|Also Ran: A horse that does not finish among the first three racing finishers.
Asterisk(*):When used with a jockeys name, or beside the weight a horse is to carry, it denotes an apprentice rider. In breeding publications where it appears with a horses name, it means the horse was imported to the U.S.
Backstretch: The straightway on the far side of the race track. Also used as a reference to the stable area.
Bandages: Bandages or cloth wrappings on a horses legs do not necessarily denote lameness or infirmity. Many trainers keep their horses in standing bandages at all times as a means of protection. They are also used in horse racing for support.
Barrier: The starting gate is sometimes referred to as the barrier.
Bill Daly: A runner that breaks in front and sets the pace is on the Bill Daly. This manner of running style was said to be the principal tactic drilled into jockeys, developed by Father Bill Daly, a colorful trainer who lived prior to the turn of the 20th century.
Blanket Finish: One which finds several horses finishing noses and heads apart, or so closely grouped, they could be covered by a blanket.
Blinkers: Once called the Rogue's Badge, blinkers are a common piece of horse racing equipment today. The eye cups on the blinkers, depending on modifications, block side and rear vision in either or both eyes. The use, or discontinued use, of blinkers must be approved by the racing stewards and the change reported on the official program.
Blow Out: A brief last workout (usually three furlongs or a half mile) given a day or two before racing in order to sharpen or maintain conditioning.
Bottom Wheel: Bottom wheel is a horse gambling strategy in which a selection in an exacta is wagered in the "bottom" or place position, while all other horses in the field are used in the win position. To win this wager, your selection must finish second. To get a feeling about how much you might be about to win, check the possible payoff grids shown on your tv monitor. To wager a bottom wheel, you need to tell the mutuel clerk that you want to wheel the (whatever the number) on the bottom.
Chalk: Or Chalk Horse: the favored horse in a race. The term originated in the days when odds were chalked on slates.
Chute: A straightaway extension of either the homestretch or the backstretch used for distances which would otherwise necessitate starting on a turn.
Climbing: A fault in a horses stride in which, instead of reaching out, his action is abnormally high.
Clubhouse Turn: The turn to the right of the grandstand, so called because he Clubhouse is usually to the right of the general stands.
Colors: The jockeys silk or nylon jacket and cap provided by the owner. Distinctive colors are registered by the owner with The Jockey Club and with the state racing authority. The practice of using individually registered colors was introduced at Newmarket, England in 1762.
Condition Book: A booklet issued periodically by the racing office describing conditions of upcoming races so that trainers can plan ahead which races to enter their horses.
Coupled: Two or more horses belonging to the same owner or trained by the same person are said to be coupled and they run as an entry comprising a single betting unit. Their program number regardless of post position would be 1 and 1A. A second "entry" in the race would be listed in the program as 2 and 2A. A bet on one horse of an entry is a bet on both.
Cushion: The loose, top surface of the race track.
Dead Heat: Where the photo-finish camera shows two horses inseparable at the finish, the race is declared a dead heat or tie.
Dogs: Wooden barriers used during workout periods to close off a portion of the race track near the inner rail when the track is sloppy or muddy.
Driving: When a horse is running under extreme pressure he is said to be driving.
Dwelt: A horse that is slow in breaking from the starting gate is said to have dwelt.
Eighth Pole: The pole one eighth of a mile before the finish line.
Entry: Two or more horses in a race, owned by the same stable, or trained by the same trainer are termed an entry and coupled as a single betting unit. A bet on one is a bet on BOTH.
Excused: To be withdrawn from a race after the regular time for scratches a horse must be excused by the Stewards.
Extended: A horse running at top speed under extreme pressure by the rider.
Farrier: A blacksmith specializing in the shoeing, or plating, of horses. In early days he was also a veternarian.
Far Turn: The turn off the backstretch.
Fast: A race track at its best condition is said to be fast.
Fractional Time: The running time at various points between the start and finish of a race.
Furlong: One eighth of a mile. Originally a furrow long, or the length of a plowed field.
Garrison Finish: A late rush resulting in a narrow margin of victory, so called because Edward Snapper Garrison, a prominent rider at the turn of the century, specialized in such finishes.
Gelding: A castrated male.
Halter: A piece of equipment placed on a horses head similar to a bridle but lacking a bit and reins. A long leather shank is attached to the halter for walking the horse. Also an expression used for claiming a horse deriving from the fact that when the representative of the new owner takes the horse he must have with him his own halter. A trainer who frequently claims horses is called a halter man.
Hand: A unit of four inches by which a horses height is measured, placing one hand above the other from the ground to the withers, or the point where the saddle sits. A horse that measures 16 hands is 5 feet 4 inches tall at the withers.
Handicapper: One who assigns the weights to be carried in a handicap race. Also one who makes selections in a race based on a thorough study of the past performance of each horse.
Handily: A horse working or racing with ease, and without urging, is said to be going handily.
Handle: The aggregate amount of money wagered on a race, a day, a meeting or a season.
Homestretch: The straightaway leading to the finish.
Hot Walker: A stable hand who leads a horse around the shed row or walking ring in the cooling out process following a race or a workout. Walking hots is usually the first job given a novice stable employee.
Infield: The area within the inner rail of a race track.
Inquiry: An inquiry is an action taken by the track stewards following a race to check for a possible infraction during the actual running of the race. In the inquiry, stewards will replay the race on videotape and review the incident, deciding eventually whether or not punitive action needs to be taken.
In the Money: A horse finishing first, second or third is in the money.
Irons: The stirrups are referred to as irons.
Juvenile: A 2-year-old horse is called a juvenile.
Key Horse: A single horse used in multiple combinations in an exotic wager.
Lead Pad: A piece of equipment under the saddle containing thin slabs of lead used to bring a riders weight up to that assigned to the horse.
