Dictionary of Horse Racing Terminology


A 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.


A runner officially listed to start in a race.


Uneven 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.


1) A horse's manner of moving.


Utilizing stimulation on acupuncture points to treat an animal.


A 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 Money

Money 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 Purse

Purse money that was enhanced by payments made by owners and/or breeders.

Added Weight

A horse carrying more weight than the conditions of the race require, usually because the jockey exceeds the stated limit.


All 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 Horse

Computed 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.


This usually refers to a horse of seven years or older.


A 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.


A workout wherein a horse runs as if it were only out for exercise.


Not running at best speed in a race.

All Clear

Signified 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 Out

A horse who is trying to the best of his ability.

All Weather Racing

Racing that takes place on an artificial surface.

All-Age Race

A race for two-year-olds and up.


A workout or race performance where a horse shows maximum exertion.

Allowance Race

A 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.


Reductions 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 Win

To lead from start to finish in a race.

Also Ran

Any selection not finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th in a race or event.


Horses that originally entered in the race that will not run unless other horses are scratched (declared) out of the body of the race.


A horse that finishes out of the money (first, second or third).


A horse that has been castrated (gelded).

Amateur Race

A 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.


A 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 Allowance

Weight 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 "*".


The approximate price a horse is quoted at before a race begins. Bookmakers use these approximates as a guide to set their boards.


The (usually) paved area between the grandstand and the racing surface.


Where a variation in odds available allows a punter to back both sides and guarantee a win.


Artificial Turf.

Assistant Starter

The 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 Trainer

In 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 Post

The time when the horses have arrived and are ready to be loaded into the starting gate.


Against The Spread.


To 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.


The 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 Gate

A 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.


All weather track.


A term to denote two-year-old horses, especially during the first months of the year.

Baby Race

A race for two-year-olds.


To bet or wager.

Back Marker

In 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 Straight

The straight length of the track or paceway farthest away from the spectators and the winning post.

Back Up

The action of a horse slowing down noticeably.


A 'backed' horse is one on which lots of bets have been placed.


A 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.


The stable and training area of a racetrack.


The 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.


A horse that is either too young or not fully fit.

Bad Actor

Fractious 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 Doer

A horse with a poor appetite, a condition that may be due to nervousness or other causes.

Badge Horse

Single horse in stable entitling owner to admission badge.


Bandages 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.


Soft wraps used around a horse's legs for therapeutic purposes or to prevent a horse from hurting its heels on the racing surface.


(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 Plates

Horseshoes with bars across the rear of the plate.

Bar Price

Refers 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.


Used to describe a filly or mare that was bred and did not conceive during the last breeding season.


A 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 Draw

The 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.


(Also, Stick) A jockey's whip.


A term for an illegal electrical device used by a jockey to stimulate a horse during a race. Also known as a "machine" or "joint."


Color 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 in

The action of a horse running towards the rail rather than straight.

Bear Out

The action of a horse running towards the outside of the track, rather than straight.


A 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.


A 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.


A bell that is rung in the home straight to warn drivers they are about to commence the final lap of the race.

Bell Lap

In harness racing, the last lap of a race, signified by the ringing of the bell.

Bertillon Card

A greyhound's identification card that lists physical identifying marks for every racing greyhound. The greyhound's Bertillon number is tattooed in its ear.


A transaction in which monies are deposited or guaranteed.

Betting Board

A board used by the bookmaker to display the odds of the horses engaged in a race.

Betting Interests

This 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 Number

This is the saddle cloth number. This is NOT the post position number.

Betting Ring

An 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 Number

A 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 Red

Refers 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 Cage

The 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.


A favourite which the bookmakers do not expect to win.


A 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.


A horse color which is black, including the muzzle, flanks, mane, tail and legs unless white markings are present.

Black Type

Boldface 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.


A farrier or a horseshoer.


Bold-face type used in sales catalogs to distinguish horses who have won or placed in a stake race.


The official numbered cloth worn by the greyhound to represent its post position.

Blanket Finish

When the horses finish so close to the winning line you could theoretically put a single blanket across them.


A 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.


A 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.


Short-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 Bet

A 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 Switch

A 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.


A 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 Heel

Horseshoe with a raised heel, to prevent running down.


A thoroughbred.


Pedigree; family lineage.

Blow Out

Short exercise to limber a horse before a race.

Blowing Up

A 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.


A very short, timed workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to sharpen a horse's speed.


A 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.


Short for 'Tote Board' on which odds, betting pools and other race information are displayed.


A 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 Eye

A horse with a prominent eye, a sign of aggressiveness.


When a horse swerves sharply from its lane or the regular course; when a greyhound leaves the course during a race.


A winning horse sent off at very high odds.


1) 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.


Short for bookmaker. The person who accepts bets.


Person 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.


1) Stamina in a horse. 2) Subsurface of a racing strip.

Bottom Line

A Thoroughbred's breeding on the female side. The lower half of an extended pedigree diagram.


A poor race run directly following a career-best or near-best performance.

Bounce Factor

A 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.


Used 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 Trifecta

Usually 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 in

A 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.


To start galloping and lose natural trotting or pacing rhythm. This situation tends to occur more with trotters than pacers.

Break Down

Become unable to race because of lameness or injury.

Break Maiden

Horse or rider winning the first race of its career. Also known as "earning a diploma."

Break Ones Maiden

Phrase given to a horse or rider when a first win of a career is achieved.


All 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,


When a horse suffers a potentially career-ending injury, usually to the leg: The horse suffered a breakdown. The horse broke down.


Restraining or easing off on a horse for a short distance in a race to permit him to conserve or renew his strength.


1) A horse is considered to have been bred in the state or country of its birth.


To 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 Line

Pedigree; 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.


Owner 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 Awards

Money set aside from purses paid winning horses and paid to the original breeder of the winning horse.

Breeders' Cup

Thoroughbred 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 Fund

A fund set up by many states to provide bonus prizes for state- breds.


Working 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 Jumper

A 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.


Someone who makes large show bets on short-priced favorites.


Bettor who specializes in large show bets on odd-on favourites.

Brittle Feet

This 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 Down

A horse which suffers an injury, or develops a condition that makes it unable to race, is referred to as having broken down.

Broken Wind

This 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.


A female greyhound used for breeding.


A female horse, generally retired from racing, used for breeding purposes.


Sometimes 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.


1) During a race, two horses who slightly touch each other. 2) Injury that occurs when one hoof strikes the inside of the opposite limb.


A bet of US$ 100 (also known as a 'dollar bet').


Name 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 Boy

An 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 Ring

The 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 Work

The best workout time for the distance on a given day at a track.


A small racetrack, usually less than one mile.


See run down. Commonly used in the term: burned heels.

