ACROSS THE BOARD- A bet on a horse to win, place and show.
ACTION- A horse’s manner of moving.
ADDED MONEY- Money added to the purse of a race by
AGENT- A person empowered to transact business of a
ALL OUT- When a horse extends himself to the utmost.
ALLOWANCE RACE- A race other than claiming for which
ALLOWANCES- Weight permitted to be reduced because
ALSO-ELIGIBLE- A horse officially entered, but not
ALSO-RAN- A horse who finishes out of the money.
APPRENTICE- Rider who has not ridden a certain number
APPRENTICE ALLOWANCE- Weight concession to an apprentice
BABY RACE- A race for 2-year-olds.
BACKSTRETCH- Straight of far side of track between
BACKSIDE- Stable area
BAD ACTOR- Fractious horse.
BAD DOER- Horse with poor appetite.
BALD (or BALD FACE)- White face of horse, including
BANDAGE- Strips of cloth wound around the lower part
BAR SHOE- A horse shoe with a rear bar to protect an
BAY- Color of horse varying from yellowish tan (light
BEARING IN (or OUT)- Deviating from a straight course.
BELL- Signal sounded when starter opens the gates or,
BIT- Bar in horse’s mouth by which he is guided and
BLACK- Body, head muzzle, flanks and legs are covered
BLACK TYPE- Designation for a stakes winner or stakes-placed
BRACE (or BRACER)- Rubdown liniment used on a horse
BLANKET FINISH- Horses finishing so closely together
BLAZE- White patch on face of a horse.
BLEEDER- Horse who bleeds during or after a workout
BLIND SWITCH- Being caught in a pocket or such a position
BLINKERS- Device to limit a horse’s vision to prevent
BLISTER- Counter-irritant to ease pain or to treat
BLOOD WORMS- Parasites that get into the blood stream.
BLOWOUT- A short, final workout, usually a day or two
BOARD- Totalisator board on which odds, betting pools
BOBBLE- A bad step away from the starting gate, usually
BOG SPAVIN- Puffy swelling on the inside and slightly
BOLT- Sudden veering from a straight course.
BOTTOM- Stamina in a horse. Also, sub-surface of racing
BOTTOM LINE- Thoroughbred’s breeding on female side.
BOWED TENDON (a BOW)- Rupture of the sheath enclosing
BREAK (A horse)- To accustom a young horse to racing
BREAKAGE- In pari-mutuel payoffs which are rounded
BREAKDOWN- When a horse suffered an injury; lameness.
BREAK MAIDEN- Horse or rider winning first race of
BREATHER- Restraining or easing off on a horse for
BRED- A horse is bred at the place of his birth. Also,
BREEDER- Owner of dam at time foal is dropped.
BREEDING FUND- A fund set up by many states to provide
BREEZE- Working a horse at a moderate speed; less effort
BRIDGE-JUMPER- Someone who makes large show bets on
BROODMARE- Female Thoroughbred used for breeding.
BROWN- Sometimes difficult to separate from black or
BUCKED SHINS- Inflammation of front of cannon bone
BUG- Apprentice allowance. Apprentice rider.
BULLET (WORK)- The best time for the distance on the
BULL RING- Small racetrack; usually less than one mile.
BUTE (or BUTAZOLIDIN)- Trade name for phenylbutazone,
CALK- Projection bottom of shoe to give horse greater
CALL (the)- Running position of horses in a race at
CALLER- One who calls the running positions of horses
CAPPED HOCK- Injury to hock caused by kicking or rubbing.
CAST- A horse is a cast when he lies down in the stall
CENTER OF DISTRIBUTION- The balance point of speed
CHART- A statistical “picture” of a race (from which
CHECKED- A horse pulled up by his jockey for an instant
CHESTNUT- Varies from light, washy yellow to dark liver
CHUTE- Extension of backstretch or homestretch to permit
CLAIMING- Buying a horse out of race for entered price.
CLAIMING BOX- Box in which claims are deposited before
CLAIMING RACE- Race in which horses are entered subject
CLASSIC- Race of traditional importance. In the U.S.
CLERK OF SCALES- An official whose chief duty is to
CLIMBING- A fault in a horse’s stride in which, instead
CLOCKER- One who times workouts and races.
CLOSER- A horse who runs best in the latter part of
CLUBHOUSE TURN- Generally, the turn closest to the
COLORS- Racing silks-jacket and cap-worn by riders
COLT- Male horse under 5 years of age.
