisk "*") which looks like a bug.
Apprentice Weight (Bug Weight)An apprentice rider is allowed to carry less weight due to his/her inexperience. When this weight concession is allowed the program denotes the weight in the program with an asterisk "*".
ApproximatesThe approximate price a horse is quoted at before a race begins. Bookmakers use these approximates as a guide to set their boards.
ApronThe (usually) paved area between the grandstand and the racing surface.
ArbitrageWhere a variation in odds available allows a punter to back both sides and guarantee a win.
Assistant StarterThe employee of a horse racetrack who, under direct supervision of the starter, helps place the starting gate for a race, leads horses into the gate, helps jockeys and handles horses while in the gate until the start.
Assistant TrainerIn many cases one trainer may have many horses under his care and these horses are spread out at several race tracks. Knowing a person can not be in two places at once, the Trainer will assign an assistant trainer to act in his absence.
At the PostThe time when the horses have arrived and are ready to be loaded into the starting gate.
ATSAgainst The Spread.
AttackTo challenge the leading horse during a race, in an attempt to take the lead. An attack can sap the horse's energy, or even that of the leader, and may leave both of those horses with little in reserve for the finish.
AttendanceThe attendance figure at a given race track site usually includes the patrons that passed through the turnstiles, patrons that gained access with passes, and employees.
Auxiliary Starting GateA second starting gate used when the amount of horses in a race exceeds the capacity of the main starting gate.
Average-Earnings Index (Aei)A breeding statistic that compares racing earnings of a stallion or mare's foals to those of all other foals racing at that time. An AEI of 1.00 is considered average, 2.00 is twice the average, 0.50 half the average, etc.
AWTAll weather track.
BabyA term to denote two-year-old horses, especially during the first months of the year.
Baby RaceA race for two-year-olds.
BackTo bet or wager.
Back MarkerIn a standing start event, which is handicapped, the horse who is given the biggest handicap is known as the backmarker. For instance, in a race five horses may start off the front (who travel the nominated race distance), three off ten metres (who travel the race distance plus an extra ten metres), one off 20 metres and one off 30 metres. The horse starting from 30 metres is known as the back marker.
Back StraightThe straight length of the track or paceway farthest away from the spectators and the winning post.
Back UpThe action of a horse slowing down noticeably.
BackedA 'backed' horse is one on which lots of bets have been placed.
Backed-inA horse which is backed-in means that bettors have outlaid a lot of money on that horse, with the result being a decrease in the odds offered.
BacksideThe stable and training area of a racetrack.
BackstretchThe straight part of the track on the far side opposite the grandstand side or homestretch.
Backstretch (Racing Surface Term)This is the straight-away section on the far side of the track.
Backstretch (Stable Area)At many of the track sites the stable area is found adjacent to the back side of the track. Due to this proximity the stable name is sometimes referred to as the backstretch.
BackwardA horse that is either too young or not fully fit.
Bad ActorFractious horse.
Bad Actor (Fractious Horse)A horse that acts up from time to time when it leaves the receiving barn for the race. Some signs are kicking, resisting being saddled, fighting its handler or even attempt to savage its handler. Sometimes this activity will exhaust the horse before it has a chance to run.
Bad DoerA horse with a poor appetite, a condition that may be due to nervousness or other causes.
Badge HorseSingle horse in stable entitling owner to admission badge.
BandageBandages used on horse's legs are three to six inches wide and are made of a variety of materials. In a race, they are used for support or protection against injury. "Rundown bandages" are used during a race and usually have a pad under the fetlock to avoid injury due to abrasion when the fetlocks sink toward the ground during weight-bearing. A horse may also wear "standing bandages," thick cotton wraps used during shipping and while in the stall to prevent swelling and/or injury.
BandagesSoft wraps used around a horse's legs for therapeutic purposes or to prevent a horse from hurting its heels on the racing surface.
Banker(Also, Key) Highly expected to win. The strongest in a multiple selection in a parlay or accumulator. In permutation bets the banker is a selection that must win to guarantee any returns.
Bar PlatesHorseshoes with bars across the rear of the plate.
Bar PriceRefers to the odds of those runners in a race not quoted with a price during early betting shows. The bar price is the minimum odds for any of those selections not quoted.
BarrenUsed to describe a filly or mare that was bred and did not conceive during the last breeding season.
BarrierA starting device used in steeplechasing consisting of an elastic band stretched across the racetrack which springs back when released. Also known as a "tape."
Barrier DrawThe process which is performed to determine the starting position or barrier for each horse in a race. Generally, the barrier draw is conducted by a computer, however, for special races like the Miracle Mile, the barrier draw may be conducted manually in front of patrons at a paceway.
Bat(Also, Stick) A jockey's whip.
BatteryA term for an illegal electrical device used by a jockey to stimulate a horse during a race. Also known as a "machine" or "joint."
BayColor of horse varying from yellowish tan (light bay) to brown or dark, rich shade of mahogany (sometimes listed as dark bay or brown) with black points- black mane, tail and shadings of black low on the legs.
Bear inThe action of a horse running towards the rail rather than straight.
Bear OutThe action of a horse running towards the outside of the track, rather than straight.
BeardA friend or acquaintance or other contact who is used to placing bets so that the bookmakers will not know the identity of the actual bettor. Many top handicappers and persons occupying sensitive positions use this method of wagering.
Bearing in (Or Out)Deviating from a straight course. May be due to weariness, infirmity, inexperience or the rider overusing the whip or reins to make a horse alter its course.
Bearing in (Out)Failing to maintain a straight course, veering to the left or right. Can be caused by injury, fatigue, outside distraction, or poor riding.
BeginnerA horse which is termed a good beginner is either a pacer which shows a lot of speed at the start of a mobile event, or a trotter or pacer which steps away cleanly from a standing start. Similarly, a poor beginner is a pacer which doesn't have a lot of early speed or a trotter or pacer which doesn't settle into its gait straight away.
BellA bell that is rung in the home straight to warn drivers they are about to commence the final lap of the race.
Bell LapIn harness racing, the last lap of a race, signified by the ringing of the bell.
Bertillon CardA greyhound's identification card that lists physical identifying marks for every racing greyhound. The greyhound's Bertillon number is tattooed in its ear.
BetA transaction in which monies are deposited or guaranteed.
Betting BoardA board used by the bookmaker to display the odds of the horses engaged in a race.
Betting InterestsThis is a concept that is as easy to understand as it is important to understand. To clarify, let's assume there is a race with eight horses listed as runners, but two of the horses are coupled for betting (example: 1 and 1A). This combination of horses would be seen as one betting interest. In other words a bet on one of them is a bet on both. In summary, in this case there are a total of seven betting interests in this race.
Betting NumberThis is the saddle cloth number. This is NOT the post position number.
Betting RingAn allocated area at the paceway where bookmakers work. Punters go to the betting ring in order to check out the odds of horses in a race and place bets.
Beyer NumberA handicapping tool, popularized by author Andrew Beyer, assigning a numerical value (speed figure) to each race run by a horse based on final time and track condition. This enables different horses running at different racetracks to be objectively compared.
Big RedRefers to Phar Lap!
Bill Daly (On the)Taking a horse to the front at the start and remaining there to the finish. Term stems from "Father Bill" Daly, famous old-time horseman who developed many great jockeys.
Bird CageThe enclosure or place on a paceway where horses are marshalled and paraded for events. The identity brand of each horse is checked during the marshalling period. Also known as the enclosure.
BismarckA favourite which the bookmakers do not expect to win.
BitA stainless steel, rubber or aluminum bar, attached to the bridle, which fits in the horse's mouth and is one of the means by which a jockey exerts guidance and control. The most common racing bit is the D-bit, named because the rings extending from the bar are shaped like the letter "D." Most racing bits are "snaffled," (snaffle bit) which means the metal bar is made up of two pieces, connected in the middle, which leaves it free to swivel. Other bits may be used to correct specific problems, such as bearing in or out.
BlackA horse color which is black, including the muzzle, flanks, mane, tail and legs unless white markings are present.
Black TypeBoldface type, used in sales catalogues, to distinguish horses that have won or placed in a stakes race. Many sales catalogues have eliminated the use of black type for stakes below a certain monetary level-$15,000 in 1985, $20,000 from 1986-1989 and $25,000 beginning in 1990. If a horse's name appears in boldface type in a catalogue and in all capital letters, it has won at least one black-type event. If it appears in boldface type and capital and lower case letters, it was second or third in at least one black-type event. Black type was awarded to fourth-place finishers in races before Jan. 1, 1990.
BlacksmithA farrier or a horseshoer.
BlacktypeBold-face type used in sales catalogs to distinguish horses who have won or placed in a stake race.
BlanketThe official numbered cloth worn by the greyhound to represent its post position.
Blanket FinishWhen the horses finish so close to the winning line you could theoretically put a single blanket across them.
BlazeA generic term describing a large, white vertical marking on a horse's face. The Jockey Club doesn't use blaze, preferring more descriptive words. See snip; star; stripe.
BleederA horse that bleeds from the lungs when small capillaries that surround the lungs' air sacs (alveoli) rupture. The medical term is "exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage" (EIPH). Blood may be seen coming out of the horse's nostrils, known as "epistaxis," although it is typically discovered by a fiber optic endoscopic examination after exercise. Hot, humid weather and cold are known to exacerbate the problem. The most common preventative treatment currently available is the use of the diuretic furosemide (Lasix). Less than one bleeder in 20 shows signs of epistaxis. See "Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage" subsection of "Respiratory System" in veterinary supplement for a more detailed explanation.
BleedingShort-hand term for a medical condition called exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH). In a horse that suffers from bleeding, the small capillaries that surround the lungs' air sacs (alveoli) rupture. Blood may sometimes be seen coming from the horse's nostrils, but more often is seen through an endoscopic examination after exercise.
Blind BetA bet made by a racetrack bookmaker on another horse to divert other bookmakers' attention away from his sizeable betting on his/her main horse thus to avoid a shortening of the odds on the main horse.
Blind SwitchA situation in a race where a horse is pocketed behind horses and the jockey must decide whether to hope for an opening or take back and go around.
BlinkersA cup-shaped device applied over the sides of the horse's head near his eyes to limit his vision. This helps to prevent him from swerving away from distracting objects or other horses on either side of him. Blinker cups come in a variety of sizes and shapes to allow as little or as much vision as the trainer feels is appropriate.
Block HeelHorseshoe with a raised heel, to prevent running down.
BloodlinePedigree; family lineage.
Blow OutShort exercise to limber a horse before a race.
Blowing UpA horse which has had a very hard run, is not at its peak fitness, or does not handle the rigours of a race very well, may be referred to as ‘blowing up' after the run. This means the horse is breathing vigorously and excessively.
BlowoutA very short, timed workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to sharpen a horse's speed.
Blow-OutA short, timed workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to sharpen a horse's speed. Usually three-eighths or one-half of a mile in distance.
BoardShort for 'Tote Board' on which odds, betting pools and other race information are displayed.
BobbleA bad step away from the starting gate, usually caused by the track surface breaking away from under a horse's hooves, causing it to duck its head or nearly go to his knees.
Bold EyeA horse with a prominent eye, a sign of aggressiveness.
BoltWhen a horse swerves sharply from its lane or the regular course; when a greyhound leaves the course during a race.
Bomb(Er)A winning horse sent off at very high odds.
Book1) The group of mares being bred to a stallion in a given year. If a stallion attracts the maximum number of mares allowed by the farm manager, he has a full book. 2) A term used to describe a jockey's riding commitments with his agent: An agent handles a jockey's book.
BookieShort for bookmaker. The person who accepts bets.
BookmakerPerson who is licensed to accept bets on the result of an event based on their provision of odds to the customer. (Sportsbook US).
Bookmaker (Bookie)A person registered and licensed to bet with the public.
Bottom1) Stamina in a horse. 2) Subsurface of a racing strip.
Bottom LineA Thoroughbred's breeding on the female side. The lower half of an extended pedigree diagram.
BounceA poor race run directly following a career-best or near-best performance.
Bounce FactorA factor used in handicapping, there are tried theories that say that a horses racing career is made up of cycles, comprised of wins and losses. When a horse has reached a point in the cycle where he is about to go from the win cycle to the lose cycle, or vice versa, it is known as the bounce factor.
BoxUsed in exotic wagering, a style of betting wherein all combinations of a set of numbers are played. In an exacta, if you request the mutuel clerk to give you a "$2 box on the 1 and the 2", your ticket with a cost of $4 will reflect a $2 bet on the exacta 1 and 2 and a $2 bet on the 2 and 1. In a trifecta, if you request the mutuel clerk to give you a "$2 box on the 1-3-5", your ticket with a cost of $12 will reflect a $2 bet on the trifecta 1-3-5, a $2 bet on the trifecta 1-5-3, a $2 bet on the trifecta 3-1-5, a $2 bet on the trifecta 3-5-1, a $2 bet on the trifecta 5-1-3, and a $2 bet on the trifecta 5-3-1.
Box TrifectaUsually four or five horses are "boxed" in a trifecta. If three of the horses selected all finish in the first three placings, the punter collects for a winning trifecta.
Boxed (In)To be trapped between, behind or inside of other horses.
Boxed inA horse that is racing on the rails (or fence) and is surrounded by other horses in front, outside and behind it. A horse that is boxed in is held up and unable to gain a clear passage.
Brace (Or Bracer)A rubdown liniment used on a horse after a race or a workout.
BreakTo start galloping and lose natural trotting or pacing rhythm. This situation tends to occur more with trotters than pacers.
Break DownBecome unable to race because of lameness or injury.
Break MaidenHorse or rider winning the first race of its career. Also known as "earning a diploma."
Break Ones MaidenPhrase given to a horse or rider when a first win of a career is achieved.
BreakageAll mutuel payoffs are rounded down to the nearest dime. As an example: If 12 people shared in a pool of $146.00 the amount to be divided would be roughly $12.17. The official mutuel payoff would be $12.10 and the remaining money, called breakage, would be applied to whatever the state statute called for. In some cases the money goes to the track or the state,
BreakdownWhen a horse suffers a potentially career-ending injury, usually to the leg: The horse suffered a breakdown. The horse broke down.
BreatherRestraining or easing off on a horse for a short distance in a race to permit him to conserve or renew his strength.
Bred1) A horse is considered to have been bred in the state or country of its birth.
BreedTo mate horses. This term is also used to denote a type of horse. As an example, there are different breeds of horses: thoroughbred, standardbred, quarter horse, appaloosa, etc.
Breed LinePedigree; male side of the pedigree as contrasted with family, or female side. This is also used as a slang term for the odds on a horse.
BreederOwner of the dam at time of foaling unless the dam was under a lease or foal-sharing arrangement at the time of foaling. In that case, the person(s) specified by the terms of the agreement is (are) the breeder(s) of the foal.
Breeders AwardsMoney set aside from purses paid winning horses and paid to the original breeder of the winning horse.
Breeders' CupThoroughbred racing's year-end championship. Known as Breeders' Cup Day, it consists of eight races conducted on one day at a different racetrack each year with purses and awards totalling $13 million. First run in 1984.
Breeding FundA fund set up by many states to provide bonus prizes for state- breds.
BreezeWorking a horse at a moderate speed, with less effort than "handily".
Breeze (Breezing)Working a horse at a moderate speed, less effort than handily.
Bridge JumperA person who wagers large amounts of money, usually on short-priced horses to show, hoping to realize a small, but certain profit. The term comes from the structure these bettors may seek if they lose.
Bridge-JumperSomeone who makes large show bets on short-priced favorites.
Bridge-JumperBettor who specializes in large show bets on odd-on favourites.
Brittle FeetThis term describes feet that have lost too much moisture and have become dried out and contracted. Certain horses have a predisposition to this condition while other horses acquire it as a result of dry weather and poor grooming. Dry feet are prone to quarter cracks, bruises and the like.