Buy Price

In Spread or Index betting, the higher figure quoted by an Index bookmaker.

Buy the Rack

Purchase every possible daily-double or other combination ticket.


A 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).


A mutuel clerk who computes pari-mutuel odds.


A 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."


Small 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."


To 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 Post

A special call played on a bugle used to signal the horses to the starting gate.


One who calls the running positions of horses in a race.


Also 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.


A slow gallop or a lope.


Another term for fixture or race meeting.


A 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.


The motor that runs around the racetrack with the lure at a greyhound racetrack. Also called lure motor.


A 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.


Projection on the bottom of a shoe to give the horse better traction, especially on a wet track.

Center of Distribution

A formula derived from the Dosage profile and a similar attempt to quantify speed and stamina.


GBP£ 100 (also known as a 'Ton').


Wagering favorite in a race. Dates from the days when on-track bookmakers would write current odds on a chalkboard.

Chalk Player

Bettor who wagers on favorites.


See Eclipse Award.


A 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 Caller

The 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.


A person who compiles records of each greyhound race and writes comments describing each greyhound's performance during a race.


See 'Steeplechase'.


To 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.


When a jockey slows a horse due to other horses impeding its progress.


In horse racing, pulling a horse back or sudden slowing due to traffic problems during the race; in greyhound racing, a greyhound suddenly slowing.


Designation for superior sires, which fall into five categories–Brilliant, Intermediate, Classic, Stout, Professional–according to the speed and stamina they impart to their offspring.


1) 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."


The use of bone alignment to treat specific or general health problems.

Choked Down

When 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.


Of stride, shortness, often reveals soreness.


Extension of backstretch or homestretch to permit a straight running start in a race as opposed to starting on or near a turn.


A 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.


A 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 Box

Where claims are deposited before the race.


Process 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 Box

Box in which claims are deposited before the race.

Claiming Price

The purchase price for which a horse is running in a claiming race.

Claiming Race

A 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 Races

Also 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.


The level of competition at which a horse competes.


1) 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 Race

A race restricted to horses of the one age in which all competitors start off the same mark.

Clerk of Scales

In 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.


Purchaser of betting information from horseman or other tipster.


To run with unusually high motion of forelegs, usually when flustered or tired.


When a horse lifts its front legs abnormally high as it gallops, causing it to run inefficiently.


The person responsible for accurately timing the workouts of a horse.


Final odds on a horse (e.g. 'closed at 7 to 1').


A horse that runs best in the latter part of the race (closing race), coming from off the pace.

Clubhouse Turn

Generally, the turn on a racing oval that is closest to the clubhouse facility; usually the first turn after the finish line.


A horse which is going easily or travelling without pressure in a race, usually in front.


Where 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.).


Racing 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.


The 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.


An unaltered male thoroughbred age two through four is called a colt.


Across-the-board bet for which a single mutuel ticket is issued.

Combination Bet

Selecting any number of teams/horses to finish first and second in either order.


Combining mutuel pools from off-track sites with the host track.


Money deducted from pari-mutuel pools to pay expenses and revenue necessary to conduct a race meeting.


Class 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.


Equine form or fitness; to train a horse; the terms of a race, such as purse size, eligibility qualifications, and weight concessions.

Condition Book

A 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 Race

An 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 Jockey

Same as 'Apprentice' but also allowed to jump.

Conditioned Race

Eligibility to enter is determined by a set of conditions such as age, sex, races won, etc.


1) A trainer. 2) A workout or race to enable a horse to attain fitness.


The requirements of a particular race. This may include age, sex, money or races won, weight carried and the distance of the race.


The physical makeup of and bodily proportions of a horse how it is put together.


Persons identified with a horse, such as owner, trainer, rider and stable employees.

Consolation Double

A 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 Payoff

Using 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 Rider

Jockey on whose services to an owner or trainer, by contract, has first call.

Cooling Out

Restoring a horse to normal temperature, usually by walking, after it has become overheated during exercise. All horses that are exercised are cooled out.


A corn is a bruise under the sole of the hoof. It usually comes from stepping on a stone or some other hard object.


Last part of the turn into the homestretch.

Correct Weight

Horses 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.


Two 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 Entry

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.


A single breeding of a stallion to a mare He covered 70 mares.


Top-notch horse.

Cracked Hoof

A 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 Pace

When the leader/s of a race run at a very quick speed, often in the early stages of a race.


1) 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.


When a horse or rider falls. Usually applied to steeplechase races.

Cross Fire

When a horse's hind foot strikes the opposite front foot or leg.


A 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.


To race too close to another horse, forcing its rider to take up or change course.

Crow's Nest

The area at the top of the grandstand where the announcer, stewards, judges, and others watch the races from a high vantage point.


1) 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 Horse

One qualified to engage in distance races.


A 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.


The loose, top surface of the racing surface.

Cut Down

Horse 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 Double

This 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 Pool

The sum total of all money bet on the daily double in a given two races.

Daily Racing Form

A daily newspaper containing news, past performance data and handicapping information. Do not use definite article "The" when describing According to Daily Racing Form,...

Daily Triple

A wager where the bettor must select the winner of three consecutive races.


The 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.


A term used for a day on which there is no racing.

Dark Bay or Brown

A 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 Day

A day when no live racing is scheduled.

Dark Horse

An underrated animal that wins or has good prospects of winning.


A sprint race, versus a distance race.

Dead Heat

A 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 Track

A racing surface that lacks resiliency.


When two or more race animals reach the finish line simultaneously.


A horse withdrawn from a race. Also referred to as a scratch.

Declaration of Weights

The publication of weights allocated to each horse nominated for a race by the handicapper.


In 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.


When 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.


A racing surface recently harrowed or to which extra top soil has been added, increasing holding qualities.

Deep Stretch

A position very close to the finish line in race.


A classic race for three-year-old pacers or trotters.


To kill a horse.

Developed Print

If 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.


Abbreviation for dead heat.

Dictate Terms

A 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.


A 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.


A 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.


A stake race for female horses.

Distaff (Distaff Race)

Female. A race for fillies, mares, or both.

Distaff Race

A race for fillies, mares, or both.

Distance of Ground

A route race or a race greater than one mile.


A 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.


The amount that a winning or placed horse returns for every $1 bet by the bettor.


When too many entries are made in an important race, the track may divide it into two races.


The underdog in any betting proposition.

Dog Player

A bettor who mainly wagers on the underdog.


Rubber 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.


1) Slang term for past performances. Readers of past performances are said to dope out a race. 2) Any illegal drug.


Although 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 Diagram

A diagram showing the number and placement of chefs-de-race in a horse's pedigree.

Dosage Index

Mathematical 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 Profile

A listing of Dosage points by category. Used to develop the Dosage index (DI).