COMPANY- Class of horses in a race. Members of the
CONDITION BOOK- Book issued by racing secretary which
CONDITION RACE- An event with conditions limiting it
CONFORMATION- A horse’s build and general physical
CONTRACT RIDER- Jockey under contract to a stable.
COOLING OUT- Restoring a horse, usually by walking,
COUGH- Broadly, a cold. More prevalent in spring among
COUPLED- Two or more horses running as an entry in
CRIBBER (A WIND SUCKER)- A horse who clings to objects
CUP- Trophy awarded to owners of winners. Also distance
CUP HORSE- One qualified to engage in distance races.
CUPPY (TRACK)- A surface which breaks away under a
CUSHION- Surface of track or a layer of the track.
DAILY DOUBLE- Type of wager calling for the selection
DAM- Mother of a Thoroughbred.
DAMSIRE (BROODMARE SIRE)- The sire of a broodmare.
DEAD-HEAT- Two or more horses finishing in an exact
DEAD TRACK- Racing surface lacking resiliency.
DECLARED- In U.S., a horse withdrawn from a stake in
DIPLOMA (Earning a…)- Breaking a maiden, winning
DISQUALIFICATION- Change of order of finish by officials
DISTAFF (DISTAFF RACE)- Female. A race for fillies,
DISTANCED- Well beaten, finishing a great distance
DOGS- Wooden barrier (or rubber traffic cones) placed
DOSAGE DIAGRAM- A diagram showing the number and placement
DOSAGE INDEX- Mathematical reduction of the Dosage
DRIVING- Strong urging by rider.
DROPDOWN- A horse meeting a lower class of rival than
DWELT- Tardy in breaking fromthe gate.
EASED- Chart caller’s assessment of a horse that is being
EASILY- Running or winning without being pressed by
EIGHTH- A furlong; 220 yards; 660 feet.
ELIGIBLE- Qualified to start in a race, according to
ENGAGEMENT- Stake nomination. Riding commitment.
ENTRY- Two or more horses owned by the same stable
EQUIPMENT- Whip, blinkers, etc. Gear carried by a horse
EQUIVALENT ODDS- Mutuel price horses pay for each $1
EVENLY- Neither gaining nor losing position or distance
EXACTA (or PERFECTA)- A wager in which the first two
EXCUSED- Withdrawal from a race (sometimes on a veterinarian’s
EXERCISE RIDER- Male or female rider who is aboard
EXTENDED- Forced to run at top speed.
EXTRA WEIGHT (ADDED WEIGHT)- More weight than conditions
FALTERED- Used for a horse that was in contention early
FALSE FAVORITE- Horse who is bet down to favoritism
FAST TRACK- Footing at best, dry, fast and even.
FEES- Amount paid to rider or the cost of nominating,
FENCE- Sometimes called “outside rail.” More properly
FIELD- The horses in a race.
FIELD HORSE (or MUTUEL FIELD)- Two or more starters
FILLY- Female horse up to and including the age of
FIRING- Applying a searing instrument, hot iron or
FIRM- A condition of a turf course corresponding to
FIRST TURN- Bend in the track beyond the starting point.
FLAG- Signal held by man stationed a short distance
FLAT RACE- Contested on level ground as opposed to
FLATTEN OUT- When a horse drops his head almost on
FLOAT- Piece of track equipment dragged over racing
FOAL- Newly born Thoroughbred, or until weaned. Male
FOUNDER- See Laminitis.
FOUR FURLONGS- Half a mile; 880 yards; 2,640 feet.
FRACTIONAL TIME- Interme-diate time recorded in a race,
FRESH (FRESHENED)- A rested horse.
FREE HANDICAP- A race in which no nomination fees.
FRONT-RUNNER- A horse who usually leads (or tries to
FURLONG- One-eighth of a mile; 220 yards; 660 feet.
FUROSEMIDE- Generic term for a medication for the treatment
GAIT- The ways in which a horse can move-walk, trot, canter,
GALLOP- A type of gait, a fast canter. Also, to ride
GATE- Starting mechanism.
GELDING- Castrated male horse.
GET- Progeny of sire.
GOOD BOTTOM- Track that is firm under the surface,
GOOD TRACK- Condition between fast and slow.
GRAB A QUARTER- To strike the side of a front foot
GRADUATE- Winning first time, horse or rider. Also,
GRANDDAM (SECOND DAM)- Grandmother of a horse.
GRANDSIRE- Grandfather of a horse, sire of the horse’s
GRAY- A mixture of white and black hairs.
GROOM- A person who cares for a horse in a stable.