Broken DownA horse which suffers an injury, or develops a condition that makes it unable to race, is referred to as having broken down.
Broken WindThis is an all-inclusive term used to describe any abnormality heard in the breathing apparatus of a horse. It is usually used to describe a whistler or a roarer.
BroodbitchA female greyhound used for breeding.
BroodmareA female horse, generally retired from racing, used for breeding purposes.
BrownSometimes difficult to separate from black or dark bay. This color can usually be distinguished by noting finer tan or brown hairs on the muzzles or flanks.
Brush1) During a race, two horses who slightly touch each other. 2) Injury that occurs when one hoof strikes the inside of the opposite limb.
BuckA bet of US$ 100 (also known as a 'dollar bet').
BugName denoting the reduced weight allowance permitted an apprentice jockey (bug boy). The denotation of a bug in the official program is an asterisk "*" which looks like a bug.
Bug BoyAn apprentice jockey.
Bug Boy (Apprentice Rider)A student jockey. The term "bug" comes from the weight concession symbol found in the program (an asterisk "*") which looks like a bug.
Bug Weight (Apprentice Weight)An apprentice rider is allowed to carry less weight due to his/her inexperience. When this weight concession is allowed the program denotes the weight in the program with an asterisk "*".
Bulbs (Of the Heel)The two areas on either side of the back of the foot, similar to the heel of the hand.
Bull RingThe term given to a small track, because of the sharp turns.
Bullet (Work)The best workout time for a particular distance on a given day at a track. From the printer's "bullet" that precedes the time of the workout in listings. Also known as a "black-letter" work in some parts of the country.
Bullet WorkThe best workout time for the distance on a given day at a track.
BullringA small racetrack, usually less than one mile.
Burn(Ed)See run down. Commonly used in the term: burned heels.
Buy PriceIn Spread or Index betting, the higher figure quoted by an Index bookmaker.
Buy the RackPurchase every possible daily-double or other combination ticket.
Buy-BackA horse put through a public auction that did not reach a minimum (reserve) price set by the consignor and so was retained. The consignor must pay a fee to the auction company based on a percentage of the reserve, to cover the auction company's marketing, advertising and other costs (also called passsing in the horse).
CalculatorA mutuel clerk who computes pari-mutuel odds.
CalkA projection on the heels of a horseshoe, similar to a cleat, on the rear shoes of a horse to prevent slipping, especially on a wet track. Also known as a "sticker." Sometimes incorrectly spelled "caulk."
CalksSmall cleats inserted on the back end of a horse's shoe or racing plate that allows the horse a better grip of the surface. Sometimes called "mud calks."
CallTo announce progress of race for purposes of official result charts (chart-caller); to describe race to audience; stage of race at which running positions are record, like "half-mile call".
Call (The)Running position of horses in a race at various points.
Call to the PostA special call played on a bugle used to signal the horses to the starting gate.
CallerOne who calls the running positions of horses in a race.
CanadianAlso known as a Super Yankee. A Canadian is a combination bet consisting of 26 bets with 5 selections in different events. The combination bet is made up of 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five 4-folds and one 5-fold.
CanterA slow gallop or a lope.
CardAnother term for fixture or race meeting.
CarryoverA betting term referring to a type of exotic wager, wherein there is no payoff on today's offering and the pool is carried to a future race day for additional wagering. This will go on until someone wins by betting on the correct combination.
CartThe motor that runs around the racetrack with the lure at a greyhound racetrack. Also called lure motor.
CastA horse is a cast when he lies down in the stall in such a way that he is too close to the wall, and there is a danger that he may not be able to get up by himself without injury.
CaulkProjection on the bottom of a shoe to give the horse better traction, especially on a wet track.
Center of DistributionA formula derived from the Dosage profile and a similar attempt to quantify speed and stamina.
CenturyGBP£ 100 (also known as a 'Ton').
ChalkWagering favorite in a race. Dates from the days when on-track bookmakers would write current odds on a chalkboard.
Chalk PlayerBettor who wagers on favorites.
ChampionSee Eclipse Award.
ChartA statistical "picture" of a race (from which past performances are compiled), that shows the position and margin of each horse at designated points of call (depending on the distance of the race), as well as the horses' age, weight carried, owner, trainer, jockey, and the race's purse, conditions, payoff prices, odds, time and other data.
Chart CallerThe person who charts all the horse races for a day and sends the information to the past performance program company or the American Quarter Horse Association.
ChartwriterA person who compiles records of each greyhound race and writes comments describing each greyhound's performance during a race.
CheckTo suffer interference during a race, causing a horse to alter its speed and/or path in a race. A severe check can ruin a horse's chance in a race.
Check(Ed)When a jockey slows a horse due to other horses impeding its progress.
CheckedIn horse racing, pulling a horse back or sudden slowing due to traffic problems during the race; in greyhound racing, a greyhound suddenly slowing.
Chef-De-RaceDesignation for superior sires, which fall into five categories–Brilliant, Intermediate, Classic, Stout, Professional–according to the speed and stamina they impart to their offspring.
Chestnut1) A horse color which may vary from a red-yellow to golden-yellow. The mane, tail and legs are usually variations of coat color, except where white markings are present. 2) Horny, irregular growths found on the inside of the legs. On the forelegs, they are just above the knees. On the hind legs, they are just below the hocks. No two horses have been found to have the same chestnuts and so they may be used for identification. Also called "night eyes."
ChiropracticThe use of bone alignment to treat specific or general health problems.
Choked DownWhen a driver tries to get a horse to run at a slowed rate, he or she will sometimes pull its head back, unintentionally cutting off its breathing. This can cause the horse to lose consciousness and collapse on to the track.
ChoppyOf stride, shortness, often reveals soreness.
ChuteExtension of backstretch or homestretch to permit a straight running start in a race as opposed to starting on or near a turn.
CircuitA term used to describe several racetracks with complementing racing dates, which form a circuit within a certain geographic area. In Texas, live race dates are awarded on a circuit theory to ensure to the extent practical continuous racing in the state for each breed of horse.
ClaimA process by which a person may purchase a horse entered in a designated race for a predetermined purchase price. This process also equalizes the competitive level of horses in a single race.
Claim BoxWhere claims are deposited before the race.
ClaimingProcess by which a licensed person may purchase a horse entered in a designated race for a predetermined price. When a horse has been claimed, its new owner assumes title after the starting gate opens although the former owner is entitled to all purse money earned in that race.
Claiming BoxBox in which claims are deposited before the race.
Claiming PriceThe purchase price for which a horse is running in a claiming race.
Claiming RaceA licensed owner or trainer can purchase a horse entered in a CLAIMING RACE for the price stated in the conditions, provided at least one start during the current meeting. When horse is "claimed" it is transferred to its new owner(s) immediately after the start of the race, win, lose, regardless of physical condition. In some states, if the horse runs within 30 days of being claimed, it must run for a claiming price that is 25 percent greater than its purchase price, or compete in a non-claiming race.
Claiming RacesAlso known as claimers. These races are made up of runners which can be purchased or ‘claimed' by members of the public at a designated price.
ClassThe level of competition at which a horse competes.
Classic1) A race of traditional importance. 2) Used to describe a distance A race at the American classic distance, which is currently 1quarter miles. The European classic distance is 1half miles.
Classic RaceA race restricted to horses of the one age in which all competitors start off the same mark.
Clerk of ScalesIn horse racing, a racing official responsible for sequestering all jockeys each racing day, weighing all riders out and in from races, checking their assigned riding weights versus their actual weights, and reporting all changes. In greyhound racing, a racing official responsible for weighing the greyhounds in and out before the race, checking their established weights versus their actual weights, and reporting all changes.
ClientPurchaser of betting information from horseman or other tipster.
ClimbTo run with unusually high motion of forelegs, usually when flustered or tired.
ClimbingWhen a horse lifts its front legs abnormally high as it gallops, causing it to run inefficiently.
ClockerThe person responsible for accurately timing the workouts of a horse.
CloseFinal odds on a horse (e.g. 'closed at 7 to 1').
CloserA horse that runs best in the latter part of the race (closing race), coming from off the pace.
Clubhouse TurnGenerally, the turn on a racing oval that is closest to the clubhouse facility; usually the first turn after the finish line.
CoastingA horse which is going easily or travelling without pressure in a race, usually in front.
Co-FavoritesWhere three or more competitors share the status as favorite.
Color (Horses)The color of a horses coat can be either Bay (B.), Dark Bay or Brown (Dk. B/Br.), Black (Bl.), Chesthut (Ch.), Gray (Gr.), White (Wh.) or Roan (Ro.).
ColorsRacing silks, the jacket and cap worn by jockeys. Silks can be generic and provided by the track or specific to one owner.
Colors (Colours)Racing silks, the jacket and cap worn by jockeys. Silks can be generic and provided by the track or specific to one owner.
Colors (Horse)Colors accepted by The Jockey Club are bay, black, chestnut, dark bay or brown, gray, roan and white. See individual entries for definitions.
Colors (Owner)Color combinations of shirts and caps worn by the jockey in thoroughbred races. These colors represent a particular owner for all horses running in his name and are registered with the Jockey Club.
ColoursThe special colourful jacket worn by drivers when in a race. A horse may only compete in the registered colours of either its owner or trainer. Trainers and owners can choose their own set of colour combinations but must apply to the Harness Racing Authority to have them approved.
ColtAn unaltered male thoroughbred age two through four is called a colt.
CombinationAcross-the-board bet for which a single mutuel ticket is issued.
Combination BetSelecting any number of teams/horses to finish first and second in either order.
CommingleCombining mutuel pools from off-track sites with the host track.
CommissionMoney deducted from pari-mutuel pools to pay expenses and revenue necessary to conduct a race meeting.
CompanyClass of horses in a race He last ran in stakes company.
Comparable Index (Ci)Indicates the average earnings of progeny produced from mares bred to one sire when these same mares are bred to other sires. A CI of 1.00 is considered average, 2.00 is twice the average, 0.50 half the average, etc.
ConditionEquine form or fitness; to train a horse; the terms of a race, such as purse size, eligibility qualifications, and weight concessions.
Condition BookA booklet written by the racing secretary and published for the horsemen which lists all races, conditions and other information pertinent to the race meet. Trainers use the condition book as a guide for placing their horses in specific races at specific racetracks.
Condition Book(s)A series of booklets issued by a racing secretary which set forth conditions of races to be run at a particular racetrack.
Condition RaceAn event with conditions limiting it to a certain class of horse. Such as: Fillies, 3-year-olds, non-winners of two races other than maiden or claiming, etc.
Conditional JockeySame as 'Apprentice' but also allowed to jump.
Conditioned RaceEligibility to enter is determined by a set of conditions such as age, sex, races won, etc.
Conditioner1) A trainer. 2) A workout or race to enable a horse to attain fitness.
ConditionsThe requirements of a particular race. This may include age, sex, money or races won, weight carried and the distance of the race.
ConformationThe physical makeup of and bodily proportions of a horse how it is put together.
ConnectionsPersons identified with a horse, such as owner, trainer, rider and stable employees.
Consolation DoubleA payoff to holders of daily double tickets combining the winning horse in the first race of the double with a scratched horse in the second.
Consolation PayoffUsing a daily double as an example, when a horse is scratched from the second race after daily double betting begins, money is set aside to pay those who have bought tickets pairing horses with the winner of the first race.
Contract RiderJockey on whose services to an owner or trainer, by contract, has first call.
Cooling OutRestoring a horse to normal temperature, usually by walking, after it has become overheated during exercise. All horses that are exercised are cooled out.
CornA corn is a bruise under the sole of the hoof. It usually comes from stepping on a stone or some other hard object.
CornerLast part of the turn into the homestretch.
Correct WeightHorses are allocated a weight to carry that is checked before and, for at least the placegetters, after a race. Correct weight must be signaled before bets can be paid out.
Country (Breeding)When a horse was breed in a country other than the U.S., this country's abbreviation is carried in the official program next to the horse's name.
CoupledTwo or more horses running as an entry in a single betting unit.
Coupled (Entry)Two or more horses running as an entry in a single betting unit.
Coupled EntryTwo or more horses owned and/or trained by the same person, entered in the same race and coupled for betting. This combination of horses would be seen as one betting interest.
CoverA single breeding of a stallion to a mare He covered 70 mares.
Cracked HoofA vertical split of the hoof wall. Cracks may extend upwards from the bearing surface of the wall or downwards from the coronary band, as the result of a defect in the band. Varying in degrees of severity, cracks can result from injuries or concussion. Hooves that are dry and/or thin (shelly) or improperly shod are susceptible to cracking upon concussion. Corrective trimming and shoeing may remedy mild cracks but in severe cases, when the crack extends inward to the sensitive laminae, more extensive treatment is required, such as using screws and wires to stabilize the sides of the crack.
Cracking PaceWhen the leader/s of a race run at a very quick speed, often in the early stages of a race.
Crop1) The number of foals by a sire in a given year. 2) A group of horses born in the same year An average crop of three-year-olds. 3) A jockey's whip.
CropperWhen a horse or rider falls. Usually applied to steeplechase races.
Cross FireWhen a horse's hind foot strikes the opposite front foot or leg.
CrossingA horse which begins from one of the positions out wider on the track, which moves down to the inside fence, is referred to as crossing to the fence. Likewise, if such a horse has the speed to beat all other horses to the leading position of a race, this is known as crossing to the lead.
CrowdTo race too close to another horse, forcing its rider to take up or change course.
Crow's NestThe area at the top of the grandstand where the announcer, stewards, judges, and others watch the races from a high vantage point.
Cup1) Refers to the irregular occlusal surface of the tooth (the surfaces that meet when a horse closes its mouth) and is used as a visual method of determining age in a horse. 2) Trophy awarded to winning horse owners, usually in a stakes race.
Cup HorseOne qualified to engage in distance races.
CuppyA track surface that breaks away under a horse's hoof, due to soft pockets.
Cuppy (Track)A dry and loose racing surface that breaks away under a horse's hooves.
CushionThe loose, top surface of the racing surface.
Cut DownHorse suffering from injuries from being struck by the shoes of another horse. Or, due to a faulty stride, a horse may cut itself down.
Daily DoubleThis type of wager is a wager on two races. You must select the winner of each race on one ticket, which you must purchase prior to the running of the first of the two races selected.
Daily Double PoolThe sum total of all money bet on the daily double in a given two races.
Daily Racing FormA daily newspaper containing news, past performance data and handicapping information. Do not use definite article "The" when describing According to Daily Racing Form,...
Daily TripleA wager where the bettor must select the winner of three consecutive races.
DamThe female parent, or mother, of a horse.
Dam's Sire (Broodmare Sire)The sire of a broodmare. Used in reference to the maternal grandsire of a foal.
Damsire (Broodmare Sire)The sire of a broodmare.
DarkA term used for a day on which there is no racing.
Dark Bay or BrownA horse color that ranges from brown with areas of tan on the shoulders, head and flanks, to a dark brown, with tan areas seen only in the flanks and/or muzzle. The mane, tail and lower portions of the legs are always black unless white markings are present.
Dark DayA day when no live racing is scheduled.
Dark HorseAn underrated animal that wins or has good prospects of winning.
DashA sprint race, versus a distance race.
Dead HeatA situation in which the judges cannot separate two or more horses when judging the outcome of a race. These horses are declared as having crossed the finish line at the exact same time. If the position the horses finished in was first, they are said to have dead-heated, if the position the horses finished in was second or third for instance, they are said to have dead-heated for second or third. Triple dead-heats (where three horses cross the line at the same time) do occur, but are quite rare.
Dead TrackA racing surface that lacks resiliency.
Dead-HeatWhen two or more race animals reach the finish line simultaneously.
DeclarationA horse withdrawn from a race. Also referred to as a scratch.