If 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.


Two racing performances during one day, often done at greyhound racetracks.


Disqualification of a race animal for an infraction after the running of the race.


Refers to a horse's placing in the starting stalls. For flat racing only. Stall numbers are drawn at random.


(Also, Ease) Odds that 'Lengthen', are said to have drifted, or be 'On The Drift'.


All-out exertion, under heavy punishment, especially in home-stretch.


The person holding a license or permit to drive harness horses. There are different types of licenses, which correspond to differing levels of experience.


A horse that is all out to win and under strong urging from its jockey.


Give birth to a foal.

Drop(ped) Down

A horse meeting a lower class of rival than it had been running against.


A horse meeting a lower class of rival than he had been running against.


A horse moving down in class or claiming price; a greyhound moving down in grade.


See foaled.

Dual Forecast

A 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.


A horse that is late leaving the starting gate.

Each Way Double

Two separate bets of a win double and a place double.

Each Way Odds

Four 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 Single

Two bets. The first is for the selection to win; the second for it to be placed (each way).

Early Foot

Good speed at the start of a race.


The 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 Up

To slow a horse's stride, sparing exertion.


Chart caller's assessment of a horse that is being deliberately slowed by the jockey to prevent injury or harm to the horse.


A horse running or winning without being pressed by the jockey or opposition.

Eclipse Award

Thoroughbred 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.


1/8 = 1 furlong = 220 yards = 600 feet.

Eighth Pole

The colored pole at the inside rail 1 furlong from the finish wire.


Qualified to start in a race, according to conditions.


The area where the Runners gather for viewing before and after the race.


A stake nomination; a riding commitment by a jockey.


To enroll a race animal in a race.


An ungelded horse. In Europe, where geldings are not permitted to enter certain races, the race conditions might read Entire colts and fillies.

Entrance Fee

Money paid to enter a race animal in a stake race, usually referred to as nomination payments.


Two 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 Clerk

An employee of the Racing Office who takes the entries from the horsemen.

Entry Fee

A 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.


See 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 Change

Sometimes a factor in handicapping, the announcement of a horse's change in equipment from the last time he raced.

Equivalent Odds

Mutuel price horses would pay for each $1 bet.

Escape Turn

At a greyhound racetrack, the first turn of the racetrack after the front stretch.

Even Money

A betting term wherein you are betting $2 to win $2.

Even Money Bet (Or Evens)

A 1:1 bet. A $10 wager wins $10.


A horse running so as to neither gain nor lose position or distance.


This 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 Box

A 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 Pool

The sum total of all money bet on exactas in a given race.


Withdrawal from a race (sometimes on a veterinarian's recommendation) with consent of stewards.

Exercise Boy/Girl

A rider in a training workout.

Exercise Rider

Rider who is licensed to exercise a horse during its morning training session.

Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage

See 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 Wagers

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. Sometimes referred to as gimmick bets.

Experimental Free Handicap

A 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.


The amount of money one actually stands to lose on a game or race.


To force a horse to go all out.


Forced to run at top speed.

Extra Weight (Added Weight)

More weight than conditions of race require.

Facing the Breeze

See the "death".


This is when a horse tires and drops out of contention.

False Favorite

Horse 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 Quarter

Horizontal crack in the hoof caused by injury to the coronet.

False Start

The 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.


This is when a horse tires badly.


Used 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.


Horseshoer, blacksmith. Also called a "plater."


A 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 Track

Dry, hard strip on which horses run fastest; a track at which typical running times are relatively fast by comparison with most other tracks.


Weak points of a horse's conformation or character as a racehorse.


The 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.


Light weight. Usually refers to the weight a horse is assigned to carry in a race.


The best race on a card.

Feature Race

While 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 Races

Top races.


1) Amount paid to a jockey for riding in a race. 2) The cost of nominating, entering or starting a horse in a stakes race.


Amount paid to rider or the cost of nominating, entering or starting a horse in a stakes race.


The inside fence is the inside running rail around the race track, while the outside fence is of course, the outside running rail.


1) 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 Bet

When 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 Horse

Two 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.


Slang for speed figure.


A female thoroughbred age two through four, is known as a filly.

Film Patrol

The 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 Line

The final point of the race equipped with a photo finish camera.


A burst of acceleration by a horse in a race The horse did (didn't) fire when asked.


This 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.


The optimum condition for a turf course corresponding to fast on a dirt track.


A condition of a turf course corresponding to fast on a dirt track. A firm, resilient surface.

First Four

You 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 Turn

The bend in the track beyond the starting point; also, the clubhouse turn.

First Up

The first run a horse has in a new campaign or preparation.


The first run a horse has in a new campaign or preparation, usually after having a spell.

Five-Eighths Pole

The pole at the inside rail, exactly five furlongs from finish wire.

Fixed Odds

Your dividend is fixed at the odds when you placed your bet.


See 'Meeting'.


Signal 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.


One who drops the flag to denote official start.

Flak Jacket

Similar to a jackets worn by quarterbacks, the jockey's flak jacket protects the ribs, kidneys and back.


The change or updating of odds information on the tote board.


Change of odds information on tote board.


The conventional racing surface, contrasted with grass or jump course.

Flat Race

Contested on level ground as opposed to a steeplechase. Often used in the term, on the flat.

Flatten Out

A 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.


A 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.


Flat plate or wooden implement (float) dragged over the surface of a wet track to aid in draining water.


A baby horse, usually refers to either a male or female horse from birth to January 1st of the following year.


1) 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.


When preceded by a number, a fold indicates the number of selections in an accumulator (e.g. 5-Fold = 5 selections).

Fontana Safety Rail

An 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.


The condition of the track surface.

Forced Wide

A horse which is forced to move wide on the track (further away from the inside running rail), because of the action of another runner.


A 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).


The 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 Player

This is a bettor whose method of handicapping is based on selections from past-performance records.


An 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 Sires

The Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk and Godolphin Barb. Every Thoroughbred must be able to trace its parentage to one of the three founding sires.

Four Furlongs

Half a mile; 880 yards; 2,640 feet.

Fractional Time

Intermediate 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.


Clockings at 1/4 mile intervals in races and workouts.


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 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 Handicap

A 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 Lance

A rider not under contract to a trainer or stable.

Free Legged

A pacer which races without wearing hopples to help maintain its gait is known as a free legged pacer.


A race for open class or top class horses starting off the same mark (starting from the same position).

Freelance Driver

A 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.


A term used for a greyhound that is unusually nervous in the lockout kennel before a race, causing a weight loss.


Also 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 Runner

The race animal that is leading during a race.


A 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 Cover

All 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-Sister

Horses that share the same sire and dam.


One-eighth of a mile or 220 yards or 660 feet (approx. 200 meters).