GROUP RACE- European equivalent to North American graded
HALF- Half a mile, four furlongs; 880 yards; 2,640 feet.
HALF-BROTHER, HALF-SISTER- Horses out of the same dam
HALTER- Like a bridle, but lacing a bit. Used in handling
HALTER (TO)- To claim a horse.
HAND- Four inches. Unit used in measuring height of
HANDICAP- Race for which a handicapper assigns weights
HANDICAPPER- One who assigns weights for handicap race.
HANDICAPPING- One who assigns weights for a handicap
HANDILY- Working or racing with moderate effort, but
HANDLE- Amount of money wagered in the pari-mutuel
HAND RIDE- Urging a horse with the hands and not using
HARDBOOT- Kentucky horsemen.
HEAD- A margin between horses. One horse leading another
HEAD OF THE STRETCH- Beginning of the straight run
HEAVY- Condition of track similar to, but even slower
HIGHWEIGHT HANDICAP- Race in which the topweight is
HOMEBRED- A horse bred by his owner.
HORSE- Broadly, in any Thoroughbred regardless of sex.
HORSING- Mare in heat.
HOTWALKER- Person who walks horses to cool them out
HUNG- Horse tiring, but holding position.
HURDLE RACE- Contested over obstacles. A jumping race
ICING- Standing a horse in a bucket of ice or applying
IN FOAL- Pregnant mare.
IN THE MONEY- Finishing first, second or third.
INFIELD- Area within the inner rail of the racetrack.
INFIELD RACING (SPORT)- Turf racing.
IN HAND- Running under moderate control, at less than
IMPOST- Weight carried or assigned.
INTER-STATE (Wagering)- Wagering on a simulcast of
INTER-TRACK (Wagering)- Wagering on a simulcast of
INQUIRY- Reviewing the race to check into a possible
JOCKEY FEE- Sum paid to a rider.
JOG- Slow, easy gait.
JUMPER- Steeplechase or hurdle horse.
JUVENILE- Two-year-old horse.
LAMINITIS- Inflammation under horny wall of foot.
LASIX- See furosemide.
LATE DOUBLE- A second daily double offered on the latter
LEAD- Strap attached to halter to lead a horse.
LEAD (or LEAD PAD)- Weights carried to make up the
LEAD PONY- Horse or pony who heads parade of field
LEAKY ROOF CIRCUIT- Minor tracks.
LEG UP- To help a jockey mount his horse. Also a jockey
LENGTH- Length of a horse from nose to tail, about
LISTED RACE- A European race just below a group race
LOCK- Slang for a “sure thing” winner.
LUG (in or out)- Action of a tiring horse, bearing
LUNGE- Horse rearing or plunging.
MAIDEN- A horse who has not won a race. Also applied to
MAIDEN RACE- A race for non winners.
MAKE A RUN- Charge by a horse in a race.
MARE- Female horse 5 years old or older. Also, female
MASH- Moist mixture, hot or cold, of grain and other
MEDICATION LIST- A list kept by the track veterinarian
MIDDLE DISTANCE- Broadly from one mile to less than
MINUS POOL- A mutuel pool caused when one horse is
MONEY RIDER- A rider who excels in rich races.
MORNING GLORY- Horse who performs well in morning workouts
MORNING LINE- Approximate odds quoted before wagering
MUDDY TRACK- Deep condition of racetrack after being
MUDDER- Horse who races well on muddy tracks.
MUDLARK- Superior mudder.
MUZZLE- Nose and lips of a horse. Also a guard placed
NAVICULAR DISEASE- Corrosive ulcer on the navicular bone,
NEAR SIDE- Left side of a horse, side on which he is
NECK- Unit of measurement, about the length of a horse’s
NERVED- Operation that severs vital nerve to enable
NOD- Lowering of head. Winning in that manner.
NOM DE COURSE- Assumed name of owner or racing partnership.
NOSE- Smallest advantage a horse can win by. In England
OAKS- A classic stakes event for 3-year-old fillies.
OBJECTION- Claim of foul lodged by rider, patrol judge
ODDS-ON- Odds of less than even money. In England it
OFFICIAL- Sign displayed when result is confirmed.
OFF SIDE- Right side of horse.
OFF TRACK- An off track refers to a wet racing surface.
OFF-TRACK BETTING- Wagering on horses at legalized
ON THE BIT- When a horse is eager to run.
ON THE BOARD- Finishing among the first four.
ON THE NOSE- Betting a horse to win only.