Declaration of WeightsThe publication of weights allocated to each horse nominated for a race by the handicapper.
DeclaredIn the United States, a horse withdrawn from a stakes race in advance of scratch time. In Europe, a horse confirmed to start in a race.
DeductionsWhen a horse is scratched from a race after betting on that race has already started, deductions are taken out of the win and place bets at a rate in proportion to the odds of the scratched horse.
DeepA racing surface recently harrowed or to which extra top soil has been added, increasing holding qualities.
Deep StretchA position very close to the finish line in race.
DerbyA classic race for three-year-old pacers or trotters.
DestroyTo kill a horse.
Developed PrintIf a judge calls for a developed print, it means he or she has not been able to determine who the winner and/or placegetters of a race are, because they have finished so close together. A camera is fitted into the finish post which takes a photo the minute a horse crosses its infra-red beam. The judge has this photo developed in order to accurately decide the finishing order of horses.
DHAbbreviation for dead heat.
Dictate TermsA driver whose horse is in the lead and is running along at a pace that suits its ability, without any pressure from other runners, is said to be dictating terms. In other words they are calling the shots, and are perfectly placed to win the race.
DimeA bet of USD$ 1,000 (also known as a 'dime bet').
Diploma (Earning a)See break maiden.
Diploma (Earning a...)Breaking a maiden, winning for the first time.
DisqualificationA period of expulsion and unconditional exclusion from the harness racing industry, applied by the Stewards so as to prohibit a person from entering any course during a race meeting, from entering the stable area of any licensed person, and from registering changes of ownership of horses. A trainer or driver may be disqualified for a set period of time for breaking one or more of the rules of harness racing.
Disqualification (After Race Day)To lower a horse's actual finishing position by official act after deciding it interfered with others during a race, or carried improper weight or was drugged. This would result in the redistribution of the purse money but the public's betting money would not be affected.
Disqualification (Race Day)To lower a horse's actual finishing position by official act after deciding it interfered with others during a race, or carried improper weight or was drugged. In this case of disqualification, the public's betting money is correspondingly affected by the outcome.
DistaffA stake race for female horses.
Distaff (Distaff Race)Female. A race for fillies, mares, or both.
Distaff RaceA race for fillies, mares, or both.
Distance of GroundA route race or a race greater than one mile.
DistancedA horse that is out of touch with the rest of the field at the end of the race. This is often referred to as finished distanced.
DividendThe amount that a winning or placed horse returns for every $1 bet by the bettor.
DivisionWhen too many entries are made in an important race, the track may divide it into two races.
DogThe underdog in any betting proposition.
Dog PlayerA bettor who mainly wagers on the underdog.
DogsRubber traffic cones (or a wooden barrier) placed at certain distances out from the inner rail, when the track is wet, muddy, soft, yielding or heavy, to prevent horses during the workout period from churning the footing along the rail. Used in the phrase The dogs are up, or simply, dogs up.
Dope1) Slang term for past performances. Readers of past performances are said to dope out a race. 2) Any illegal drug.
DosageAlthough there are actually many "Dosage theories," the one most commonly thought of as Dosage is the one as interpreted by Dr. Steven Roman. A variation of Dr. Franco Varola's work on pedigree analysis, the system identifies patterns of ability in horses based on a list of prepotent sires, each of whom is a chef-de-race. The Dosage system puts these sires into one of five categories brilliant, intermediate, classic, solid and professional, which quantify speed and stamina. Sires can be listed in up to two chef-de-race categories. Each generation of sires is worth 16 points, divided up by the amount of sires, i.e., the immediate sire is worth 16 points while the four sires four generations back are worth four points apiece.
Dosage DiagramA diagram showing the number and placement of chefs-de-race in a horse's pedigree.
Dosage IndexMathematical reduction of the Dosage Diagram to a number reflecting a horse's potential for speed or stamina.
Dosage Index (Di)A mathematical reduction of the Dosage profile to a number reflecting a horse's potential for speed or stamina. The higher the number, the more likely the horse is suited to be a sprinter. The average Dosage index of all horses is about 4.0.
Dosage ProfileA listing of Dosage points by category. Used to develop the Dosage index (DI).
DoubleIf a driver or trainer records two winners at a race meeting, they are said to have recorded a winning double. Likewise, should they win three races, this is known as a winning treble.
DoubleheaderTwo racing performances during one day, often done at greyhound racetracks.
DQDisqualification of a race animal for an infraction after the running of the race.
DrawRefers to a horse's placing in the starting stalls. For flat racing only. Stall numbers are drawn at random.
Drift(Also, Ease) Odds that 'Lengthen', are said to have drifted, or be 'On The Drift'.
DriveAll-out exertion, under heavy punishment, especially in home-stretch.
DriverThe person holding a license or permit to drive harness horses. There are different types of licenses, which correspond to differing levels of experience.
DrivingA horse that is all out to win and under strong urging from its jockey.
DropGive birth to a foal.
Drop(ped) DownA horse meeting a lower class of rival than it had been running against.
DropdownA horse meeting a lower class of rival than he had been running against.
Drop-DownA horse moving down in class or claiming price; a greyhound moving down in grade.
Dual ForecastA tote bet operating in races of 3 or more declared runners in which the punter has to pick the first two to finish in either order.
DweltA horse that is late leaving the starting gate.
Each Way DoubleTwo separate bets of a win double and a place double.
Each Way OddsFour to one ( now $5.00 ) with the bookmakers because if the horse does not win but finishes second or third, the punter's wager is refunded in full and the punter does not lose on the race.
Each Way SingleTwo bets. The first is for the selection to win; the second for it to be placed (each way).
Early FootGood speed at the start of a race.
EarningsThe amount of purse money earned by a horse in pari-mutuel races. Earnings are usually categorized by earnings in a given year versus lifetime earnings.
Ease UpTo slow a horse's stride, sparing exertion.
EasedChart caller's assessment of a horse that is being deliberately slowed by the jockey to prevent injury or harm to the horse.
EasilyA horse running or winning without being pressed by the jockey or opposition.
Eclipse AwardThoroughbred racing's year-end awards, honoring the top horses and humans in several categories. They honor the great 18th century racehorse and sire, Eclipse, who was undefeated in 18 career starts and sired the winners of 344 races. The Eclipse Awards are sponsored by the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers Association. They were first given out in 1971; previously, separate year-end champions were named by Daily Racing Form (beginning in 1936) and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations (beginning in 1950). Any Eclipse Award winner is referred to as a "champion." See Appendix for a list of Eclipse Award winners.
Eighth1/8 = 1 furlong = 220 yards = 600 feet.
Eighth PoleThe colored pole at the inside rail 1 furlong from the finish wire.
EligibleQualified to start in a race, according to conditions.
EnclosureThe area where the Runners gather for viewing before and after the race.
EngagementA stake nomination; a riding commitment by a jockey.
EnterTo enroll a race animal in a race.
EntireAn ungelded horse. In Europe, where geldings are not permitted to enter certain races, the race conditions might read Entire colts and fillies.
Entrance FeeMoney paid to enter a race animal in a stake race, usually referred to as nomination payments.
EntryTwo or more horses with common ownership (or in some cases trained by the same trainer) that are paired as a single betting unit in one race and/or are placed together by the racing secretary as part of a mutuel field. Rules on entries vary from state to state. Also known as a "coupled entry."
Entry (Program)Two or more horses owned and/or trained by the same person, entered in the same race and coupled for betting. This combination of horses would be seen as one betting interest.
Entry (Racing Office)The act of a horsemen subscribing a horse to a race.
Entry ClerkAn employee of the Racing Office who takes the entries from the horsemen.
Entry FeeA fee paid by an owner to enter his horse in a stakes event.
Equibase (Company)A partnership between The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations to establish and maintain an industry-owned, central database of racing records. Equibase past-performance information is used in track programs across North America.
EquipmentSee bandage; bar shoe; bit; blinkers; bridle; earmuffs; halter; hood; nose band; overcheck; overgirth; reins; saddle cloth; saddle pad; shadow roll; shank; stirrups; tongue tie.
Equipment ChangeSometimes a factor in handicapping, the announcement of a horse's change in equipment from the last time he raced.
Equivalent OddsMutuel price horses would pay for each $1 bet.
Escape TurnAt a greyhound racetrack, the first turn of the racetrack after the front stretch.
Even MoneyA betting term wherein you are betting $2 to win $2.
Even Money Bet (Or Evens)A 1:1 bet. A $10 wager wins $10.
EvenlyA horse running so as to neither gain nor lose position or distance.
ExactaThis is a form of betting in which a player attempts to pick winner and second horse in a race, buying one mutuel ticket on the choice.
Exacta (Or Perfecta)A wager in which the first two finishers in a race, in exact order of finish, must be picked. Called an "exactor" in Canada.
Exacta BoxA wager in which all possible combinations using a given number of horses are bet on. The total number of combinations can be calculated according to the formula x2-x, where x equals the amount of horses in the box.
Exacta PoolThe sum total of all money bet on exactas in a given race.
ExcusedWithdrawal from a race (sometimes on a veterinarian's recommendation) with consent of stewards.
Exercise Boy/GirlA rider in a training workout.
Exercise RiderRider who is licensed to exercise a horse during its morning training session.
Exercise-Induced Pulmonary HemorrhageSee bleeder.
Exotic (Wager)Any wager other than win, place or show. For the mathematically inclined, the amount of combinations in any exotic wager can be figured by the formula n!/(n-a!), where n is the number of horses in your wager and a is the number of finishers in the wager (two in an exacta, three in a trifecta, etc.)
Exotic WagersAny bets other than straight win, place and show bets. The term comes from the philosophy that it's tough enough to pick one horse, let alone more than one. Sometimes referred to as gimmick bets.
Experimental Free HandicapA year-end projection of the best North American two-year-olds of the season, put together by a panel, under the auspices of The Jockey Club, that is based on performances in unrestricted races. Two lists are drawn up, one for males and one for females.
ExposureThe amount of money one actually stands to lose on a game or race.
ExtendTo force a horse to go all out.
ExtendedForced to run at top speed.
Extra Weight (Added Weight)More weight than conditions of race require.
Facing the BreezeSee the "death".
FadeThis is when a horse tires and drops out of contention.
False FavoriteHorse that is a race favorite but you consider the horse does not have as much chance of winning as other runners in the race. See underlay.
False QuarterHorizontal crack in the hoof caused by injury to the coronet.
False StartThe race starter will declare a false start and order a restart if one or more of the barrier tapes fail to release in a standing start event, or if in a mobile event, a runner, through no fault of its own, has been denied a fair start.
FalterThis is when a horse tires badly.
FalteredUsed for a horse that was in contention early and drops back in the late stages. It is more drastic than weakened but less drastic than stopped.
FarrierHorseshoer, blacksmith. Also called a "plater."
FastA racing surface that is dry and hard, on which the footing is even and the race animals can run their best.
Fast (Track)Optimum condition for a dirt track that is dry, even, resilient and fast.
Fast TrackDry, hard strip on which horses run fastest; a track at which typical running times are relatively fast by comparison with most other tracks.
FaultWeak points of a horse's conformation or character as a racehorse.
FavoriteThe most popular horse in a race, which is quoted at the lowest odds because it is deemed to have the best chance of winning the race.
FeatherLight weight. Usually refers to the weight a horse is assigned to carry in a race.
FeatureThe best race on a card.
Feature RaceWhile usually found to be a Stakes event, the feature race is usually the race of the day that presents the highest quality horses of the day.
Feature RacesTop races.
Fee1) Amount paid to a jockey for riding in a race. 2) The cost of nominating, entering or starting a horse in a stakes race.
FeesAmount paid to rider or the cost of nominating, entering or starting a horse in a stakes race.
FenceThe inside fence is the inside running rail around the race track, while the outside fence is of course, the outside running rail.
Field1) All the runners in a race. 2) Some sports books or bookmakers may well group all the outsiders in a competition under the banner headline of 'Field' and put it head to head with the favorite. This is known as favorite vs. the field betting and is common in horse and golf betting.
Field BetWhen more than 12 horses are entered in any race, the horses numbered 12 and over will be grouped together in the mutuel field, a wager on any one of them in the Win, Place or Show, Perfecta or Trifecta is a wager on all of them. Any ticket on the Mutuel Field will be numbered 12.
Field HorseTwo or more starters running as a single betting unit, when there are more entrants than positions on the totalisator board can accommodate.
Field Horse (Or Mutuel Field)Two or more starters running as a single betting unit (entry), when there are more starters in a race than positions on the totalizator board.
FigSlang for speed figure.
FillyA female thoroughbred age two through four, is known as a filly.
Film PatrolThe crew that records the running of each race on video for possible review by the stewards when questions arise about behavior of the horse or rider.
Finish LineThe final point of the race equipped with a photo finish camera.
FireA burst of acceleration by a horse in a race The horse did (didn't) fire when asked.
FiringThis is an old method of treating chronic pathologies found in the legs of thoroughbreds. It consists of inserting red hot pints through the skin (pin firing) over the area involved. Line firing consists of burning in a bar pattern through the outer layers of the skin. Firing creates an acute inflammation which is said to hasten healing.
FirmThe optimum condition for a turf course corresponding to fast on a dirt track.
FirmA condition of a turf course corresponding to fast on a dirt track. A firm, resilient surface.
First FourYou have to correctly select the first four horses in the correct order in the nominated races. There are some big collects on this bet.
First TurnThe bend in the track beyond the starting point; also, the clubhouse turn.
First UpThe first run a horse has in a new campaign or preparation.
First-UpThe first run a horse has in a new campaign or preparation, usually after having a spell.
Five-Eighths PoleThe pole at the inside rail, exactly five furlongs from finish wire.
Fixed OddsYour dividend is fixed at the odds when you placed your bet.
FlagSignal held by a man (referred to as a flagman) standing just in front of the gate at the exact starting point of race. Official timing starts when flag is dropped to denote proper start.
FlagmanOne who drops the flag to denote official start.
Flak JacketSimilar to a jackets worn by quarterbacks, the jockey's flak jacket protects the ribs, kidneys and back.
FlashThe change or updating of odds information on the tote board.
FlashChange of odds information on tote board.
FlatThe conventional racing surface, contrasted with grass or jump course.
Flat RaceContested on level ground as opposed to a steeplechase. Often used in the term, on the flat.
Flatten OutA very tired horse that slows considerably, dropping its head on a straight line with its body. Some horses, however, like to run with their heads lowered.
FloatA weighted, flat piece of equipment used to seal and remove the water from a racing surface; also, the filing down of the sharp edges of a horse's molars.
FloatingFlat plate or wooden implement (float) dragged over the surface of a wet track to aid in draining water.
FoalA baby horse, usually refers to either a male or female horse from birth to January 1st of the following year.
Foaled1) A horse of either sex in its first year of life. 2) As a verb, to give birth. Also known as "dropped." 3) Can also denote the offspring of either a male or female parent She is the last foal of Secretariat.
FoldWhen preceded by a number, a fold indicates the number of selections in an accumulator (e.g. 5-Fold = 5 selections).
Fontana Safety RailAn aluminum rail, in use since 1981, designed to help reduce injuries to horse and rider. It has more of an offset (slant) to provide greater clearance between the rail and the vertical posts as well as a protective cover to keep horse and rider from striking the posts.
FootingThe condition of the track surface.
Forced WideA horse which is forced to move wide on the track (further away from the inside running rail), because of the action of another runner.
ForecastA wager that involves correctly predicting the 1st and 2nd for a particular event. This bet can be straight, reversed or permed. (USA, Perfecta or Exacta).
FormThe performance history of a horse. Recent form is included in race books and form guides in an effort to help punters select the horse most likely to win. The form of a horse includes information like the number of starts it has had, the number of wins, seconds and thirds, and the amount of prize money it has won. Form is available on this Web site.
Form PlayerThis is a bettor whose method of handicapping is based on selections from past-performance records.