(Also, Ante Post) Bets placed in advance predicting the outcome of a future event.


A 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 Races

To enter futurities, regular payments need to be made by the breeder and then the owner to keep the horse eligible to compete.


Harness 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.


A 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!")


An opening in the rail where horses enter and leave the racetrack.

Garrison Finish

Drawing a fine finish on a winner, usually coming from off the pace, Derived from "Snapper" Garrison, old-time rider given to that practice.


A 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 Card

A card, issued by the starter, stating that a horse is properly schooled in starting gate procedures.


The 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.


A male horse that has been castrated to moderate his behavior and to encourage physical growth.

Gentleman Jockey

Amateur rider, generally in steeplechases.


Progeny of sire.

Get into

The act of a rider when he takes the whip to the horse and gives him full head.

Getaway Day

The last day of a race meeting.


See sulky.

Gimmick Bets

A 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.


This term describes a horse that is slightly lame.


An 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 on

When referring to a horse, to win at a new, longer distance.


Equipment 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.


The condition of a racing surface. When referring to a horse, going is it's stride ("way of going").

Going Away

Winning while increasing the lead.


A race animal winning a race while increasing the lead.


A 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 Bottom

Track that is firm under the surface, which may be sloppy or wet.

Good Hold

See under double wraps.

Good Track

A racing surface rated between slow and fast. Moisture remains in the strip but the footing is adequate.

Grab a Quarter

Injury 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.


A letter rating describing how a greyhound compares to other greyhounds in ability. Grades range from Grade AA, the top grade, through Grade D.

Graded Race

Established 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 Stake

This 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.


Winning first time, horse or rider. Also, graduate of the claiming ranks-a horse, that has moved up to allowance, stakes or handicap racing.




A horse's grandmother.

Granddam (Second Dam)

Grandmother of a horse.


The grandfather of a horse; father ("sire") of the horse's dam or sire.

Grass Slip

Used in some areas, permission to exercise a horse on the turf course.


A 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 Foundation

A 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.


Immature 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.


A stable employee who cares for horses and performs daily chores such as grooming, bedding stall, bandaging, feeding, tacking and preparing for a race.

Group Race

An 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 Races

An 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 Purse

When 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.


A term to refer to an itinerant owner or trainer; "gyp".


A 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 Brother

A male horse out of the same dam, but by a different sire.

Half Sister

A female horse out of the same dam, but by a different sire.

Half-Brother, Half-Sister

Horses 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 Pole

The pole at the infield rail exactly 4 furlongs from the finish line.


A track of that distance or a horse that prefers such a track.


1) (noun) headgear that is used to lead a horse. 2) (verb) to claim a horse.


Four 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 Ride

The 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.


The position or mark from which a horse starts during a handicap race.

Handicap Race

One in which distance allowances are made for the purpose of equalizing the horses' chance of winning.


The 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.


One who assigns weights for a handicap race. Also one who makes selections based on past performances.


1) Working in the morning with maximum effort. Compare with, 2) A horse racing well within itself, with little exertion from the jockey.


The 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.


This refers to a horse unable to produce the expected finishing kick and therefore unable to improve its position on the stretch.


The 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 Boot

Denotes 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.


A Kentucky horseman of the old school, because of legendary mud caked on his boots.


The gear which is used to attach the sulky to a horse, to carry the hopples and to enable the driver to steer the horse.


A 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 Trick

The winning, usually by a jockey, of three races on a single program.


A unit of measurement that describes a race animal's lead to another by the length of its head.

Head of the Stretch

The beginning of the straight run for the finish line.


The main harness racing track in a particular area. In NSW, headquarters refers to Harold Park, the metropolitan track in that state.


One 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.


Condition 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 Track

A racing surface drier than muddy and on which the footing is heavy and sticky.

Heel Crack

A crack on the heel of the hoof. Also called a "sand crack."


A 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 Weight

Highest weight assigned or carried in a race.

Highweight Handicap

Race in which the topweight is assigned no less than 140 pounds.

Home Straight

The 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 Stretch

Final straight portion of the racetrack to the finish.

Home Turn

The final turn a horse must travel around before entering the home straight in the run to the finish line.


A horse bred by his owner.


The straightaway between the end of the far turn and the finish line.


A term referring to a kind, reliable horse.


A (usually) nylon covering which goes over a horse's head to which blinkers or earmuffs are attached.


A horse that has been illegally stimulated.


The 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.


Broadly, in any Thoroughbred regardless of sex. Specifically, an entire male 5 years old or older.

Horse Identifier

The 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 Group

A trade association or representative body of owners and trainers.


Behavior of a mare in heat (in season). See estrus.

Hot Walker

A stable hand who walks a horse while it cools out after a race or workout.


Person who walks horses to cool them out after workout or races.


A horse that does not advance its position in a race when called upon by its jockey.


Amateur racing, mainly on grass and over jumps.

Hurdle Race

Contested over obstacles. A jumping race over lower fences than steeplechase races.


To anesthetize a horse's painful feet or legs by standing in ice.


Weight carried or assigned to a race horse.

In Foal

A pregnant mare; usually used in foal to [a sire].

In Hand

Running under moderate control, at less than best pace.

In Light

A term referring to a horse carrying relatively little weight.

In the Bridle

See on the bit.

In the Money

A race animal finishing first, second or third in a race.

In Tough

A situation where a horse is entered with horses it is unlikely to beat.


The proper term for a horse that is checked.

Indian File

When a field of horses race in single file, one behind the other.


The area on the inner circumference of the track, where grass and jump races are run and the tote board is found.

Infield Racing

Turf racing.


Stewards 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.


In 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 Rail

The 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.


A stake race, where the field is comprised only of horses that were invited to race by the Racing Secretary.

Irish Rail

Moveable rail.


The stirrups on a saddle.


Intertrack wagering.


Refers 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.


As a noun, a race rider; as a verb, to maneuver for position during a race.

Jockey Agent

A person who helps a rider obtain mounts in return for 20% or more of the rider's earnings.

Jockey Club

An 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 Fee

Sum paid to rider for competing in a race.

Jockey's Guild

This is a national association of race riders.

Jockey's Race

A 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.


A slow easy gait, usually a trot, used primarily to warm up horses before a race or workout.


To bump another horse during a race.


A full-fledged professional jockey.


The 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 Up

A term that refers to a horse that wins in a surprising reversal of form.


Steeplechase or hurdle horse.

Junior Driver

A driver under the age of 23.

Junior Driver Concessions

Available 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.


A two-year-old horse.


A business that cares for and races greyhounds under contract with a racing association.

Kennel Compound

The area at a greyhound racetrack where the greyhounds are housed.