OSSELETS- Bony growth on the fetlock or ankle joint
OVER-REACHING- Toe of hind shoe striking forelegs on
OVERLAND- Racing wide throughout, outside of other
OVERLAY- A horse going off at a higher price than he
OVERNIGHT LINE- Prices quoted night before the race.
OVERNIGHT RACE- A race in which entries close a specific
OVERWEIGHT- Surplus weight carried by a horse when
PADDOCK- Structure or area where horses are saddled and
PADDOCK JUDGE- Official in charge of paddock and saddling
PARIMUTUEL- A form of wagering that originated in France
PAST PERFORMANCES- A compilation in Daily Racing Form
PATROL JUDGES- Officials who observe progress of race
PENALTIES- Extra weight a horse must carry, especially
PHOTO FINISH- A result so close it is necessary to
PICK SIX (or more)- A type of wager in which the winners
PILL- Small numbered ball drawn to decide post positions.
PINCHED BACK- Horse in close quarters and forced back.
PINHOOKER; PINHOOK- To buy a horse at auction fo r
PLACE- Second position at finish.
PLACE BET- Wager on a horse to finish first or second.
PLACING JUDGES- Officials who determine the order in
PLATTER- Claiming horse. Also a farrier.
PLATES- Shoes horses wear in races. Racing plates.
POCKET- Boxed in, shut off. Running in a position with
POLE- Markers at measured distances around the track,
POST- Starting point or position in starting gate.
POOL- Mutuel pool. Total sum bet on a race or even,
POST PARADE- Horses going from paddock to starting
POST POSITION- Position of stall in starting gate from
POST TIME- Designated time from race to start.
PREFERRED LIST- Horses with prior rights to starting
PREP (or PREP RACE)- A workout or a race to prepare
PROP- Refusing to break with field from gate. Standing
PUBLIC TRAINER- One whose services are not exclusively
PURSE- A prize of money to which owners do not contribute.
QUARTER- One-quarter of a mile; 440 yards; 1,320 feet.
QUARTER CRACK- Crack in wall of hoof running downwards
QUARTER HORSE- Breed of horse especially fast for a
QUARTER POLE- Marker one-quarter mile from the finish.
QUINELLA- Wager in which first two finishers must be
RABBIT- A horse that is considered to have little chance
RACING SECRETARY- Official who drafts conditions of
RAIL RUNNER- Horse who prefers to run next to inside
RECEIVING BARN- Structure at which horses entered are
REFUSE- When a horse will not break from the gate.
RESERVED- Held for a particular engagement or race.
RIDDEN OUT- Refers to a horse that wins under a vigorous
RIDE SHORT- Using short stirrup leathers.
RIDGLING- A horse with one or both undescended testes.
ROAN- Mixture of white and red (or brown) hairs.
ROARING- Deep, prolonged cough, generally when a horse
ROGUE- Ill-tempered horse.
ROMP- Running (or winning) with utmost ease.
ROUTE- Race distance of a mile or longer.
ROUTER- Horse who performs well at distance races.
RUNDOWN- Of a horse, to suffer abrasions on the heels
RUNDOWN BANDAGES (or WRAPS)- Bandages on the hind legs,
RUN-OUT BIT- A special type of bit to prevent a horse
SADDLE CLOTH- Cloth under the saddle on which number (and
SAVAGE- To bite another horse or a person.
SCALE OF WEIGHTS- Fixed imposts to be carried by horses
SCHOOLING- Accustoming a horse to starting from the
SCHOOLING LIST- List of horses required by the starter
SCRATCH- To be taken out of a race.
SECOND CALL- A second engagement of jockey who already
SECOND DAM- Grandmother; granddam.
SELLING RACE- A claiming race.
SESAMOID- Sesamoid bones are located at the back of
SET- A group of horses working together.
SET DOWN- A suspension. Also, put to a drive, or asked
SEVEN FURLONGS- Seven-eighths of a mile; 1,540 yards;
SEX ALLOWANCE- Fillies and mares, according to their
SHADOW ROLL- Usually a lamb’s wool roll half way up
SHANK- Rope or strap attached to a halter or bridle
SHED ROW- Stable area. A row of barns.
SHORT- A horse in need of more work or racing to reach
SHOW- Third position at the finish.
SHOW BET- Wager on a horse to finish in the money;
SHUT OFF- Pocketed. Unable to improve position.
SILKS- Jacket and cap worn by riders which designate
SIMULCAST- Televising a race to other tracks, OTB offices
SIRE- Father of a horse.