FoulAn action by any horse or jockey that hinders or interferes with another horse or jockey during the running of a race.
Foul Claim (Objection)A claim by a jockey, owner or trainer that their order of finish in a race was adversely affected by rules infraction by another rider or horse in the same race. This claim is considered by the stewards and a decision rendered before a race is declared official.
Founding SiresThe Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk and Godolphin Barb. Every Thoroughbred must be able to trace its parentage to one of the three founding sires.
Four FurlongsHalf a mile; 880 yards; 2,640 feet.
Fractional TimeIntermediate times recorded in a race, as at the quarter, half, three-quarters, etc. The "quarter time," for example, refers to the time after the first quarter-mile, not the first 25 percent of the race.
FractionsClockings at 1/4 mile intervals in races and workouts.
FractiousA horse that acts up from time to time when it leaves the receiving barn for the race. Some signs are kicking, resisting being saddled, fighting it's handler or even attempt to savage it's handler. Sometimes this activity will exhaust the horse before it has a chance to run.
Free HandicapA race in which no nomination fees are required. More recently, and more commonly, a ranking of horses by weight for a theoretical race. See Experimental Free Handicap.
Free LanceA rider not under contract to a trainer or stable.
Free LeggedA pacer which races without wearing hopples to help maintain its gait is known as a free legged pacer.
Free-for-AllA race for open class or top class horses starting off the same mark (starting from the same position).
Freelance DriverA driver which doesn't train his or her own horses, and is engaged by other trainers and owners to drive their horses. Freelance drivers generally don't work for any one trainer or owner in particular. If they do, they are more commonly known as that person's stable driver.
Fresh (Freshened)A rested horse.
FretterA term used for a greyhound that is unusually nervous in the lockout kennel before a race, causing a weight loss.
FrontAlso known as the front mark, the front means the handicap mark allotted to those horses to race the minimum advertised distance for any race.
Front RunnerThe race animal that is leading during a race.
Front-RunnerA horse whose running style is to attempt to get on or near the lead at the start of the race and to continue there as long as possible.
Frozen (Track)A condition of a racetrack where any moisture present is frozen.
Full CoverAll the doubles, trebles and accumulators involved in a given number of selections.
Full White Ankle (Leg Markings)The white marking extends up to and includes the entire ankle.
Full-Brother, Full-SisterHorses that share the same sire and dam.
FurlongOne-eighth of a mile or 220 yards or 660 feet (approx. 200 meters).
Futures(Also, Ante Post) Bets placed in advance predicting the outcome of a future event.
FuturityA race for two-year-olds in which the owners make a continuous series of payments over a period of time to keep their horses eligible. Purses for these races vary but can be considerable.
Futurity RacesTo enter futurities, regular payments need to be made by the breeder and then the owner to keep the horse eligible to compete.
GaitHarness horses are divided into two distinct groups, pacers or trotters, depending on their gait when racing. The gait is the manner in that a horse moves its legs when running. The pacer is a horse with a lateral gait, whereas a trotter or square-gaiter has a diagonal gait.
GallopA horse's fastest gait. This term is also used to refer to a workout. In slang terms it refers to an easy race or workout, compared with one in which the horse is urged ("My horse in the second race just galloped!")
GapAn opening in the rail where horses enter and leave the racetrack.
Garrison FinishDrawing a fine finish on a winner, usually coming from off the pace, Derived from "Snapper" Garrison, old-time rider given to that practice.
GateA shortened term referring to the starting gate. It is also used to refer to the physical entrance of the track. Track management will use this term to refer to attendance for the day.
Gate CardA card, issued by the starter, stating that a horse is properly schooled in starting gate procedures.
GearThe equipment carried by trotters and pacers. Gear can generally be split into three categories: pads on the legs to prevent self-inflicted injury; equipment to balance a horse in its stride; and equipment to correct waywardness or erratic behavior. The equipment also helps a driver maintain control. Some horses are not as well-mannered or gaited as others and may require a lugging pole, shadow roll, headcheck, shin boots and/or knee boots.
GeldingA male horse that has been castrated to moderate his behavior and to encourage physical growth.
Gentleman JockeyAmateur rider, generally in steeplechases.
GetProgeny of sire.
Get intoThe act of a rider when he takes the whip to the horse and gives him full head.
Getaway DayThe last day of a race meeting.
Gimmick BetsA slang term, referring to exotic bets, that is, any bets other than straight win, place and show bets. The term comes from the philosophy that it's tough enough to pick one horse, let alone more than one.
GimpyThis term describes a horse that is slightly lame.
GirthAn elastic and leather band, sometimes covered with sheepskin, that passes under a horse's belly and is connected to both sides of the saddle.
Go onWhen referring to a horse, to win at a new, longer distance.
GogglesEquipment worn by jockeys, over the eyes to protect them from flying material kicked up from horses in front of them. Jockeys can be found to wear several pairs of goggles in one race, disposing of them as their vision is impaired during the running of the race.
GoingThe condition of a racing surface. When referring to a horse, going is it's stride ("way of going").
Going AwayWinning while increasing the lead.
Going-AwayA race animal winning a race while increasing the lead.
GoneA horse which has lost all chances of winning in a race, or after racing well for part of the race, then runs out of energy and falls back in the field.
Good (Track)Condition between fast and slow, generally a bit wet. A dirt track that is almost fast or a turf course slightly softer than firm.
Good BottomTrack that is firm under the surface, which may be sloppy or wet.
Good HoldSee under double wraps.
Good TrackA racing surface rated between slow and fast. Moisture remains in the strip but the footing is adequate.
Grab a QuarterInjury to the back of the hoof or foot caused by a horse stepping on itself (usually affects the front foot). Being stepped on from behind in the same manner, usually affects the back foot. A very common injury during racing. Generally, the injury is minor.
GradeA letter rating describing how a greyhound compares to other greyhounds in ability. Grades range from Grade AA, the top grade, through Grade D.
Graded RaceEstablished in 1973 to classify select stakes races in North America, at the request of European racing authorities, who had set up group races two years earlier. Always denoted with Roman numerals I, II, or III. Capitalized when used in race title (the Grade I Kentucky Derby). See 'Group Race' below.
Graded StakeThis is a race in which eligibility is limited to horses in one or another classification, as determined by the Racing Secretary. Graded allowances and grade handicaps are common. A more current use of this term was born out of the establishment of a National Grading Committee who picks out the best stakes across the country. Of these prime events they are "graded" from Grade I down to Grade III.
GraduateWinning first time, horse or rider. Also, graduate of the claiming ranks-a horse, that has moved up to allowance, stakes or handicap racing.
GranddamA horse's grandmother.
Granddam (Second Dam)Grandmother of a horse.
GrandsireThe grandfather of a horse; father ("sire") of the horse's dam or sire.
Grass SlipUsed in some areas, permission to exercise a horse on the turf course.
GrayA horse color where the majority of the coat is a mixture of black and white hairs. The mane, tail and legs may be either black or gray unless white markings are present. Starting with foals of 1993, the color classifications gray and roan were combined as "roan or gray." See roan.
Grayson-Jockey Club Research FoundationA charitable organization, established in 1989, which combined the Grayson Foundation (established 1940) and The Jockey Club Research Foundation (established 1982). The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is devoted to equine medical research.
GreenImmature or inexperienced. Young horses, such as two-year-olds may be referred to as being green. As well, a horse of any age which does not have much racing experience, may be referred to as having raced greenly. This generally means the horse in question does a few things wrong when racing.
GroomA stable employee who cares for horses and performs daily chores such as grooming, bedding stall, bandaging, feeding, tacking and preparing for a race.
Group RaceAn elite group of races. Established in 1971 by racing organizations in Britain, France, Germany and Italy to classify select stakes races outside North America. Collectively called 'Pattern Races'. Equivalent to North American graded races. Always denoted with Arabic numerals 1, 2, or 3. Capitalized when used in race title (the Group 1 Epsom Derby). See 'Graded Race' above.
Group RacesAn elite group of races. A group one race is a grand circuit event, free-for-all, handicap or classic event of national importance, which offers minimum prize money of $50,000 with respect to pacing events. A provisional group one race is one that has a history of less than ten years. A group two race is a handicap, free-for-all or classic event of major or State importance, where with the exception of Sires' Stakes Finals, the primary eligibility of horses is not restricted by any conditions. Minimum prize money must be $20,000 in respect of races for pacers.
Guaranteed PurseWhen a purse is advertised as guaranteed, it is saying, regardless of any added monies contributed by horsemen or sponsorship, a fixed amount will be paid. In the event there is money left over it is either retained by the track or disbursed to breeders or other finishers in the race. In the event there is a shortage of funds, the track makes up the difference.
GypsyA term to refer to an itinerant owner or trainer; "gyp".
HalfA shortened term to refer to the half-mile position. The time "of the half" is the fractional time after one half of a mile of running.
Half BrotherA male horse out of the same dam, but by a different sire.
Half SisterA female horse out of the same dam, but by a different sire.
Half-Brother, Half-SisterHorses out of the same dam but by different sires. Horses with the same sire and different dams are not considered half-siblings in Thoroughbred racing.
Half-Mile PoleThe pole at the infield rail exactly 4 furlongs from the finish line.
Half-MilerA track of that distance or a horse that prefers such a track.
Halter1) (noun) headgear that is used to lead a horse. 2) (verb) to claim a horse.
HandFour inches. A horse's height is measured in hands and inches from the top of the shoulder (withers) to the ground, e.g., 15.2 hands is 15 hands, 2 inches. Thoroughbreds typically range from 15 to 17 hands.
Hand RideThe act of urging a horse toward longer, faster, more rhythmic stride by rolling hands on a horse's neck, lifting its head at beginning of stride.
HandicapThe position or mark from which a horse starts during a handicap race.
Handicap RaceOne in which distance allowances are made for the purpose of equalizing the horses' chance of winning.
HandicapperThe racing secretary or other official who assigns weight, handicaps, and races; also, a person who analyzes a day's racing card and reports selections for the wagering public.
HandicappingOne who assigns weights for a handicap race. Also one who makes selections based on past performances.
Handily1) Working in the morning with maximum effort. Compare with, 2) A horse racing well within itself, with little exertion from the jockey.
HandleThe total sum bet on a race. At times, the term Total Handle is shortened to handle to refer to the total sum bet on a given day or some finite period.
HangThis refers to a horse unable to produce the expected finishing kick and therefore unable to improve its position on the stretch.
HangingThe inclination to run in (or out) during a race. When hanging in, a horse will have a tendency to veer towards the inside running rail or fence, while when hanging out, a horse will have a tendency to veer towards the outside running rail. A horse that is hanging will often check other runners which happen to be in its path.
Hard (Track)A condition of a turf course where there is no resiliency to the surface.
Hard BootDenotes a well-traveled breeder whose boots are caked with mud and therefore hard-by extension, a breeder or trainer whose methods are characterized as old-fashioned. Generally used in the phrase Kentucky hard-boot.
HardbootA Kentucky horseman of the old school, because of legendary mud caked on his boots.
HarnessThe gear which is used to attach the sulky to a horse, to carry the hopples and to enable the driver to steer the horse.
HarrowA frame with suspended pins towed by a tractor used to loosen and even the soil of a track surface. The amount loosened is determined by how low the pins are set in the frame.
Hat TrickThe winning, usually by a jockey, of three races on a single program.
HeadA unit of measurement that describes a race animal's lead to another by the length of its head.
Head of the StretchThe beginning of the straight run for the finish line.
HeadquartersThe main harness racing track in a particular area. In NSW, headquarters refers to Harold Park, the metropolitan track in that state.
HeatOne of multiple elimination races used to narrow the final field for a stakes race for which many race animals have been nominated. Usually run two to three weeks before the final race.
HeavyCondition of track similar to, but even slower than, muddy.
Heavy (Track)Wettest possible condition of a turf course; not usually found in North America.
Heavy TrackA racing surface drier than muddy and on which the footing is heavy and sticky.
Heel CrackA crack on the heel of the hoof. Also called a "sand crack."
HelmetA lightweight fiberglass cap worn by jockeys to prevent head injuries. It is required equipment that is not considered part of a jockey's riding weight.
High WeightHighest weight assigned or carried in a race.
Highweight HandicapRace in which the topweight is assigned no less than 140 pounds.
Home StraightThe straight length of the track, nearest the spectators, where the finish line is situated. It is called this because it is the final part of the track a horse travels down during a race -- on its run 'home' (or run to the finish line).
Home StretchFinal straight portion of the racetrack to the finish.
Home TurnThe final turn a horse must travel around before entering the home straight in the run to the finish line.
HomebredA horse bred by his owner.
HomestretchThe straightaway between the end of the far turn and the finish line.
HonestA term referring to a kind, reliable horse.
HoodA (usually) nylon covering which goes over a horse's head to which blinkers or earmuffs are attached.
HoppedA horse that has been illegally stimulated.
HopplesThe straps which connect the front and rear legs on the same side of a horse. Most pacers wear hopples to help balance their stride and maintain a pacing gait. The length of hopples is adjustable and a trainer registers the length that best suits his or her horse. No alteration to this length can be made without permission.
HorseBroadly, in any Thoroughbred regardless of sex. Specifically, an entire male 5 years old or older.
Horse IdentifierThe racing official who checks the lip tattoo and markings of each horse as it enters the paddock to make sure the correct horses are running in the race.
Horsemen's GroupA trade association or representative body of owners and trainers.
HorsingBehavior of a mare in heat (in season). See estrus.
Hot WalkerA stable hand who walks a horse while it cools out after a race or workout.
HotwalkerPerson who walks horses to cool them out after workout or races.
HungA horse that does not advance its position in a race when called upon by its jockey.
HuntAmateur racing, mainly on grass and over jumps.
Hurdle RaceContested over obstacles. A jumping race over lower fences than steeplechase races.
IceTo anesthetize a horse's painful feet or legs by standing in ice.
ImpostWeight carried or assigned to a race horse.
In FoalA pregnant mare; usually used in foal to [a sire].
In HandRunning under moderate control, at less than best pace.
In LightA term referring to a horse carrying relatively little weight.
In the BridleSee on the bit.
In the MoneyA race animal finishing first, second or third in a race.
In ToughA situation where a horse is entered with horses it is unlikely to beat.
InconveniencedThe proper term for a horse that is checked.
Indian FileWhen a field of horses race in single file, one behind the other.
InfieldThe area on the inner circumference of the track, where grass and jump races are run and the tote board is found.
Infield RacingTurf racing.
InquiryStewards may conduct an inquiry as a result of any incident which may have occurred during a race, to determine whether or not certain drivers and/or horses were responsible for the incident and whether they should receive due punishment. Inquiries are also conducted if a horse returns a positive drug swab, or if a licensed person does not conduct themselves in a manner which brings credit to the industry.
InsideIn the United States, anything to the left of a horse during a race. In some countries outside of the U.S. where the race is run in the opposite direction it would be anything to the right of the horse. Also used to refer to the position closest to the rail.
Inside or Outside White Heel (Leg Markings)The area above the back of the hoof on either the inside or outside of the leg, is white.
Inside RailThe fence or structure separating racing strip from infield.
Inter-State (Wagering)Wagering on a simulcast of a race from another state.
Inter-Track (Wagering)Wagering on a simulcast of a race from another track within the state.
InvitationalA stake race, where the field is comprised only of horses that were invited to race by the Racing Secretary.
Irish RailMoveable rail.
IronsThe stirrups on a saddle.
JailRefers to the requirement that a horse which has been claimed that next runs in a claiming race must run for a claiming price 25 percent higher for the next 30 days. Commonly used in the phrase The horse is in (out of) jail.
JockeyAs a noun, a race rider; as a verb, to maneuver for position during a race.
Jockey AgentA person who helps a rider obtain mounts in return for 20% or more of the rider's earnings.