Key Horse

A single horse used in multiple combinations in an exotic wager. (sometimes also called 'pea horse')


The horsemen's eatery in the stable area.


Lifetime Wins: The number of wins at licensed Trotting Meetings that the horse has accumulated during its lifetime.


The 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 Half

The 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 Change

This term refers to any change in a race after the official program has been printed.

Late Double

A second daily double offered during the latter part of the program. See daily double.

Late Money

This term is used to define money that has been bet within five minutes to post.

Late Scratch

This term refers to a horse withdrawn from a race after the official program has been printed.

Late Scratching

A 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.


To occupy a certain running position deliberately, while waiting to make a strategic move.

Lay Up

A period of time in which a race horse is sent away from the racetrack to rest.


An extended period of time where a horse is stopped from racing and usually shipped to a farm for rest, breeding or rehabilitation.


Lead 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] Pony

See pony.

Lead Outs

The 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 Pad

The saddle pocket in which lead weights can be placed.

Lead Pony

Horse or pony who heads parade of field from paddock to starting gate. Also a horse or pony who accompanies a starter to post.

Lead Time

The 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.


The 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 Circuit

Minor tracks.


As 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 Lock

This is when a jockey illegally hooks legs with another rider, impeding the other horse.

Leg Up

To help a jockey mount his horse. Also a jockey having a mount. Also to strengthen a horse's legs through exercise.


A 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 Up

Another term for a spell, however, a let-up usually refers to a short break, not a lengthy spell in the paddock.


Pedigree; 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 Race

A stakes race just below a group race or graded race in quality.

Live Weight

The weight of a jockey that a horse carries versus dead weight such as lead pad, which does not move with the horse's action.


When a horse is referred to as a "lock" it is a sure thing.

Locked Up

Another term for being boxed in.

Lock-Out Kennel

The 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 Shot

Opposite of favorite.

Loose Horse

A horse that continues running after losing rider. This is also used as a slang term to refer to a person of inconsistent mannerisms.

Loose Rein

A 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.


The 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 in

To bear in towards the rail during a race.


1) Horse rearing and plunging. 2) A method of exercising a horse on a tether ("lunge line").


The 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.


See battery.


1) A horse or rider that has not won a race. 2) A female that has never been bred.

Maiden Claiming

A claiming race specified for horses that have never won a race.

Maiden Claiming Race

A 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 Race

For horses that have never won. Once a thoroughbred wins a race, it must progress to another category.

Maiden Special Weight

An allowance race for horses that have never won a race.

Main Track

The dirt surface of a racetrack.

Make a Run

Of a horse that turns on the speed, makes a move, makes a bid.


A horse race longer than 1 and 1/4 miles; a greyhound race at 7/16 mile.


Female horse 5 years old or older. Also, female of any age who has been bred.

Mare's Month

September. In theory, because mares that have not run well during the summer often "wake up" in September.


Any 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.


Straps attached to bit or noseband and girth, preventing horse from rearing.


Soft, moist mixture, hot or cold, of grain and other feed that is easily digested by horses.


Rubbing of various parts of the anatomy to stimulate healing.

Match Race

A challenge race between two race animals.


Afternoon racing at tracks where night racing is the usual practice.


A race for four-year-olds in which entries are make before their birth.

Maturity Stakes

An event or series of racing events for Sires' Stakes horses that are four years old. See Sires' Stakes.

Medication List

A 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.


Race meeting.


A collection of pacing and/or trotting races conducted by a club on the same day or night, forms a race meeting.

Middle Distance

A horse race longer than seven furlongs but less than 1 and 1/4 miles; a greyhound race at 3/8 mile.

Minus Pool

A 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 Rider

A rider who excels in rich races.


Type of riding with short stirrups popularized by old-time riding great Tod Sloan.

Morning Glory

Horse that performs well in morning workouts but fails to reproduce that form in races.

Morning Line

Probable 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 Fee

The fee earned by a jockey for riding in a race.

Move Up

Gain ground; run in a higher class race.

Muck Out

Clean a horse's stall.


Horse that races well on muddy tracks. Also known as a "mudlark."


Deep condition of racetrack after being soaked with water. Horses who run will on wet tracks are generally referred to as mudders.

Muddy Track

Deep condition of racetrack after being soaked with water.


Superior mudder.

Mutuel Clerk

An employee of the racetrack that except the patrons money and issues the betting ticket.

Mutuel Field

See entry.

Mutuel Pool

Short 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 Side

The left side of a horse, the side on which a horse is mounted.


A unit of measurement in racing about a quarter of a length, about the length of a race animal's neck.


Brand 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.


The final race on a program.


Lowering 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 Course

Name adopted by an owner or group of owners for racing purposes.

Nomination Fee

A fee paid by an owner to keep his/her horse eligible for a upcoming horse race.


A list of the names of horses that have been entered for a race.


One who owns a horse at the time it is named to compete in a stakes race.

Non Starter

A 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.


Smallest advantage a horse can win by. In England called a short head.

Nose Band

A 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.


A classic race restricted to three-year-old fillies.


A 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 Sign

A sign displayed on the tote board to indicate a foul has been claimed.


Number indicating amount of profit per dollar to be paid to holders of winning pari-mutuels tickets.

Odds Board

A 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 on

This a bet where you have to outlay more than you win.


Odds 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.


Outside 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.


Outside draw stands. (Similar to ODM, but in relation to standing start events).

Off Bell

The bell that rings at the start of a race, shutting off the betting.

Off Side

The right side of a horse.

Off the Board

When the odds against a horse are more that 99-1; failure to finish in the money.

Off the Pace

To run behind the early leaders.

Off Track

An off track refers to a wet racing surface.


The 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 Margins

The 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 Results

See official.


Persons licensed by the state to ensure the rules of racing are enforced.


A racing surface that is not fast - muddy, sloppy, holding, binding or soft.

Off-Track Betting

Wagering 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 Bit

When a horse is eager to run. Also known as "in the bridle."

On the Board

Finishing among the first three.

On the Fence/Rails

A horse racing in a position next to the inside running rail.

On the Muscle

Denotes a fit horse.

On the Nose

Betting a horse to win only.

On the Pace

A 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 Paint

A horse racing very close to the inside running rail, almost scraping the paint off the rails so to speak.

One Back

The 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 Out

The 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 Class

Horses, generally four years of age and older, which compete in races open to the most well-performed horses.

Open Fracture

See compound fracture.

Open Race

A race with wide open eligibility conditions, permitting entry of a wide variety of horses.

Optional Claimer

A race for horses entered to be claimed at a fixed price or a price within a limited range.


Off-Track Betting.


An outstanding uncashed pari-mutuel ticket.

Out of Line

Price not consistent with a horse's ability.