SIX FURLONGS- Three-quarter of a mile; 1,320 yards,
SIXTEENTH- One-sixteenth of a mile; 110 yards, 330
SLOPPY- Condition of footing. Wet on surface with firm
SLOW- Footing that is not fast, between good and heavy.
SNUG- Mild restraining hold by rider.
SOLID HORSE- Contender.
SOPHOMORE- Three-year-old horse.
SPEEDY CUT- Injury to knee or hock caused by a strike
SPIT BOX- Receptacle for urine and blood taken from
SPIT THE BIT- When a horse quits running against the
STAKES-PLACED- Finishing first, second or third in
STAKE- A race (usually a feature race) for which owner
STAKES HORSE- One capable of competing in such events.
STALLION- Entire male horse.
STALL WALKER- Horse that moves about his stall and
STAR- Small patch of white hair on a horse’s forehead.
STARTER RACE- An allowance or handicap race restricted
STARTING GATE- Mechanical device having partitions
STATE-BRED- A horse bred in a particular state and
STAYER- Stout-hearted horse who can race long distances.
STEADIED- A horse being taken in hand by his rider,
STEPS UP- A horse moving up in class to meet better
STEWARDS- Top officials of the meeting responsible
STEEPLECHASE- A jumping race over high obstacles.
STICK- A jockey’s whip.
STICKERS- Calks on shoes which give a horse better
STOCKINGS- White legs below the knees.
STRETCH- Final straight portion of the racetrack to
STRETCH CALL- Position of horses at the eighth pole,
STRETCH RUNNER- Horse who finishes fast.
STRETCH TURN- Bend of track into homestretch.
STRIDE- Manner of going. Also distance covered after
STRIP- Markings of a horse. White hairs running part-way
STRIPE- A white marking running down a horse’s face
STUD- Male horse used for breeding. Also breeding farm.
STUD BOOK- Registry and genealogical record of the
SUBSCRIPTION- Fee paid by owner to nominate horse for
SUCKLING- Thoroughbred still nursing.
SUSPEND (or SUSPENSION)- Punishment for infraction
SWAYBACK- Horse with a dipped backbone.
TACK- Riders’ racing equipment. Also applied to stable
TAKE (or TAKEOUT)- Commission deducted from mutuel
TAKEN UP- A horse pulled up sharply by his rider because
TATTOO- A letter and a group of numerals applied to
TELETHEATER- Special facility for showing simulcast
THRUSH- Inflammation of the cleft of the frog.
TIGHT- Ready to race.
TIMBER TOPPER- Jumper or steeplechase horse. More properly
TONGUE STRAP- Strap or tape bandage used to tie down
TOP LINE- Thoroughbred’s breeding on his sire’s side.
TOPWEIGHT- Highest weight assigned or carried in a
TOTALISATOR- Machine which sells and records betting
TOUT- One who gives tips on racehorses, usually with
TRACK BIAS- A racing surface that favors a particular
TRACK RECORD- Fastest time at various distances recorded
TRIFECTA (or TRIPLE)- A wager picking the first three
TRIP- A horse’s race.
TRIPLE CROWN- In the United States, the Kentucky Derby,
TURF COURSE- Grass course.
TURN DOWN- A protrusion on the bottom of a horseshoe
TWITCH- A device usually consisting of a stick with
UNDER CONTRACT- A trainer or rider formally signed for
UNDERLAY- A horse racing at shorter odds than he should.
UNDER PUNISHMENT- Horse being whipped and driven.
UNDER WRAPS- Horse under stout restraint in a race
UNTRIED- Not raced or tested for speed. Also a stallion
UNWIND- Gradually withdrawing a horse from intensive
VALET- Person who attends riders and keeps their wardrobe
WALK HOTS- To cool a horse out after a workout or race.
WALKOVER- Race which scratches down to only one starter
WARMING UP- Galloping horse on way to post.
WASHY- Horse breaking out in nervous sweat before race.
WEANLING- A foal that is less than 1-year-old that
WEAVING- Swaying motion in stall, or act of threading
WEIGHT-FOR-AGE- Fixed scale of weights to be carried
WHIP- Instrument, usually of leather, with which rider
WINDED- Breathing with difficulty after workout or
WINNER-TAKES-ALL- Winner receiving all the purse or
WITHERS- The highest point of a horse’s shoulder.
WOBBLER- A neurological disease due to compression
WORK- To exercise a horse. A workout.
YEARLING- Thoroughbred between the first New Year’s Day
YIELDING- Condition of turf course with a great deal