Jockey ClubAn organization that maintains the American Stud Book and approves thoroughbred names and registry. Not to be confused with the Jockey Club in England, where the Jockey Club is the governing body of British racing.
Jockey FeeSum paid to rider for competing in a race.
Jockey's GuildThis is a national association of race riders.
Jockey's RaceA race whose outcome will hinge mostly on strategic thinking by the riders; i.e., one in which riders must pay close attention to pace to keep their horses fresh for a strong finish.
JogA slow easy gait, usually a trot, used primarily to warm up horses before a race or workout.
JostleTo bump another horse during a race.
JourneymanA full-fledged professional jockey.
JudgeThe person who decides the official placings and margins for each race or trial. They are also responsible for deciding who the placers are in the event of a photo finish or developed print.
Jump UpA term that refers to a horse that wins in a surprising reversal of form.
JumperSteeplechase or hurdle horse.
Junior DriverA driver under the age of 23.
Junior Driver ConcessionsAvailable in NSW to drivers under the age of 23 who have not driven a total of 25 winners at Harold Park Monday or Tuesday meetings, all other NSW tracks and other non-metropolitan tracks. These concessions are only available at Harold Park Friday night meetings when a junior driver has not driven five winners at such meetings or other metropolitan meetings. Trainers can use junior driver concessions (in races so marked) to gain entry to races they may not have been eligible for and/or to draw more favorably.
JuvenileA two-year-old horse.
KennelA business that cares for and races greyhounds under contract with a racing association.
Kennel CompoundThe area at a greyhound racetrack where the greyhounds are housed.
Key HorseA single horse used in multiple combinations in an exotic wager. (sometimes also called 'pea horse')
KitchenThe horsemen's eatery in the stable area.
L.T.W.Lifetime Wins: The number of wins at licensed Trotting Meetings that the horse has accumulated during its lifetime.
LameThe term used to describe a horse which is limping or has difficulty walking properly. Lameness is often caused by an injury or problem with one or more of a horse's feet and/or legs.
Last HalfThe time recorded by a horse during the last half of the last mile traveled in a race. It is equal to the combined time recorded in the third and fourth sectionals or quarters.
Late ChangeThis term refers to any change in a race after the official program has been printed.
Late DoubleA second daily double offered during the latter part of the program. See daily double.
Late MoneyThis term is used to define money that has been bet within five minutes to post.
Late ScratchThis term refers to a horse withdrawn from a race after the official program has been printed.
Late ScratchingA horse which is scratched from a race after acceptances have been declared. Any trainer who scratches a horse after acceptance time without an acceptable reason may be penalized by the Stewards.
Lathered (Up)Sweat that foams up usually along neck and flanks, often before a race. Too much sweat is considered a bad sign before the start of a race, may indicate a nervous horse. Also see washed out.
LayTo occupy a certain running position deliberately, while waiting to make a strategic move.
Lay UpA period of time in which a race horse is sent away from the racetrack to rest.
LayoffAn extended period of time where a horse is stopped from racing and usually shipped to a farm for rest, breeding or rehabilitation.
LeadLead weights carried in the pockets on both sides of the saddle, used to make up the difference between the actual weight of the jockey and the weight the horse has been assigned to carry during the race.
Lead (Or Lead Pad)Weights carried to make up the difference when a rider weighs less than the poundage a horse is assigned to carry.
Lead [Led]Lead weights carried in pockets on both sides of the saddle, used to make up the difference between the actual weight of the jockey and the weight the horse has been assigned to carry during the race.
Lead [Leed]1) See shank. 2) The front leg that is last to hit the ground during a gallop or canter. See "Gaits" in veterinary supplement for a more detailed definition.
Lead [Leed] PonySee pony.
Lead OutsThe handlers who parade the greyhounds onto the track during post parade, place them in the starting box, and retrieve the dogs when the race is finished.
Lead PadThe saddle pocket in which lead weights can be placed.
Lead PonyHorse or pony who heads parade of field from paddock to starting gate. Also a horse or pony who accompanies a starter to post.
Lead TimeThe time it takes for a horse to travel from the start of the race to the beginning of the last mile (1609m). For instance, in a 1760m race, the lead time would be recorded during the first 151m (1760-1609). A slow lead time may advantage those horses at the front, while a fast lead time may advantage horses racing at the rear of the field.
LeaderThe horse which is out in front or leading during a race. This term may also be applied to a horse which most commonly wins races when in a leading position.
Leaky-Roof CircuitMinor tracks.
LeasingAs opposed to buying a harness horse, people have the option of leasing one. Just like some people lease a car instead of paying the money up-front, leasing a horse gives people use of a horse without large capital outlay. An agreement or contract must be drawn up between the two parties, and the lease must be registered with the relevant controlling body.
Leg LockThis is when a jockey illegally hooks legs with another rider, impeding the other horse.
Leg UpTo help a jockey mount his horse. Also a jockey having a mount. Also to strengthen a horse's legs through exercise.
LengthA unit of measurement in racing. In horse racing, a length is theoretically the distance from the horse's nose to the tip of its flying tail, approximately 8-9 feet. In greyhound racing, a length is approximately .07 of a second.
Let UpAnother term for a spell, however, a let-up usually refers to a short break, not a lengthy spell in the paddock.
LinePedigree; male side of the pedigree as contrasted with family, or female side. This is also used as a slang term for the odds on a horse.
Listed RaceA stakes race just below a group race or graded race in quality.
Live WeightThe weight of a jockey that a horse carries versus dead weight such as lead pad, which does not move with the horse's action.
LockWhen a horse is referred to as a "lock" it is a sure thing.
Locked UpAnother term for being boxed in.
Lock-Out KennelThe area within the paddock designed to house the racing greyhounds before their racing performance. Also, the "ginny pit".
Long End (Of Purse)Winner's share.
Long ShotOpposite of favorite.
Loose HorseA horse that continues running after losing rider. This is also used as a slang term to refer to a person of inconsistent mannerisms.
Loose ReinA horse on a loose rein is one which is allowed to run freely, without any pressure from the driver to speed up or slow down.
LugThe action of a horse that tends to veer away from steering pressure exerted on either rein.
Lug (In or Out)The action of a tiring horse, bearing in or out, failing to keep a straight course.
Lug inTo bear in towards the rail during a race.
Lunge1) Horse rearing and plunging. 2) A method of exercising a horse on a tether ("lunge line").
LureThe object the greyhounds chase while racing. Lures generally are a stuffed object that resembles either a bone or a rabbit. The lure operator keeps it a uniform distance ahead of the greyhounds.
Maiden1) A horse or rider that has not won a race. 2) A female that has never been bred.
Maiden ClaimingA claiming race specified for horses that have never won a race.
Maiden Claiming RaceA horse race for non-winners who are eligible to be claimed. Maiden race: A race for race animals that have never won a race.
Maiden RaceFor horses that have never won. Once a thoroughbred wins a race, it must progress to another category.
Maiden Special WeightAn allowance race for horses that have never won a race.
Main TrackThe dirt surface of a racetrack.
Make a RunOf a horse that turns on the speed, makes a move, makes a bid.
MarathonA horse race longer than 1 and 1/4 miles; a greyhound race at 7/16 mile.
MareFemale horse 5 years old or older. Also, female of any age who has been bred.
Mare's MonthSeptember. In theory, because mares that have not run well during the summer often "wake up" in September.
MarkingsAny unique configurations found on a horses body used for identification are referred to as markings. These markings may be spots on the body, white hairs in the coat, white hairs at the base of the tail, brands, or scars, etc.
MartingaleStraps attached to bit or noseband and girth, preventing horse from rearing.
MashSoft, moist mixture, hot or cold, of grain and other feed that is easily digested by horses.
MassageRubbing of various parts of the anatomy to stimulate healing.
Match RaceA challenge race between two race animals.
MatineesAfternoon racing at tracks where night racing is the usual practice.
MaturityA race for four-year-olds in which entries are make before their birth.
Maturity StakesAn event or series of racing events for Sires' Stakes horses that are four years old. See Sires' Stakes.
Medication ListA list kept by the track veterinarian and published by the track and Daily Racing Form (when provided by track officials) showing which horses have been treated with phenylbutazone and/or furosemide.
MeetingA collection of pacing and/or trotting races conducted by a club on the same day or night, forms a race meeting.
Middle DistanceA horse race longer than seven furlongs but less than 1 and 1/4 miles; a greyhound race at 3/8 mile.
Minus PoolA mutuel pool caused when one horse is so heavily played that, after deductions of state tax and commission, there is not enough money left to pay the legally prescribed minimum on each winning bet. The racing association usually makes up the difference.
Money RiderA rider who excels in rich races.
Monkey-on-a-StickType of riding with short stirrups popularized by old-time riding great Tod Sloan.
Morning GloryHorse that performs well in morning workouts but fails to reproduce that form in races.
Morning LineProbable odds on each horse in a race, as determined by a mathematical formula used by the track handicapper, who tries to gauge both the ability of the horse and the likely final odds as determined by the bettors.
Mount FeeThe fee earned by a jockey for riding in a race.
Move UpGain ground; run in a higher class race.
Muck OutClean a horse's stall.
MudderHorse that races well on muddy tracks. Also known as a "mudlark."
MuddyDeep condition of racetrack after being soaked with water. Horses who run will on wet tracks are generally referred to as mudders.
Muddy TrackDeep condition of racetrack after being soaked with water.
Mutuel ClerkAn employee of the racetrack that except the patrons money and issues the betting ticket.
Mutuel FieldSee entry.
Mutuel PoolShort for "pari-mutuel pool." Sum of the wagers on a race or event, such as the win pool, daily double pool, exacta pool, etc.
Name (Horse)Names of Thoroughbreds are registered by The Jockey Club. They can be no longer than 18 characters, including punctuation and spaces.
Name (Of a Thoroughbred)Names of North American Thoroughbreds are registered by The Jockey Club. They can be no longer than 18 characters, including punctuation and spaces. The words "the," "and," "by," "for," "in" and "a" are almost always lower case unless they are the first word in the name.
Near SideThe left side of a horse, the side on which a horse is mounted.
NeckA unit of measurement in racing about a quarter of a length, about the length of a race animal's neck.
NetlonBrand name for a plastic mesh which is mixed into the soil of a turf course. The grass roots grow around and through the mesh, helping to prevent divoting, especially in wet weather.
NightcapThe final race on a program.
NodLowering of head. To win by a nod, a horse extends its head with its nose touching the finish line ahead of a close competitor.
Nom De CourseName adopted by an owner or group of owners for racing purposes.
Nomination FeeA fee paid by an owner to keep his/her horse eligible for a upcoming horse race.
NominationsA list of the names of horses that have been entered for a race.
NominatorOne who owns a horse at the time it is named to compete in a stakes race.
Non StarterA horse which has failed to come within a reasonable distance of the mobile barrier may be declared as a non-starter of the race by the starter or Stewards. All bets placed on a horse which is later declared as a non-starter, are refunded.
NoseSmallest advantage a horse can win by. In England called a short head.
Nose BandA leather strap that goes over the bridge of a horse's nose to help secure the bridle. A "figure eight" nose band goes over the bridge of the nose and under the rings of the bit to help keep the horse's mouth closed. This keeps the tongue from sliding up over the bit and is used on horses that do not like having a tongue tie used.
OaksA classic race restricted to three-year-old fillies.
ObjectionA verbal or written statement against the eligibility of a horse for a particular race, or one made against the judge's placings in a race, after the all clear has been signaled (as opposed to a protest, in which the complaint is lodged before the all clear has been signaled).
Objection SignA sign displayed on the tote board to indicate a foul has been claimed.
OddsNumber indicating amount of profit per dollar to be paid to holders of winning pari-mutuels tickets.
Odds BoardA large signboard in the infield in front of the grandstand where the odds are posted, usually in lights. Other information may be listed, all part of the tote board.
Odds onThis a bet where you have to outlay more than you win.
Odds-onOdds of less than even money. In England it is simply called "on," thus a horse "5-4 on" is actually at odds of 4-5.
ODMOutside draw mobiles. Horses which are required to re-qualify before competing again in registered races, may also be excluded from the barrier draw for future events and classified ODM, which means it will automatically be drawn in an outside barrier (such as barrier ten off the second row). A trainer may also request that a horse be declared ODM if they believe it is in the best interests of the horse and other runners.
ODSOutside draw stands. (Similar to ODM, but in relation to standing start events).
Off BellThe bell that rings at the start of a race, shutting off the betting.
Off SideThe right side of a horse.
Off the BoardWhen the odds against a horse are more that 99-1; failure to finish in the money.
Off the PaceTo run behind the early leaders.
Off TrackAn off track refers to a wet racing surface.
OfficialThe designation given to the result of a race by the stewards/racing judges when any occurrences that affected the actual order of finish have been decided in terms of pari-mutuel payoffs to winning bettors.
Official MarginsThe length each horse in a race finished behind the winner, as determined by the judge. Official margins between the first and second placer, and second and third placer, are displayed for public viewing at the paceway.
Official ResultsSee official.
OfficialsPersons licensed by the state to ensure the rules of racing are enforced.
Off-TrackA racing surface that is not fast - muddy, sloppy, holding, binding or soft.
Off-Track BettingWagering at legalized betting outlets usually run by the tracks, management companies specializing in pari-mutuel wagering, or, in New York State, by independent corporations chartered by the state. Wagers at OTB sites are usually commingled with on-track betting pools.
On the BitWhen a horse is eager to run. Also known as "in the bridle."
On the BoardFinishing among the first three.
On the Fence/RailsA horse racing in a position next to the inside running rail.
On the MuscleDenotes a fit horse.
On the NoseBetting a horse to win only.
On the PaceA horse which is keeping up with the runner which is determining the speed of the race. It means it's right up there with a good chance of winning. In contrast, a horse which is just off the pace, is one which is slightly out of touch, but still has some chance of winning.
On the PaintA horse racing very close to the inside running rail, almost scraping the paint off the rails so to speak.
One BackThe runners behind the leader and the death horse are referred to as being one back. The horses behind these runners would be two back and so on.
One OutThe runners behind the horse in the one-one position are normally referred to as being one out (and two, three or four back etc, depending on its position). Similarly, a horse racing on the outside of the horse in the one-one, would be classified as being two out, a runner outside of this horse would be three out and so on.
Open ClassHorses, generally four years of age and older, which compete in races open to the most well-performed horses.
Open FractureSee compound fracture.
Open RaceA race with wide open eligibility conditions, permitting entry of a wide variety of horses.
Optional ClaimerA race for horses entered to be claimed at a fixed price or a price within a limited range.
OutAn outstanding uncashed pari-mutuel ticket.
Out of LinePrice not consistent with a horse's ability.
Out of PositionA horse which is not in its designated barrier position at the start of a mobile event is deemed to have been out of position at the start.
Out of the MoneyWhen a horse does not finish in the first three for the bettors.
OutriderThe person who leads the post parade at a horse racetrack and gets the horses and jockeys to the starting gates on time. The outriders also catch any loose horses on the track.
Outside DrawThe barrier positions furthest away from the inside running rail. For instance, in a ten horse standing start event, barrier six on the front line or barrier ten on the second line, would be considered an outside draw.
Outside DriveA driver who regularly drives for his own stable, or that of another trainer, who is employed to drive a pacer for someone else, is considered to have picked up an outside drive.
Outside FenceThe outside running rail, closest to the spectators.
Outstanding TicketA winning pari-mutuel ticket that has not yet been cashed; also known as uncashed tickets or outs.
Over at the KneeA leg that looks like it has a forward arc with its center at the knee when viewed from the side.
Overall TimeThis is the time taken to complete the distance of the race, as opposed to the mile rate.
OverlandRacing wide throughout, outside of other horses.
OverlayA horse going off at a higher price than he appears to warrant based on his past performances.