Out of Position

A 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 Money

When a horse does not finish in the first three for the bettors.


The 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 Draw

The 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 Drive

A 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 Fence

The outside running rail, closest to the spectators.

Outstanding Ticket

A winning pari-mutuel ticket that has not yet been cashed; also known as uncashed tickets or outs.

Over at the Knee

A leg that looks like it has a forward arc with its center at the knee when viewed from the side.

Overall Time

This is the time taken to complete the distance of the race, as opposed to the mile rate.


Racing wide throughout, outside of other horses.


A horse going off at a higher price than he appears to warrant based on his past performances.


The sheet available to horsemen at the racing secretary's office showing the entries, post positions, weights and jockeys for the next race day.

Overnight Line

Approximate odds quoted the night before the race.

Overnight Race

A 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 Stake

A race designed by the racing secretary for the local race horse. These races usually have smaller purses and small nominating fees.


The sheets of paper listing entries for the following day.


A case where the price paid to winning ticket-holders is more than the correct price, due to computer or human error.


Toe of hind shoe striking forelegs on heel, or back of coronet.


The pounds that a horse carries in excess of its officially assigned weight because the jockey is too heavy.


Pre Race Blood Test: Indicates this horse was subject to a random blood test prior to his/her race.


The speed of the leaders at each stage of the race.


The horse that is running in front (on the lead).


See toe-in.


Approximately 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 Judge

In 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.


Counter-irritant used to increase blood supply, blood flow and to promote healing in the leg. A mild form of blistering.


Back of the front limb from the knee down.


A slang term for a furlong.


A 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 Out

A horse racing on the outside, with at least one horse between it and the inside rail or barrier.


A multi-race bet in which all winnings are subsequently wagered on each succeeding race.


Used 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 Wheel

Using a key horse or horses in different, but not all possible, exotic wagering combinations. See wheel.

Past Performance

Information on a race animal's most recent races and works for handicapping purposes.

Past Performances

A compilation in Daily Racing Form of a horse's record, including all pertinent data, as a basis for handicapping.

Pasteboard Track

A lightning fast racing surface.

Patrol Judge

A 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 Judges

Officials who observe progress of race from various vantage points around the track.

Pattern Race

See group race.


The amount of money retuned on a successful bet.


A horse finishing third.


The 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.


Extra weight a horse must carry, especially in a handicap.


See exacta.

Phantom Race Call

A make-believe description of a race that has not yet been held, or of an imaginary race.


A 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 Finish

A result so close it is necessary to use the finish-line camera to determine the order of finish.


A 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.


A 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.


A small, numbered ball used in a blind draw to determine post positions.

Pinched back

A horse forced back due to racing in close quarters.


A person who buys a racehorse with the specific intention of re-selling it at a profit.

Pinhooker; Pinhook

To buy a horse at auction for the purpose of reselling him later.

Pipe Opener

Exercise at a moderate speed. Also a breeze.


Exercise at a brisk speed.


A 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 Bet

Betting a horse will finish second in a race, as against straight or show.

Place Pool

The total amount bet in any race on horses to place. Statutory deductions are removed according to law.

Placing Judge

The 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 Judges

Officials who determine the order in which horses reach the finish line.


1) A prize for a winner. Usually less valuable than a cup. 2) Generic term for lightweight (usually) aluminum horseshoes used during a race.


1) Claiming horse. 2) A farrier.


Shoes horses wear in races. Racing plates.


Claiming horse. Also a farrier.


A horse which is not racing as quickly as its ability allows is simply plodding along.


See 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 Call

A 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.


Markers 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 Position

The number one barrier position, which is on the front line closest to the inside fence.


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.


The 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.


Any 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 Person

A person on horseback who accompanies a horse and jockey to the starting gate.


Mutuel pool. Total sum bet on a race or even, such as the win pool, daily double pool, exacta pool.


Harness 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.


1) 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 Parade

The 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 Position

A 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 Time

The official time set by the stewards/racing judges and the mutuel department at which a race will start.

Post Weight

A greyhound's official weight reported before the greyhound enters the racetrack.


Situated behind or toward the rear.

Preference List

A 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 List

Horses with prior rights to starting, usually because they have previously been entered in races that have not filled with the minimum number of starters.


The 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.


A 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.


The 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.


Equivalent odds to $1 which a horse paid, or would have paid if he had won.


The 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.


Refusing 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."


A 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 Trainer

One whose services are not exclusively engaged by a single stable and who accepts horses from a number of owners.

Pull Up

To stop or slow a horse during or after a race or workout.

Pulled the Plugs

Drivers 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 Up

A 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.


Some 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 Out

A 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.


An investor or person who places bets on the outcome of a race.

Purple Patch

Refers to form or performance. A horse or trainer has hit a "purple patch" when experiencing a run of success.


The 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.


You have to correctly select the winner of four specific races nominated by your TAB. The selected races vary from state to state.


1) 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.


Refers 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 Crack

This 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 Horse

Breed of horse especially fast for a quarter of a mile, from which its name is derived.

Quarter Pole

Colored 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.


Wager in which first two finishers must be picked, but payoff is made no matter which of the two wins and which runs second.

Quinella Pool

The total amount bet in a race designated as a quinella.


A 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 Call

The 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 Outside

See the death.

Racing Association

A company that holds a license from the state racing commission to operate a pari-mutuel racetrack.

Racing Commission

An 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 Conditions

The physical conditions involved in a race.

Racing Dates

Specific 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 Judge

A 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 Plate

A very light horseshoe with a toe grab or cleat for better traction.

Racing Secretary

The 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 Sound

A horse able to race and pass all veterinarian test, but not 100%.


A 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 Runner

A race animal that prefers to run next to the inside rail.

Rails Run

A 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 Bar

Bar plate which helps prevent running down.


A horse that refuses to settle under a jockey's handling in a race, running in a headstrong manner without respect to pace.


To restrain a horse early in a race, conserving its energies for later challenges.


Used in the expression He likes to hear his feet rattle, a horse that likes a firm turf course.

Receiving Barn

Where 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 Board

Old-time method of declaring a race official, by posting a red flag or board on the tote board.


1) 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.


1) When a horse will not break from the gate. 2) In jumping races, balking at a jump.


Long straps, usually made of leather, that are connected to the bit and used by the jockey to control the horse.

Reinsman / Reinswoman

Another term for driver.

Relegation Rule

A 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.


Films of races played back for the benefit of fans and officials after the completion of a race.


A 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.


A minimum price, set by the consignor, for a horse in a public auction The horse did not reach its reserve.


Held for a particular engagement or race. Also, held off the pace.

Restricted Races

Races 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 Stakes

A 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 Scale

The 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 Out

Finishing a race without rider urging him to do his utmost, even though he has a wide margin over the second horse.