Length: The measurement corresponding to the average length of a horse and used to describe winning, or losing, distances. A horse can win, or be beaten, by a length or more, or by fractions thereof... 3/4 of a length, half-length, 1/4 length, neck, head or nose. These terms are more descriptive than scientific.
Minus Pool: When an outstanding entry is so heavily played that, after the deduction of the state tax and commission, not enough horse betting money remains in the pool to pay off the legally prescribed minimum, it is called a minus pool. The racing association makes up the difference.
Morning Line: The approximate gambling odds usually printed in the program and posted on the totalisator board prior to the betting. This is a forecast of how it is believed the horse betting will go in a particular race.
Mud Caulks: These are small cleats inserted on the back end of a horses shoe, or racing plate. The caulks are most often used when the track surface becomes muddy or sloppy. this will enable the horse to have better racing traction on an off surface.
Near Side: The left side on which a horse is led, mounted and dismounted.
Odds-On: Odds of less than even money ($1 to $1). A winner at a payoff of under $4.00 is odds on.
Off Side: The right hand side of a horse.
Overlay: An overlay occurs when a horse that is placed at a certain price on the morning line receives considerably more play than expected. That horse is said to be overlaid. It signifies there is money being played on this horse that was not anticipated and the payoff price will be smaller than originally expected.
Overnight: A race for which entries close 72 hours (exclusive of Sundays) or less before the post time for the first race on the day the race is to be run. Also, the (usually) photocopied sheet available to horsemen in the racing secretarys office showing the entries for the following day.
Overweight: Depending on conditions each horse carries an assigned weight. When the jockey cannot make the weight, overweight is allowed but not more than 5 pounds. The overweight is either posted on an information board or announced on the public address system prior to the race.
Paddock: The area at the race track where the horses are saddled and viewed prior to a race. A fenced off field on a farm.
Placing Judge: Officials from the Racing Secretarys Office are in charge of the official placing of horses during and after the running of a race. Two of the judges call the view of the race to a third judge who feeds the information by computer to the tote board. The judges determine the official order of finish by viewing a still negative film of each entrant reaching the finish line, proceeding to the last place finisher. Their viewing stand is located on top of the grandstand, at the finish line.
Plater: A term for a thoroughbred that runs in cheap claiming races. Also the farrier who makes or fits the shoes or plates.
Post: The starting point for a race.
Post Position: A position in the starting gate from the inner rail outward which is decided by a drawing at the close of entries the day prior to the race.
Post Time: The time at which all entries are required to be at the post and ready to start.
Preferred List: A group of entrants having priority in the event that a race draws more entries than can be accommodated.
Public Trainer: One who trains for more than one owner, usually on a per diem basis.
Quarterhorse: A type of steed recently established as a breed which is extremely fast at short distances. While so-called quarterhorse racing was popular in Colonial times it has, in recent years, had a renaissance in the West.
Quarter Pole: On a one-mile track, the pole at the turn into the stretch a quarter of a mile before the finish.
Racing Secretary: The official who makes up the conditions for the races and assigns the weights for handicap races.
Ridgeling: A colt with one, or both, testicles undescended.
Route: A race of more than one and one-eighth miles is considered a route.
Scratch: There is a deadline for scratches after which permission must be obtained from the Stewards.
Set Down: A jockey who has been suspended has been set down.
Sex Allowance: In all races other than handicaps or where conditions state otherwise, fillies and mares are allowed weight below the scale, usually 3 pounds for 2-year-old fillies and 5 pounds for fillies and mares 3 and up, prior to September 1, and 3 pounds thereafter.
Shadow Roll: A thick noseband of sheeps wool used to prevent an entrant from seeing shadows directly in front of him which might cause him to jump or shy away.
Short: A thoroughbred that drops out of contention in the stretch or close to the finish is said to have been short, the inference being that with more work or preparation he might have lasted to the finish and perhaps have been the betting winner.
Silks: See colors. The jacket and cap worn by a jockey.
Sophomore: A 3-year-old thoroughbred is referred to as a sophomore.
Stayer: A thoroughbred that can run well at longer distances.
Stick: A jockeys whip.
Stickers: A type of shoe with caulks to provide better purchase under adverse track conditions.
Stud: A stallion used for breeding. Also a breeding farm.
Tack: The saddle and other equipment worn by a thoroughbred during racing or exercise.
Totalisator: An intricate piece of electronic equipment which records each wager in each betting pool as the pari-mutuel ticket is sold by a manually operated vending machine. This equipment calculates the odds on each betting entry, according to the amount wagered at given intervals.
Totalisator Board: A display board in the infield on which is posted electronically, data essential to the race goer such as approximate betting odds, total amount bet in each pool (on some boards), track condition, post time, time of day, result of race, official sign or inquiry or objection sign if a foul is claimed, running time and payoff prices after the race is declared official.
Track Variant: Track variant is a measurement of the speed of the thoroughbred according to how performances on the track measured up to one another during the course of an entire days racing program. There are a number of ways to calculate a variant and professional handicappers normally subscribe to one of these primary theories in order to get a feeling for how impressive a particular running time really was. It is clear that six furlongs in 1:10 on one day can be significantly more impressive than the same time on a different day. The track variant gives a player a chance to make those comparisons with some ease.
Under Wraps: A thoroughbred running under restraint is under wraps.
Washy: A thoroughbred that breaks out into a heavy sweat prior to the race is said to be washy.
Weight-For-Age: A type of horse race in which entrants carry scale weight or weight assigned arbitrarily according to age, distance and month of year. (See Scale of Weights.)
Work Tab: A list of morning workouts according to distance and time.
Yearling: A one year old colt or filly, just one year away from racing age.