OvernightThe sheet available to horsemen at the racing secretary's office showing the entries, post positions, weights and jockeys for the next race day.
Overnight LineApproximate odds quoted the night before the race.
Overnight RaceA race in which entries close a specific number of hours before running (such as 48 hours), as opposed to a stakes race for which nominations close weeks and sometimes months in advance.
Overnight StakeA race designed by the racing secretary for the local race horse. These races usually have smaller purses and small nominating fees.
OvernightsThe sheets of paper listing entries for the following day.
OverpayA case where the price paid to winning ticket-holders is more than the correct price, due to computer or human error.
Over-ReachingToe of hind shoe striking forelegs on heel, or back of coronet.
OverweightThe pounds that a horse carries in excess of its officially assigned weight because the jockey is too heavy.
P.R.B.T.Pre Race Blood Test: Indicates this horse was subject to a random blood test prior to his/her race.
PaceThe speed of the leaders at each stage of the race.
PacesetterThe horse that is running in front (on the lead).
PaddockApproximately 25 minutes before they race, horses are brought from the barn area to the paddock. They are led to a row of stalls where they are inspected and identified by track officials, ensuring that the correct horses run in the race. After they have been inspected, the horses are saddled and led to a walking ring where owners, trainers and jockeys await them.
Paddock JudgeIn horse racing, the racing official responsible for getting jockeys and horses in order to go to the starting gate; also checks the equipment used by each horse and supervises the saddling of the horses. In greyhound racing, the racing official responsible for supervising the lead-outs, identifying greyhounds, and checking muzzles and blankets.
PaintCounter-irritant used to increase blood supply, blood flow and to promote healing in the leg. A mild form of blistering.
PalmerBack of the front limb from the knee down.
PanelA slang term for a furlong.
Pari-mutuelA form of wagering originating in France in which all money bet is divided up among those who have winning tickets, after fees and other deductions are made.
Parked OutA horse racing on the outside, with at least one horse between it and the inside rail or barrier.
ParlayA multi-race bet in which all winnings are subsequently wagered on each succeeding race.
PartUsed by the International Cataloguing Standards Committee to separate races from different countries for sales cataloguing purposes. Races of Part I countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, the United States, the Hong Kong International Cup and the Japan Cup) are accepted for black-type and graded purposes; races of Part II countries (Belgium, Hong Kong [except Hong Kong International Cup, see above], India, Japan [except Japan Cup, see above], Malaysia, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Scandinavia, Singapore, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela) are accepted for black-type purposes only, with no grade or group designators; races of Part III countries (all others) are not accepted for cataloguing purposes.
Part WheelUsing a key horse or horses in different, but not all possible, exotic wagering combinations. See wheel.
Past PerformanceInformation on a race animal's most recent races and works for handicapping purposes.
Past PerformancesA compilation in Daily Racing Form of a horse's record, including all pertinent data, as a basis for handicapping.
Pasteboard TrackA lightning fast racing surface.
Patrol JudgeA racing official strategically located at different location on the racetrack to observe the horses and jockeys while they race and report any infraction to the stewards.
Patrol Judge(s)Official(s) who observe the progress of a race from various vantage points around the track.
Patrol JudgesOfficials who observe progress of race from various vantage points around the track.
Pattern RaceSee group race.
PayoffThe amount of money retuned on a successful bet.
PeepA horse finishing third.
PegsThe most recent term for the inside running rail. At many tracks these days, the railing itself has been removed, leaving behind markers or pegs which indicate where the inside of the track is.
PenaltiesExtra weight a horse must carry, especially in a handicap.
Phantom Race CallA make-believe description of a race that has not yet been held, or of an imaginary race.
PhotoA series of photographs taken split seconds apart of a race finish. Taken at every finish, they are posted for public viewing where a neck or less separates any of the first four horses.
Photo FinishA result so close it is necessary to use the finish-line camera to determine the order of finish.
PhotofinishA very close finish in which only careful viewing of the photo finish picture can determine the order of finish. Also, the equipment used by the officials to determine which race animal wins a close race.
PickA type of multi-race wager in which the winners of all the included races must be selected. Pick three, pick six and pick nine are common.
Pick (Number)A type of multi-race wager in which the winners of all the included races must be selected. Pick Three (sometimes called the "Daily Triple"), Pick Six and Pick Nine are common.
Pick Six (Or More)A type of wager in which the winners of all the included races must be selected.
PillA small, numbered ball used in a blind draw to determine post positions.
Pinched backA horse forced back due to racing in close quarters.
PinhookerA person who buys a racehorse with the specific intention of re-selling it at a profit.
Pinhooker; PinhookTo buy a horse at auction for the purpose of reselling him later.
Pipe OpenerExercise at a moderate speed. Also a breeze.
Pipe-OpenerExercise at a brisk speed.
PlaceA horse runs a place if it finishes in the first three in fields of eight or more horses. If there are only six or seven runners the horse must finish first or second to place.
Place BetBetting a horse will finish second in a race, as against straight or show.
Place PoolThe total amount bet in any race on horses to place. Statutory deductions are removed according to law.
Placing JudgeThe racing official in charge of the official placing or order of finish of race animals during and after the running of a race through the viewing of the race, especially at the finish, and the viewing of the photo finish strip with the stewards/racing judges.
Placing JudgesOfficials who determine the order in which horses reach the finish line.
Plate(s)1) A prize for a winner. Usually less valuable than a cup. 2) Generic term for lightweight (usually) aluminum horseshoes used during a race.
Plater1) Claiming horse. 2) A farrier.
PlatesShoes horses wear in races. Racing plates.
PlatterClaiming horse. Also a farrier.
PloddingA horse which is not racing as quickly as its ability allows is simply plodding along.
PocketSee boxed in. A horse in a pocket is unable to obtain a clear run because it has other runners situated in front, behind and to the side of it.
Point(s) of CallA race animal's position at various locations on the racetrack where its running position is noted on a chart. The locations vary with the distance of the race.
PoleMarkers at measured distances around the track, marking the distance from the finish. The quarter pole, for instance, is a quarter of a mile from the finish, not from the start.
Pole PositionThe number one barrier position, which is on the front line closest to the inside fence.
Pole(s)1) Markers at measured distances around the track designating the distance from the finish. The quarter pole, for instance, is a quarter of a mile from the finish, not from the start. 2) The top of the head, between the ears.
PolesThe markers around the track indicating the distance to the finish line. The quarter pole, for instance, is a quarter of a mile from the finish, not from the start.
PonyAny horse or pony that leads the parade of the field from paddock to starting gate. Also, a horse or pony which accompanies a starter to the starting gate. Also can be used as a verb He was ponied to the gate. Also known as a lead pony.
Pony PersonA person on horseback who accompanies a horse and jockey to the starting gate.
PoolMutuel pool. Total sum bet on a race or even, such as the win pool, daily double pool, exacta pool.
PopularityHarness racing outranks flat and jump racing (combined) in races run, prize money paid and betting turnover in every mainland country of Europe, except Spain and Greece. Trotting accounts for 51% of racing prize money in France, 57% in Germany, 62% in Italy and 90% or over in Scandinavia.
Post1) Starting point for a race. 2) An abbreviated version of post position He drew post four. 3) As a verb, to record a win He's posted 10 wins in 14 starts.
Post ParadeThe time period before the race when race animals leave the paddock, come onto the racetrack, and parade in front of the grandstands for review by patrons.
Post PositionA race animal's position in the starting gate/box from the inside rail out, decided by a drawing at the close of entries before the race.
Post TimeThe official time set by the stewards/racing judges and the mutuel department at which a race will start.
Post WeightA greyhound's official weight reported before the greyhound enters the racetrack.
PosteriorSituated behind or toward the rear.
Preference ListA system used by racing secretaries to give preference in entries to horses that have not raced recently. The system is designed to ensure equity in determining which horses entered in a race will be allowed to race if there are more entries than available places in the race.
Preferred ListHorses with prior rights to starting, usually because they have previously been entered in races that have not filled with the minimum number of starters.
PreliminaryThe warm-up given to a horse on the track just prior to its race. Runners are usually let out onto the track around ten minutes before the start of a race to warm up.
PreludeA race designed as a lead-up for a major event, however, as opposed to heats, the winners and placers of a prelude are not automatically included in the field for the final or major race. For instance, the Qantas Sprints are held the week before the Miracle Mile and are referred to as preludes. The winners of these preludes may or may not be invited to contest the Miracle Mile.
Prep (Or Prep Race)A workout or a race to prepare a horse for a future engagement.
Prep (Race)A workout (or race) used to prepare a race animal for a future engagement.
PreparationThe period of time that a horse races for. Standardbreds usually have a spell or rest before returning to the race track for their next preparation.
PriceEquivalent odds to $1 which a horse paid, or would have paid if he had won.
ProgramThe official program published and sold by the racing association. The program contains information about each race on the day's racing card, including race number, conditions, distance, types of betting, animals' names, numbers, jockeys, and weight.
PropRefusing to break with field from gate. Standing flat-footed. Also, when a horse suddenly stops running a full speed by extending his forefeet as "brakes."
ProtestA verbal or written dissent regarding the placings of a particular race, which is made to the stewards before the all clear is signaled. Connections of one of the horses in a race, for instance, may believe that they would have finished in a better position had in not been for the interference or inconvenience caused by another runner, and therefore issue a protest against that offending horse. The stewards will then defer the all clear (a protest is signified by a warning type siren as opposed to the all clear siren) until an inquiry or investigation into these claims can be made. They may agree with the claims and uphold the protest, in which case the placings may be amended, or they may disagree and dismiss the protest, in which case the placings would remain the same.
Public TrainerOne whose services are not exclusively engaged by a single stable and who accepts horses from a number of owners.
Pull UpTo stop or slow a horse during or after a race or workout.
Pulled the PlugsDrivers who pull the plugs during a race are merely releasing the ear plugs that have been in their horse's ears up until that time. Ear plugs can help keep a horse's mind on the job and help nervy horses stay calm leading up to and during part of the race. When released, (often as the horse gets closer to the finish) the sudden exposure to more noise may help spur on the horse.
Pulled UpA horse which has finished a race has pulled up. The term can also refer to the act of a driver stopping his horse from competing in a race, while that race is still in progress, for example, because of injury or broken gear.
PullingSome horses get fired-up during a race and try to run faster than the tempo of the other runners. These horses are 'pulling'. Horses that pull will usually waste a lot of energy in the process, leaving little in reserve for the finish.
Pulling OutA horse which is pulling out in a race is one which is coming from a rails or running line position and heading out wider on the track in an effort to secure a clear run.
PunterAn investor or person who places bets on the outcome of a race.
Purple PatchRefers to form or performance. A horse or trainer has hit a "purple patch" when experiencing a run of success.
PurseThe total monetary amount distributed after a race to the owners of the entrants who have finished in the (usually) top four or five positions. Some racing jurisdictions may pay purse money through other places.
QuadrellaYou have to correctly select the winner of four specific races nominated by your TAB. The selected races vary from state to state.
Quarantine1) A process used to isolate foreign horses for a short period of time to ensure they are not carrying any diseases. May be at a racetrack, airport or specially designated facility. Horses must be cleared by a federal veterinarian before being released from quarantine. 2) Any facility used to keep infected horses away from the general equine population.
QuarterRefers to a quarter of a mile. There are four quarters in the last mile of every race, which is used when determining sectional times.
Quarter CrackThis is a crack found in the wall of the hoof in the area of the quarter. It usually runs from the bottom of the wall up to the coronet.
Quarter HorseBreed of horse especially fast for a quarter of a mile, from which its name is derived.
Quarter PoleColored post at infield rail exactly two furlongs from the finish line.
Quarter White Stocking (Leg Markings)The white marking extends up to and includes the lower one-quarter of the cannon.
QuinellaWager in which first two finishers must be picked, but payoff is made no matter which of the two wins and which runs second.
Quinella PoolThe total amount bet in a race designated as a quinella.
RabbitA horse that is considered to have little chance of winning a race but is entered purely to ensure a fat pace and tire out the other front-runners, softening up the competition for the benefit of an entrymate.
Race CallThe description of a race while it is in process, which includes such things as the positions of the runners at different stages, any moves made by drivers, and any incidents that occur. A race is called or described by a race caller.
Raced OutsideSee the death.
Racing AssociationA company that holds a license from the state racing commission to operate a pari-mutuel racetrack.
Racing CommissionAn appointed body of men and women which governs and polices racing where legislation has been passed to permit use of the pari-mutuels system in connection with horse racing.
Racing ConditionsThe physical conditions involved in a race.
Racing DatesSpecific dates allotted to horse and dog tracks to conduct business by racing commissions charged with granting licenses and monitoring the conduct of these tracks in conformation with the official rules of racing in their states.
Racing JudgeA greyhound racing official who presides over a race meeting, has jurisdiction over all racing officials, rules on protests, and imposes fines and suspensions. In Texas, all three racing judges presiding at a race meeting are Commission employees.
Racing PlateA very light horseshoe with a toe grab or cleat for better traction.
Racing SecretaryThe racing official who writes the conditions for the races, assigns the weights for handicap races, receives entries, conducts the draw, and is responsible for the operation and organization of the race office.
Racing SoundA horse able to race and pass all veterinarian test, but not 100%.
RailA barrier that forms the inside and outside perimeter of the racing surface. Also, at a greyhound racetrack, the metal strip that runs alongside the inside of the track on which the lure operates.
Rail RunnerA race animal that prefers to run next to the inside rail.
Rails RunA horse can be stuck on the fence behind the leader, with other runners behind and next to it, and unable to get a clear run to the finish line. However, sometimes the leader will move out wider on the track when under pressure in the run home, enabling the horse to scoot through along the rail to the finish line
Raised BarBar plate which helps prevent running down.
RankA horse that refuses to settle under a jockey's handling in a race, running in a headstrong manner without respect to pace.
RateTo restrain a horse early in a race, conserving its energies for later challenges.
RattleUsed in the expression He likes to hear his feet rattle, a horse that likes a firm turf course.
Receiving BarnWhere horses stabled at other tracks are kept before they go to the paddock for their races. After the race, horses that get tagged for testing report here.
Red BoardOld-time method of declaring a race official, by posting a red flag or board on the tote board.
Redboard1) Old-time method of declaring a race official, by posting a red flag or board on the tote board. 2) A mildly derogatory phrase used to describe someone who claims to have selected the winner-but always after the race.
Refuse1) When a horse will not break from the gate. 2) In jumping races, balking at a jump.
ReinsLong straps, usually made of leather, that are connected to the bit and used by the jockey to control the horse.
Reinsman / ReinswomanAnother term for driver.
Relegation RuleA rule which gives Stewards the power to relegate a horse/s to a different finishing position, should they believe, for example, it destroyed the chances of another runner which would have definitely finished ahead of it.
ReplaysFilms of races played back for the benefit of fans and officials after the completion of a race.
RequalifyA horse which has raced intractably in a registered event, or causes a false start or behaves intractably at the start, may be barred from racing by the Stewards until it can perform satisfactorily in one or more qualifying trials. Once the horse has achieved this, the horse has requalified to start in registered events.
ReserveA minimum price, set by the consignor, for a horse in a public auction The horse did not reach its reserve.
ReservedHeld for a particular engagement or race. Also, held off the pace.
Restricted RacesRaces which only certain horses are eligible for, meaning the race is restricted to a select group. A restricted race may be based on a horse's age, gender, winnings, or a combination of factors, for example, one that is restricted to two-year-old fillies only.
Restricted StakesA stakes race in which conditions limit the participants based upon certain criteria. The more common restricted stakes races are state-bred races and races written for horses purchased through or consigned to a certain sale.
Return to ScaleThe period between the finish of the race and the signalling of the all clear. This term originated from the galloping code of racing, with jockeys having to return to the scale to check their weight before the all-clear for a race can be given.