Ride Short

Using short stirrup leathers.


Horseshoe with long cleats or grabs on outer rim.


A horse racing under the name and identity of another, or under a fictitious name.


"Reserve not achieved." See reserve.


A 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.


An ill-tempered horse.

Rogue's Badge



Running (or winning) with utmost ease.

Round Robin

A series of parlay bets on more than one horse in each race, betting all horses in the parlays in every possible combination.


Broadly, a race distance of longer than 1- miles.

Route Race

A race run at a mile or longer, generally around two turns.


A race horse that performs well at longer distances.


Rear end of the field.

Ruled Off

When 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 Racing

Official 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 Down

A change of odds in a book making establishment caused by heavy betting on a horse or horses; Abrasion to the horses heel.


Of a horse, to suffer abrasions on the heels as a result of contact with the dirt and sand of the track surface.

Rundown Bandages

Bandages on the hind legs, usually with a pad inside, to keep a horse from scraping his heels when he runs. Also rundown wraps.


A messenger who makes bets and cashes winning tickets for patrons of a track.

Running Double

You have to correctly select the winner in two consecutive races.

Running Line

Horses 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 Rail

Another 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 Bit

A special type of bit to prevent a horse from bearing out (or in).


A Thoroughbred racing saddle is the lightest saddle used, weighing less than two pounds.

Saddle Cloth

A 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 Pad

A piece of felt, sheepskin, or more usually, foam rubber, used as a base for the saddle.


The 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 Test

Laboratory test to determine if a horse has been drugged or overdosed with permitted medication.


When a horse bites another horse or a person.

Save Ground

To cover the shortest possible distance in a race.

Scale of Weights

A schedule of set weights that must be carried by horses according to age, sex, distance and time of year to equalize competition.


To train a race animal.


Process 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 List

List of horses required by the starter to school at the starting gate before being permitted to race.

Schooling Race

A practice race held using actual racing conditions, but in which no wagering is allowed.


The 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.


To 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 Sheet

A daily publication that includes graded handicaps, tips, and scratches.

Scratch Time

The deadline established by the race office for horses to be scratched before printing the official program.


A horse that is withdrawn (or scratched) from a race before the start. Horses can be scratched because of illness or injury.

Screw Fixation

A procedure in which steel-alloy screws are surgically inserted to hold together a fractured bone.

Second Call

A secondary mount of a jockey in a race in the event the jockey's primary mount does not draw into the race.

Second Dam

Grandmother of a horse. Also known as a "granddam."

Second Sire

Horse's paternal grandfather.

Sectional Time

There 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).


A track employee who sells pari-mutuel tickets.

Selling Race

See claiming race.

Sensitive Laminae

The area of the hoof that contains nerves and vessels.


A group of horses being exercised together.

Set Down

1) 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 Furlongs

Seven-eighths of a mile; 1,540 yards; 4,620 feet.

Sex Allowance

Female 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 Roll

If 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.


Rope or strap attached to a halter or bridle by which a horse is led.

Shed Row

The stable area with barns and walk-ways under a roof.


Stable area. A row of barns.


A 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 Out

To 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.


Horses that have to travel to be able to race.


A horse in need of more work or racing to reach winning form.

Short Field

A race with seven or fewer race animals.


The 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.


Third position at the finish.

Show Bet

Wager on a horse to finish in the money; third or better.

Shut Off

Unable to improve position due to being surrounded by other horses.

Side Bone

This 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.


Jacket 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 Sullivan

A 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.


A simultaneous live television transmission of a race to other tracks, off-track betting offices or other outlets for the purpose of wagering.


The male parent, or father, of a horse.

Sires' Stakes

Most 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.


To race in a trailing position, see trail.

Six Furlongs

Three-quarter of a mile; 1,320 yards, 3,960 feet.


One-sixteenth of a mile; 110 yards, 330 feet.

Skinned Track

Dirt racing strip as opposed to a turf or grass course.


An underrated race animal.


A breeding term meaning spontaneous abortion.


A 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 Track

A condition of a racetrack which reflects standing water.


A 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 Track

A racing surface wetter than good, but not as thick as muddy. Footing is still wet, between heavy and good.

Smart Money

Insider's bets.


A 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.


Mild restraining hold by rider.


Solid 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 Run

An 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.

Solid Horse



A three-year-old horse.


Three-year-old horses. Called sophomores because age three is the second year of racing eligibility.

Speed Figure

A 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.


The 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 Paddock

The 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 Box

A generic term describing a barn where horses are brought for post-race testing. Tests may include saliva, urine and/or blood.

Spit the Bit

A 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.


1) 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.


A gap between two horses, usually towards the finish of a race, through which a fast finishing runner may race for the winning post.

Spring Halt

Involuntary elevation of the hind legs.


A horse race around one turn less than 1 mile long; a greyhound race of 5/16 mile.

Sprint Race

A race run at less than a mile, generally with only one turn.


A race animal that shows a preference for short distances.

Square Gaiting

Another 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 Entry

Two or more horses in same race whose owners share financial interests.


Areas, 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 Up

The 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.


A 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 Race

A race for which owners nominate race animals and pay fees to be added to the purse.


A 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 Horse

A horse whose level of competition includes mostly stakes races.

Stakes Producer

A mare that has produced at least one foal that finished first in a stakes race.


Finishing first, second or third in a stakes race.

Stall Walker

Horse that moves about its stall constantly and frets rather than rests.


A male horse, generally retired from racing, that stands at stud and is used for breeding purposes.

Stallion Season

The right to breed one mare to a particular stallion during one breeding season.

Stallion Share

A lifetime breeding right to a stallion; one mare per season per share.


Most 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 Bandages

See bandage.

Standing Starts

A 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.


1) 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.


The 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 Allowance

An allowance or handicap race restricted to horses that have started for a specific claiming price or less.

Starter Race

An allowance or handicap race restricted to horses that have started for a specific claiming price or less.

Starters Allowance

An allowance or handicap race restricted to horses which have started for a specific claiming race.

Starter's List

List of horses ruled out of action by the official starter because of chronic misbehavior at gate.

Starting Box

An electro-mechanical device from which the greyhounds begin a race.

Starting Gate

An electro-mechanical structure in which the horses are loaded. All stall doors open simultaneously when the starter dispatches the field, ensuring a fair start.


A 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.


A horse being taken in hand by his rider, usually because of being in close quarters.


A race in which horses are required to jump over a series of obstacles on the course. Also known as a "chase."

Step Up

A horse moving up in class to meet better competition.

Stepped Away Cleanly

In 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 Up

A horse moving up in class to meet better runners.


A 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.


The 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.


A jockey's whip, also called a bat.


See calk.