Ridden OutFinishing a race without rider urging him to do his utmost, even though he has a wide margin over the second horse.
Ride ShortUsing short stirrup leathers.
RimHorseshoe with long cleats or grabs on outer rim.
RingerA horse racing under the name and identity of another, or under a fictitious name.
RNA"Reserve not achieved." See reserve.
RoanA horse color where the majority of the coat of the horse is a mixture of red and white hairs or brown and white hairs. The mane, tail and legs may be black, chestnut or roan unless white markings are present. Starting with foals of 1993, the color classifications gray and roan were combined as "roan or gray." See gray.
RogueAn ill-tempered horse.
RompRunning (or winning) with utmost ease.
Round RobinA series of parlay bets on more than one horse in each race, betting all horses in the parlays in every possible combination.
RouteBroadly, a race distance of longer than 1- miles.
Route RaceA race run at a mile or longer, generally around two turns.
RouterA race horse that performs well at longer distances.
RuckRear end of the field.
Ruled OffWhen the stewards/racing judges or a racing association forbid a person to enter the grounds of the racetrack. Also known as an "exclusion".
Rules of RacingOfficial rules approved by the body responsible for the conduct of racing in conformance with the legislation permitting these races to be held in most cases, a Racing Commission.
Run DownA change of odds in a book making establishment caused by heavy betting on a horse or horses; Abrasion to the horses heel.
RundownOf a horse, to suffer abrasions on the heels as a result of contact with the dirt and sand of the track surface.
Rundown BandagesBandages on the hind legs, usually with a pad inside, to keep a horse from scraping his heels when he runs. Also rundown wraps.
RunnerA messenger who makes bets and cashes winning tickets for patrons of a track.
Running DoubleYou have to correctly select the winner in two consecutive races.
Running LineHorses which are referred to as being in the running line are those racing behind the horses who occupy the death seat and one-one position. These horses are one out on the track and are racing with cover.
Running RailAnother term for fence. It is the structure which acts as a barrier between the centre of the track (inside running rail) and the viewing facilities (outside running rail).
Run-Out BitA special type of bit to prevent a horse from bearing out (or in).
SaddleA Thoroughbred racing saddle is the lightest saddle used, weighing less than two pounds.
Saddle ClothA cotton cloth which goes under the saddle to absorb sweat. It usually has the horse's program number and sometimes, in major races, its name.
Saddle Cloth (Towel)A cloth under the saddle on which program numbers are displayed.
Saddle PadA piece of felt, sheepskin, or more usually, foam rubber, used as a base for the saddle.
SaddleclothThe device which displays the horse's barrier position within a race, and in some cases, the colour of the saddlecloth refers to the race number.
Saliva TestLaboratory test to determine if a horse has been drugged or overdosed with permitted medication.
SavageWhen a horse bites another horse or a person.
Save GroundTo cover the shortest possible distance in a race.
Scale of WeightsA schedule of set weights that must be carried by horses according to age, sex, distance and time of year to equalize competition.
SchoolTo train a race animal.
SchoolingProcess of familiarizing a horse with the starting gate and teaching it racing practices. A horse may also be schooled in the paddock. In steeplechasing, more particularly to teach a horse to jump.
Schooling ListList of horses required by the starter to school at the starting gate before being permitted to race.
Schooling RaceA practice race held using actual racing conditions, but in which no wagering is allowed.
Score-UpThe movement behind the mobile barrier before a start is initiated. All horses should be in their respective positions when the mobile gate begins to move. The mobile vehicle gradually increases its acceleration throughout the score-up until it reaches the starting point when the field is released.
ScratchTo be taken out of a race before it starts. Trainers usually scratch horses due to adverse track conditions or a horse's adverse health. A veterinarian can scratch a horse at any time.
Scratch SheetA daily publication that includes graded handicaps, tips, and scratches.
Scratch TimeThe deadline established by the race office for horses to be scratched before printing the official program.
ScratchingA horse that is withdrawn (or scratched) from a race before the start. Horses can be scratched because of illness or injury.
Screw FixationA procedure in which steel-alloy screws are surgically inserted to hold together a fractured bone.
Second CallA secondary mount of a jockey in a race in the event the jockey's primary mount does not draw into the race.
Second DamGrandmother of a horse. Also known as a "granddam."
Second SireHorse's paternal grandfather.
Sectional TimeThere are four sectional times in every race, which are the four quarters of the last mile (1609m). An acceptable set of sectionals or quarters would read 30.5 seconds, 31.0, 29.5, 29.5, to equal the last mile in 2:00.5 (two minutes and five seconds).
SellerA track employee who sells pari-mutuel tickets.
Selling RaceSee claiming race.
Sensitive LaminaeThe area of the hoof that contains nerves and vessels.
SetA group of horses being exercised together.
Set Down1) A suspension The jockey was set down five days for careless riding. 2) When a jockey assumes a lower crouch in the saddle while urging the horse to pick up speed The horse was set down for the drive to the wire.
Seven FurlongsSeven-eighths of a mile; 1,540 yards; 4,620 feet.
Sex AllowanceFemale horses (fillies and mares), according to their age and the time of year, are allowed to carry three to five pounds less when meeting males.
Shadow RollIf a horse has been shying away from sudden changes in light that naturally occurs on the racetrack, it may be equipped with a shadow roll. This is a large Sheepskin band that is fitted over a horse's nose to keep its eyes focused forward and away from distractions underfoot.
ShankRope or strap attached to a halter or bridle by which a horse is led.
Shed RowThe stable area with barns and walk-ways under a roof.
ShedrowStable area. A row of barns.
SheetsA handicapping tool assigning a numerical value to each race run by a horse to enable different horses running at different racetracks to be objectively compared.
Shift OutTo veer out wide on the track while racing. A horse may shift out when racing under pressure, and may sometimes cross into the path of other runners.
Ship-inHorses that have to travel to be able to race.
ShortA horse in need of more work or racing to reach winning form.
Short FieldA race with seven or fewer race animals.
ShortenersThe implements used to shorten the length of a horse's hopples. Sometimes horses need a smaller stride during the beginning of a race, in order to ensure they maintain their gait and don't race too fiercely. In this case, a trainer would use hopple shorteners, which are pulled out at a later stage during the race to enable the horse to increase its stride and therefore speed.
ShowThird position at the finish.
Show BetWager on a horse to finish in the money; third or better.
Shut OffUnable to improve position due to being surrounded by other horses.
Side BoneThis is an ossification of the lateral cartilages that are located just above the quarters of the hoof. It is seldom seen in thoroughbreds and is generally considered a disease of old horses.
SilksJacket and cap worn by riders to designate owner of the horse, or at some smaller tracks, to designate post positions (e.g., yellow for post position one, blue for two, etc.).
Silks (Also Called Colors)A jockey's racing shirt and cap displaying the owner's or post position colors.
Silky SullivanA horse that makes a big run from far back. Named for the horse Silky Sullivan, who once made up 41 lengths to win a race.
SimulcastA simultaneous live television transmission of a race to other tracks, off-track betting offices or other outlets for the purpose of wagering.
SireThe male parent, or father, of a horse.
Sires' StakesMost Australian states have a Sires' Stakes programme. A horse is eligible for a Sires' Stakes series or race if his or her sire was at stud in that particular State where the horse was conceived. Therefore, horses whose sire stood in NSW are eligible for NSW Sires' Stakes races, which are programmed for two, three and four-year-olds.
SitTo race in a trailing position, see trail.
Six FurlongsThree-quarter of a mile; 1,320 yards, 3,960 feet.
SixteenthOne-sixteenth of a mile; 110 yards, 330 feet.
Skinned TrackDirt racing strip as opposed to a turf or grass course.
SleeperAn underrated race animal.
SlippedA breeding term meaning spontaneous abortion.
SloppyA racing surface on which the cushion is saturated, but the base is still firm. Footing is splashy but even, and the running time remains fast.
Sloppy (Track)A racing strip that is saturated with water; with standing water visible.
Sloppy TrackA condition of a racetrack which reflects standing water.
SlowA track with some moisture in it that is not fast, between good and heavy.
Slow (Track)A racing strip that is wet on both the surface and base.
Slow TrackA racing surface wetter than good, but not as thick as muddy. Footing is still wet, between heavy and good.
Smart MoneyInsider's bets.
SnipA small patch of white hairs on the nose or lips of a horse.
Snip (Head Marking)A separate white or flesh colored marking found between the nostrils or on the lips.
SnugMild restraining hold by rider.
SocksSolid white markings on a horse extending from the top of the hoof to the ankles.
Soft (Track)Condition of a turf course with a large amount of moisture. Horses sink very deeply into it.
Soft RunAn easy run. A horse which is not put under pressure in the running of the race, by receiving a favourable position throughout. For instance, a horse which travels in the one-one for most of the race, or travels in the lead without being taken on, may be referred to as having had a soft run.
SophomoreA three-year-old horse.
SophomoresThree-year-old horses. Called sophomores because age three is the second year of racing eligibility.
Speed FigureA handicapping tool used to assign a numerical value to a horse's performance. See Beyer number.
Speed Index (Si)A comparison of a horse's time in a race versus other times at the same track at the same distance.
SpellThe resting period between preparations or racing. Horses cannot remain in peak form and hard training all year round. Sooner or later they become stale and require a spell so that their system may regenerate.
Spelling PaddockThe resting place for a horse having a spell from racing. Sometimes it is used instead of the word spell - meaning, a horse has been sent to the spelling paddock, instead of a horse has been sent for a spell.
Spit BoxA generic term describing a barn where horses are brought for post-race testing. Tests may include saliva, urine and/or blood.
Spit the BitA term referring to a tired horse that begins to run less aggressively, backing off on the "pull" a rider normally feels on the reins from an eager horse. Also used as a generic term for an exhausted horse.
Splint1) Either of the two small bones that lie along the sides of the cannon bone. 2) The condition where calcification occurs on the splint bone causing a bump. This can result from response to a fracture or other irritation to the splint bone. A common injury is a "popped splint," see periostitis.
SplitA gap between two horses, usually towards the finish of a race, through which a fast finishing runner may race for the winning post.
Spring HaltInvoluntary elevation of the hind legs.
SprintA horse race around one turn less than 1 mile long; a greyhound race of 5/16 mile.
Sprint RaceA race run at less than a mile, generally with only one turn.
SprinterA race animal that shows a preference for short distances.
Square GaitingAnother term describing the gait of a trotter. When trotting or square gaiting, a horse stretches its left front and right rear legs forward almost simultaneously and then follows suit with its right front and left rear legs.
Stable EntryTwo or more horses in same race whose owners share financial interests.
StablesAreas, enclosures or places on a Paceway used for the accommodation of horses competing at a meeting. Stables may also refer to the areas on a trainer's property or other property where their horses are accommodated.
Stacked UpThe opposite to strung out. In a field which is stacked up, the distances between the leader, rear horse and all other runners will be quite small.
StakeA race (usually a feature race) for which owner must pay up a fee to run a horse. The fees can be for nominating, maintaining eligibility, entering and starting, to which the track adds more money to make up the total purse. Some stakes races ar e by invitation and require no payment or fee.
Stake RaceA race for which owners nominate race animals and pay fees to be added to the purse.
StakesA race for which the owner usually must pay a fee to run a horse. The fees can be for nominating, maintaining eligibility, entering and starting, to which the track adds more money to make up the total purse. Some stakes races are by invitation and require no payment or fee.
Stakes HorseA horse whose level of competition includes mostly stakes races.
Stakes ProducerA mare that has produced at least one foal that finished first in a stakes race.
Stakes-PlacedFinishing first, second or third in a stakes race.
Stall WalkerHorse that moves about its stall constantly and frets rather than rests.
StallionA male horse, generally retired from racing, that stands at stud and is used for breeding purposes.
Stallion SeasonThe right to breed one mare to a particular stallion during one breeding season.
Stallion ShareA lifetime breeding right to a stallion; one mare per season per share.
StandardbredMost harness racehorses in Britain, North America and Australasia are 'Standardbreds', so called because the American harness studbook, begun last century, used the ability to cover a mile in a 'standard' time (initially 2 min 30 secs) as the criteria for entry. In Europe the French Trotter, the Sandinavian 'cold-blood' and the Russian Orlov are also used in harness racing, though Standardbreds and Standardbred crosses predominate everywhere except in France.
Standing BandagesSee bandage.
Standing StartsA race start in which the horses are stationary at the time of release. A tape is drawn across in front of the runners and then released when the starter begins the event. Sometimes horses can be slow to get into a pace or trotting gait, and will often gallop way, ruining their chances in the race.
Star1) Any of a number of white markings on the forehead. (The forehead is defined as being above an imaginary line connecting the tops of the eyes.) 2) A type of credit a horse receives from the racing secretary if it is excluded from an over-filled race, giving it priority in entering future races.
StarterThe person responsible for starting a harness race, whether it be a mobile or standing start event. In a mobile event, the starter controls the start of the race from the back of the mobile vehicle, while in a standing start event, the starter controls the start from the track sidelines. The starter also decides when and if a false start should be declared.
Starter AllowanceAn allowance or handicap race restricted to horses that have started for a specific claiming price or less.
Starter RaceAn allowance or handicap race restricted to horses that have started for a specific claiming price or less.
Starters AllowanceAn allowance or handicap race restricted to horses which have started for a specific claiming race.
Starter's ListList of horses ruled out of action by the official starter because of chronic misbehavior at gate.
Starting BoxAn electro-mechanical device from which the greyhounds begin a race.
Starting GateAn electro-mechanical structure in which the horses are loaded. All stall doors open simultaneously when the starter dispatches the field, ensuring a fair start.
StayerA horse which has the endurance to race well over long distances. Sometimes a person will comment that a horse can 'stay all day'. This means the horse in question is a good stayer and will continue to race at a said pace for however long is asked of them.
SteadiedA horse being taken in hand by his rider, usually because of being in close quarters.
SteeplechaseA race in which horses are required to jump over a series of obstacles on the course. Also known as a "chase."
Step UpA horse moving up in class to meet better competition.
Stepped Away CleanlyIn a standing start event, a pacer or trotter which begins well (goes straight into their gait) when the start is affected, is referred to as having stepped away cleanly.
Steps UpA horse moving up in class to meet better runners.
StewardA horse racing official who presides over a race meeting, has jurisdiction over all racing officials, rules on protests and claims of foul, and imposes fines and suspensions. In Texas, all three stewards presiding at a race meeting are Commission employees.
StewardsThe persons appointed by the Harness Racing Authority to assist in the control of racing and other matters related to the sport. They ensure all rules relating to racing and betting are observed and enforced. Stewards are required to regulate, control and inquire into and adjudicate on the conduct of officials, owners, trainers, drivers, persons attending to horses, bookmakers and clerks - at any event where licensed persons are involved.
StickA jockey's whip, also called a bat.
StickersCalks on shoes which give a horse better traction in mud or on soft tracks.
StifleThe large joint above the hock which is made up by the femur, the patella and the tibia.
StipesAnother term for the Stewards. The correct term is stipendiary stewards, hence the shortened nick-name of stipes.
StockingsSolid white markings or a horse extending from the top of the hoof to the knee or hock.
StraightBetting on a horse to win a race.
Straight as a StringDescriptive of a horse running at top speed.
Straight BetA straight bet means to wager a particular animal will either win, place, or show.
Straight SixYou have to correctly select the winner of six consecutive nominated races. There are some huge collects available if you can!
StraightawayStraight part of a race course.
StrapperA groom, the person who assists the trainer, cares for the horse or helps to put on its equipment. Also known as an attendant.
StretchThe final straightaway portion of the racetrack to the finish line.
Stretch CallThe position of the race animals at designated pole markers, dependent upon the length of the race.
Stretch RunnerHorse that runs its fastest nearing the finish of a race.
Stretch TurnBend of track into the final straightaway.
StrideOf a horse, its way of running or the ground it covers after each foot been in contact with the track once.
StripMarkings of a horse. White hairs running part-way down the face.
StripeA white marking running down a horse's face, starting under an imaginary line connecting the tops of the eyes.
Strung OutA field of horses in a race in which the distances between the leader, the rear horse and the other runners is quite great. Such a field would be referred to as being well strung out.
StudA farm or stable or place where registered stallions and/or mares are located for breeding purposes.
Stud BookRegistry and genealogical record of Thoroughbreds, maintained by the Jockey Club of the country in question. Use lower case when describing a generic stud book, all words, including "The," are capitalized when describing "The American Stud Book."
SubscriptionFee paid by owner to nominate a horse for a stakes race or to maintain eligibility for a stakes race.
Substitute RaceAn alternate race used to replace a regularly scheduled race that does not fill or is canceled.
SucklingA foal in its first year of life, while it is still nursing.
SulkWhen a horse refuses to extend himself.
SulkyAlso known as the cart or gig, the sulky is the contraption attached to the harness which carries the driver and which the horse pulls. A modern sulky has two bicycle tyres and weighs around 25kg.
Suspend (Or Suspension)Punishment for infraction of rules. Offender denied privileges of racetrack for specified period of time. If permanently suspended: Ruled Off.
SuspensionA driver or trainer who is deemed, by the stewards, to have broken one or more of the rules of harness racing, may receive a suspension as punishment. A suspension means a driver cannot participate in any race and a trainer may not train for a set period of time. The length of time a trainer or driver is suspended is decided by the Stewards in relation to the severity of their offence. For instance, a driver with a previously unblemished record would receive a lighter penalty than another who had previously offended. A horse can also be placed under suspension, in which case it would be debarred from racing.
SwabbingThe taking of blood and/or urine samples from a horse for analysis by a testing laboratory. The stewards may direct any horse to be swabbed before or after it has raced, irrespective of where it finishes in the race. The samples are tested by the laboratory for any irregularities or prohibited substances or drugs. A positive swab is one which has been found to contain a prohibited substance.
SwaybackHorse with a prominent concave shape of the backbone, usually just behind the withers (saddle area). Scoliosis.
Sweating UpA horse which is sweating up has a lather of frothy looking sweat all over its body. This sweat may develop on a nervous, fractious or fired-up horse before it races, or on a horse that has experienced a hard run during a race, or one that is just plain hot.
SweepersThose horses which were racing at the rear of the field but are moved out to race wide on the track by their drivers in order to get a clear run down the home straight towards the finish line.
Tack1) Rider's racing equipment. Also applied to stable gear. 2) As a verb, a jockey, including his/her equipment, as in He tacks 112 pounds.
Tailed OffA horse that drops so far back during a race, that it is out of touch with the rest of the field.
Take (Or Takeout)Commission deducted from mutuel pools which is shared by the track and local and state governing bodies in the form of tax.
Take (Takeout)Commission deducted from mutuel pools which is shared by the track, horsemen (in the form of purses) and local and state governing bodies in the form of tax.
Taken onSee attacked. The leader of the race is sometimes "taken on" by another runner.
Taken UpA horse pulled up sharply by his rider because of being in close quarters.
TakeoutThe percentage taken out of every dollar wager, and split between state, track and purses; generally, in pari-mutuel racing, the percentage taken out is usually between 15-20% for straight wagers and 20-25% for exotic wagers.
TattooA form of identification in which race animals are marked. Horses are tattooed under the upper lip; greyhounds are tattooed on the ear.
TeaserA male horse used at breeding farms to determine whether a mare is ready to receive a stallion.
TellerSee mutuel clerk.
The 'death'Also known as the death seat. The position outside the leader, one horse off the rails or fence. The death is usually the toughest run in a race because a horse will have to cover more ground than the inside competitors as well as bear the brunt of the wind resistance.
The Jockey ClubAn organization dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing. Incorporated Feb. 10, 1894 in New York City, The Jockey Club serves as North America's Thoroughbred registry, responsible for the maintenance of "The American Stud Book," a register of all Thoroughbreds foaled in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada; and of all Thoroughbreds imported into those countries from jurisdictions that have a registry recognized by The Jockey Club and the International Stud Book Committee.
The 'one-One'The position occupied by the horse immediately behind the death position. It means the said horse is one runner off the rails and one runner back. The one-one is also referred to as the one out, one back trail. It is a desirable position as it provides cover from the wind and is close enough to tackle for the lead.
The StickA slang term for the whip used by drivers.
ThoroughbredA Thoroughbred is a horse whose parentage traces back to any of the three "founding sires" the Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk and Godolphin Barb, and who has satisfied the rules and requirements of The Jockey Club and is registered in "The American Stud Book" or in a foreign stud book recognized by The Jockey Club and the International Stud Book Committee. Any other horse, no matter what its parentage, is not considered a Thoroughbred for racing and/or breeding purposes.
Thoroughbred Racing Associations (Tra)An industry group comprised of many of the racetracks in North America.
Three WideThe same position that a horse which is two out occupies, in the third row of horses out from the inside rail. Similarly, a horse which is three out would be racing four wide (in the fourth row of horses out from the inside rail). Three and four wide is also termed three and four deep.
Three-Eighths PoleColored pole at inside rail, exactly three furlongs from the finish line.
Three-Quarter PoleColored pole at inside rail, exactly six furlongs from the finish line.
Three-Quarter White Pastern (Leg Markings)The lower three-quarters of the pastern is white.
Three-Quarter White Stocking (Leg Markings)The white marking extends up to and includes the lower three-quarters of the cannon.
TightReady to race.
Tightener1) A race used to give a horse a level of fitness that cannot be obtained through morning exercises alone. 2) A leg brace.
Timber TopperJumper or steeplechase horse. More properly horses jumping over timber fences.
Time TrialA non-registered race in which a horse sets out to record a specific time, or to see exactly how fast it can run without having to deal with other runners as it would during a registered race. A pace-maker (often a galloper) will usually be sent out to help spur on the horse. A time trial simply means a performance by one horse against time.
TimerThe electrical timing device that records the actual time the race animals run each race. The timer is connected to the photofinish cameras and equipment, which are activated by opening of the starting gate or starting box. The photofinish camera records each race animal on a moving strip of film as that race animal crosses the finish line. A timing strip is visible across the top of the photo-strips, which reflects the time of each race animal at the finish line.
Timing BoardThis displays the progressive sectional, lead and overall times during a race, and the sectional and overall time, mile rate, placings and margins after a race.
TipAdvice from a supposedly authentic source as to the outcome of a certain race.
Tip SheetA printed leaflet listing the best bets of the day, usually sold at or near the racetrack.
Tipped OutA driver who falls off the sulky or is thrown out, usually as a result of interference between his or her horse and another runner. The horse may also fall during the race.
Top Line1) A Thoroughbred's breeding on its sire's side. 2) The visual line presented by the horse's back.
Top WeightSee high weight.
TopweightHighest weight assigned or carried in a race.
TotalisatorThe computer system that records each wager in each pool as the pari-mutuel tickets are sold. This equipment also calculates the odds on each race animal according to the amount wagered.
TotalizatorAn automated parimutuel system that dispenses and records betting tickets, calculates and displays odds and payoffs and provides the mechanism for cashing winning tickets. Often shortened to "tote."
Tote BoardThe totalisator board at the racetrack that electronically shows the money wagered and the resulting odds. Data includes approximate odds, total amount wagered in each pool, track condition, post time, time of day, result of race, official and inquiry signs, running time of each race and the mutual payoffs after each race is declared official, as well as other pertinent information.
ToutA person who gives tips on the races for a profit. Touting is usually rated an honorable calling because many touts try to give good value for their money. Keeping in close touch with the latest developments around a track, bettor touts work solely on a commission basis.
Track BiasA racing surface that favors a particular running style or position.
Track ConditionThe condition of the racing surface. For a dirt track, see fast; good; muddy; sloppy. For a turf course, see firm; yielding.
Track RecordFastest time at various distances recorded at a particular track.
Track SuperintendentThe official responsible for maintaining acceptable racing and training track conditions during race meet.
TrailRacing immediately behind another horse, thus using it as a wind-break. A driver may place his horse in a trailing position in order to save enough energy for a fast finish down the home straight. A trail is also known as a sit.
Trail OffUsed to describe a fit horse losing its competitive edge.
Train OffBecome jaded after attaining racing fitness.
TrainerThe person who conditions and prepares a race animal for racing, with the absolute responsibility to ensure the physical condition and eligibility of the race animal.
TrialA non-registered horse race. Trials allow previously unraced horses the opportunity to qualify to race at a registered meeting, and allows trainers of horses at various stages in their preparation to gauge their progress.
TrifectaA wager picking the first three finishers in exact order. Called a "triactor" in Canada and a "triple" in some parts of the USA.
Trifecta (Or Triple)A wager picking the first three finishers in exact order.
Trifecta BoxA trifecta wager in which all possible combinations using a given number of horses are bet upon. The total number of combinations can be calculated according to the formula x-- 3x2+2x, where x equals the amount of horses in the box. The sum of the formula is then multiplied by the amount wagered on each combination.
TripAn individual horse's race, with specific reference to the difficulty (or lack of difficulty) the horse had during competition, e.g., whether the horse was repeatedly blocked or had an unobstructed run.
Trip HandicappingLooking for mishaps in a previous race that may have prevented a horse from doing its best.
Triple CrownUsed generically to denote a series of three important races, but is always capitalized when referring to historical races for three-year-olds. In the United States, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. In England the 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St. Leger Stakes. In Canada, the Queen's Plate, Prince of Wales Stakes and Breeders' Stakes.
TrottingA slang term for harness racing in general. It also describes the gait of a "trotter" (see square gaiting).
Trouble LineWords at end of each past-performance line in the Daily Racing Form.
TurfAn infield grass course on which races are run.
Turf CourseA grass surface, usually towards the inside of racetracks.
Turn DownA protrusion on the bottom of a horseshoe added to give traction.
Turn OutTo send a horse to the farm for pasturing and rest.
Under ContractA trainer or rider formally signed for a specified time and compensation.
Under Double WrapsA horse that is racing exceptionally well and under restraint.
Under PressureTo be given a hard time or experience a hard run during a race. A horse may be placed under pressure by another runner in the field, for instance, when being attacked for the lead. Under pressure may also refer to a horse that is finding it hard to keep up with the pace (is weakening), or is not responding to the driver's command to accelerate.
Under PunishmentHorse being whipped and driven.
Under WrapsHorse under stout restraint in a race or workout to keep it from pulling away from the competition by too large a margin.
UnderlayA horse racing at shorter odds than seems warranted by its past performances.
Untried1) Not raced or tested for speed. 2) A stallion that has not been bred.
UnwindGradually withdrawing a horse from intensive training.
UpWhen riders mount their horses in the paddock.
ValetAn employee who takes care of a jockey's equipment, ensures that the correct silks are at the jockey's locker, and the jockey has the proper weight in the lead pad. The valet carries the saddle and equipment to the paddock, helps the trainer in saddling the horse, meets the jockey after the race, and carries the saddle and equipment back to the jockey's room after the jockey has weighed in.
VeterinarianCommission The commission (or board) veterinarian, sometimes referred to as the state veterinarian, is usually appointed by the state racing commission. This person serves as professional adviser and consultant to the State Racing Commission on veterinary matters including all regulatory aspects of the application and practice of veterinary medicine at the track. Association Sometimes referred to as the track veterinarian, this person is employed by the racing association and serves as a professional adviser and consultant to the racing association and its operational staff at the track. Practicing Private practitioner employed by owners and trainers on an individual case or contract basis.
Vet's ListList of ill or injured horses declared ineligible for racing by the track veterinarian.
WagerSame as bet.
WagertypeA type of bet offered at a racetrack.
Walk HotsTo cool a horse out after a workout or race.
Walking RingOval near paddock enclosure, where horses walk and riders mount before the start of post parade.
WalkoverRace which scratches down to only one starter who merely gallops required distance. A formal gesture required by rules of racing.
Warm UpA slow gallop or canter to the starting point of the race.
Warming UpGalloping horse on way to post.
Washed OutA horse that becomes so nervous that it sweats profusely. Also known as "washy" or "lathered (up)."
WashyHorse breaking out in nervous sweat before race, sometimes to the point it will be dripping from his belly.
WeakenedA horse which started off well in a race and was in a position from which it could win, but could not keep up that pace or keep up with the pace of the other runners and dropped back in the field. That horse is said to have weakened.
WeanlingA thoroughbred after being weaned and until he becomes a yearling on the New Year's Day following his foaling.
WeavingSwaying motion in stall, or act of threading way through field in race.
Weigh inAt a horse racetrack, the procedure where the clerk of scales, prior to the race, checks the weights of the jockeys and their riding equipment against the officially assigned weight for each horse in the race. At a greyhound racetrack, the procedure where the clerk of scales checks of the weight of greyhounds as they enter the lock out kennel before a race performance.
Weigh in (Out)The certification, by the clerk of scales, of a rider's weight before (after) a race. A jockey weighs in fully dressed with all equipment except for his/her helmet, whip and (in many jurisdictions) flak jacket.
Weigh OutThe procedure where the clerk of scales, after the race, checks the weights of jockeys and their riding equipment against the officially assigned weight for each horse in the race. At a greyhound racetrack, the procedure where the clerk of scales checks of the weight of greyhounds as they leave the lock out kennel to enter the racetrack for a race.
WeightHow much weight a horse carries in a race is partly determined by its age and sex. Two and 3-year-olds carry less weight than older horses, and females carry less weight than males. These reductions or "allowances" are determined by a scale of weights that change depending on the time of year.
Weight AllowanceWeight permitted to be reduced because of the conditions of the race, such as a sex allowance or an apprentice allowance.
Weight-for-AgeAn allowance condition in which each entrant is assigned a weight according to its age. Females usually receive a sex allowance as well. (Compare with a handicap race.)
Weights (Saddle)Lead slabs carried in the saddle to increase weight of jockey and tack.
Well DrawnTo be given a favorable starting position or barrier, that suits the way that particular horse runs. For instance, a horse which is a good beginner (has a lot of early speed) would be considered to be well-drawn in the front row.
Well TriedA horse which has been well supported by punters.
WheelBetting all possible combinations in an exotic wager using at least one horse as the key. See part wheel.
WhipAn implement used by the driver to spur on the horse in the run to the finish line. Drivers will tap their horse with the whip when they want them to accelerate. A driver may only use the whip in an elbow action - upper arm action is not permitted.
WinCross the finish line first.
Win BetA wager that a horse will come in first in a race.
Win PoolThe total amount bet in any race on horse to win after the deduction of taxes and race track commissions.
Win TicketA pari-mutuel ticket purchased on a horse to win.
WindedBreathing with difficulty after workout or race.
WindowThe place where a pari-mutuel clerk either sells tickets or cashes them.
Winner's CircleThe enclosure adjacent to the racing oval where a winning horse or greyhound is brought for a ceremonial win photo with the owner, trainer, and their friends.
Winner-Takes-AllWinner receiving all the purse or stakes.
Winning PostThe post, usually stipulating the name of the paceway, which marks exactly where the finish line is for all races at that track.
WireAnother term for the finish line.
WithersArea above the shoulder, where the neck meets the back.
Without CoverTo race in front of all other horses, without any protection from the wind resistance. A horse can be racing without cover if it is the leader, racing in the death seat, or racing out wide on the track.
WorkTo exercise a race animal by galloping a pre-determined distance.
YearlingA horse in its second calendar year of life, beginning Jan. 1st of the year following its birth in Northern hemisphere and August 1st on southern hemisphere..
YieldingCondition of a turf course with a great deal of moisture. Horses sink into it noticeably.
Complete list of specific games we cover in our dictionary of gambling slang and terminology