Calks on shoes which give a horse better traction in mud or on soft tracks.


The large joint above the hock which is made up by the femur, the patella and the tibia.


Another term for the Stewards. The correct term is stipendiary stewards, hence the shortened nick-name of stipes.


Solid white markings or a horse extending from the top of the hoof to the knee or hock.


Betting on a horse to win a race.

Straight as a String

Descriptive of a horse running at top speed.

Straight Bet

A straight bet means to wager a particular animal will either win, place, or show.

Straight Six

You have to correctly select the winner of six consecutive nominated races. There are some huge collects available if you can!


Straight part of a race course.


A groom, the person who assists the trainer, cares for the horse or helps to put on its equipment. Also known as an attendant.


The final straightaway portion of the racetrack to the finish line.

Stretch Call

The position of the race animals at designated pole markers, dependent upon the length of the race.

Stretch Runner

Horse that runs its fastest nearing the finish of a race.

Stretch Turn

Bend of track into the final straightaway.


Of a horse, its way of running or the ground it covers after each foot been in contact with the track once.


Markings of a horse. White hairs running part-way down the face.


A white marking running down a horse's face, starting under an imaginary line connecting the tops of the eyes.

Strung Out

A 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.


A farm or stable or place where registered stallions and/or mares are located for breeding purposes.

Stud Book

Registry 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."


Fee paid by owner to nominate a horse for a stakes race or to maintain eligibility for a stakes race.

Substitute Race

An alternate race used to replace a regularly scheduled race that does not fill or is canceled.


A foal in its first year of life, while it is still nursing.


When a horse refuses to extend himself.


Also 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.


A 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.


The 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.


Horse with a prominent concave shape of the backbone, usually just behind the withers (saddle area). Scoliosis.

Sweating Up

A 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.


Those 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.


Stake races.


A groom.


1) 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.


Claiming price.

Tailed Off

A 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 on

See attacked. The leader of the race is sometimes "taken on" by another runner.

Taken Up

A horse pulled up sharply by his rider because of being in close quarters.


The 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.


See barrier.


A form of identification in which race animals are marked. Horses are tattooed under the upper lip; greyhounds are tattooed on the ear.


A male horse used at breeding farms to determine whether a mare is ready to receive a stallion.


See 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 Club

An 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 Stick

A slang term for the whip used by drivers.


A 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 Wide

The 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 Pole

Colored pole at inside rail, exactly three furlongs from the finish line.

Three-Quarter Pole

Colored 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.


Ready to race.


1) A race used to give a horse a level of fitness that cannot be obtained through morning exercises alone. 2) A leg brace.

Timber Topper

Jumper or steeplechase horse. More properly horses jumping over timber fences.

Time Trial

A 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.


The 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 Board

This 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.


Advice from a supposedly authentic source as to the outcome of a certain race.

Tip Sheet

A printed leaflet listing the best bets of the day, usually sold at or near the racetrack.

Tipped Out

A 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 Line

1) A Thoroughbred's breeding on its sire's side. 2) The visual line presented by the horse's back.

Top Weight

See high weight.


Highest weight assigned or carried in a race.


The 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.


An 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 Board

The 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.


A 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 Bias

A racing surface that favors a particular running style or position.

Track Condition

The condition of the racing surface. For a dirt track, see fast; good; muddy; sloppy. For a turf course, see firm; yielding.

Track Record

Fastest time at various distances recorded at a particular track.

Track Superintendent

The official responsible for maintaining acceptable racing and training track conditions during race meet.


Racing 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 Off

Used to describe a fit horse losing its competitive edge.

Train Off

Become jaded after attaining racing fitness.


The 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.


A 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.


A 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 Box

A 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.


See Trifecta.


An 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 Handicapping

Looking for mishaps in a previous race that may have prevented a horse from doing its best.


See trifecta.

Triple Crown

Used 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.


A slang term for harness racing in general. It also describes the gait of a "trotter" (see square gaiting).

Trouble Line

Words at end of each past-performance line in the Daily Racing Form.


An infield grass course on which races are run.

Turf Course

A grass surface, usually towards the inside of racetracks.

Turn Down

A protrusion on the bottom of a horseshoe added to give traction.

Turn Out

To send a horse to the farm for pasturing and rest.

Under Contract

A trainer or rider formally signed for a specified time and compensation.

Under Double Wraps

A horse that is racing exceptionally well and under restraint.

Under Pressure

To 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 Punishment

Horse being whipped and driven.

Under Wraps

Horse under stout restraint in a race or workout to keep it from pulling away from the competition by too large a margin.


A horse racing at shorter odds than seems warranted by its past performances.


1) Not raced or tested for speed. 2) A stallion that has not been bred.


Gradually withdrawing a horse from intensive training.


When riders mount their horses in the paddock.


An 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.


Commission 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 List

List of ill or injured horses declared ineligible for racing by the track veterinarian.


Same as bet.


A type of bet offered at a racetrack.

Walk Hots

To cool a horse out after a workout or race.

Walking Ring

Oval near paddock enclosure, where horses walk and riders mount before the start of post parade.


Race which scratches down to only one starter who merely gallops required distance. A formal gesture required by rules of racing.

Warm Up

A slow gallop or canter to the starting point of the race.

Warming Up

Galloping horse on way to post.

Washed Out

A horse that becomes so nervous that it sweats profusely. Also known as "washy" or "lathered (up)."


Horse breaking out in nervous sweat before race, sometimes to the point it will be dripping from his belly.


A 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.


A thoroughbred after being weaned and until he becomes a yearling on the New Year's Day following his foaling.


Swaying motion in stall, or act of threading way through field in race.

Weigh in

At 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 Out

The 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.


How 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 Allowance

Weight permitted to be reduced because of the conditions of the race, such as a sex allowance or an apprentice allowance.


An 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 Drawn

To 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 Tried

A horse which has been well supported by punters.


Betting all possible combinations in an exotic wager using at least one horse as the key. See part wheel.


An 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.


Cross the finish line first.

Win Bet

A wager that a horse will come in first in a race.

Win Pool

The total amount bet in any race on horse to win after the deduction of taxes and race track commissions.

Win Ticket

A pari-mutuel ticket purchased on a horse to win.


Breathing with difficulty after workout or race.


The place where a pari-mutuel clerk either sells tickets or cashes them.

Winner's Circle

The 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 receiving all the purse or stakes.

Winning Post

The post, usually stipulating the name of the paceway, which marks exactly where the finish line is for all races at that track.


Another term for the finish line.


Area above the shoulder, where the neck meets the back.

Without Cover

To 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.


To exercise a race animal by galloping a pre-determined distance.


Go amiss.


A 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..


Condition of a turf course with a great deal of moisture. Horses sink into it noticeably.

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