(a) 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.
Final straight portion of the racetrack to the finish.
across the board
A bet on a horse to win, place and show. If the horse wins, the player collects three ways; if second, two ways; and if third, one way, losing the win and place bets. Actually three wagers.
1) A horse’s manner of moving. 2) A term meaning wagering, for example, “The horse took a lot of action.”
Money added to the purse of a race by the racing association or a breeding or other fund to the amount paid by owners in nomination, eligibility, entry and starting fees: for example, “the $1 million-added Kentucky Derby.”
A horse carrying more weight than the conditions of the race require, usually because the jockey exceeds the stated limit.
All Thoroughbreds celebrate their birthday on Jan. 1.
A person empowered to transact business for a stable owner or jockey, or empowered to sell or buy horses for an owner or breeder.
Not running at best speed in a race.
When a horse extends itself to the utmost.
A race for two-year-olds and up.
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.
A horse officially entered for a race, but not permitted to start unless the field is reduced by scratches below a specified number.
Rider who has not ridden a certain number of winners within a specified period of time. Also known as a “bug,” from the asterisk used to denote the weight allowance such riders receive.
Weight concession given 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 35th winner. More rarely, a three-pound allowance is allowed to a rider under contract to a specific stable/owner for two years from his/her first win. This rule varies from state to state. Apprentices do not receive an allowance when riding in a stakes race. All jockeys going from track to track must have a receipt from the clerk of scales from their track verifying the jockeys’ most recent total number of wins. Also known as a “bug,” from the asterisk used to denote the weight allowance.
The (usually) paved area between the grandstand and the racing surface.
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.
A race for two-year-olds.
Stable area, dormitories and often times a track kitchen, chapel and recreation area for stable employees. Also known as “backstretch,” for its proximity to the stable area.
Straight portion of the far side of the racing surface between the turns.
Used to describe a filly or mare that was bred and did not conceive during the last breeding season.
A horse color that varies from a yellow-tan to a bright auburn. The mane, tail and lower portion of the legs are always black, except where white markings are present.
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.
Signal sounded when the starter opens the gates or, at some tracks, to mark the close of betting.
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.
Refers to either of two famous chestnut-colored horses: Man o’ War or Secretariat.
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.
A horse color which is black, including the muzzle, flanks, mane, tail and legs unless white markings are present.
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 circumstance in which a rider’s actions cause him/her to be impeded during a race.
Short for “tote board,” on which odds, betting pools and other 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.
Sudden veering from a straight course, usually to the outside rail.
A winning horse sent off at extremely 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.
A poor race run directly following a career-best or near-best performance.
A wagering term denoting a combination bet whereby all possible numeric combinations are covered.
To be trapped between, behind or inside of other horses.
To leave from the starting gate.
Horse or rider winning the first race of its career. Also known as “earning a diploma.”
Easing off on a horse for a short distance in a race to permit it to conserve or renew its strength.
1) A horse is considered to have been bred in the state or country of its birth: Secretariat was a Virginia-bred. 2) The past tense of “breed.”
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.
A state fund set up to provide bonuses for state-breds.
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.
A filly or mare that has been bred and is used to produce foals.
During a race, two horses who slightly touch each other.
An apprentice rider.
A small racetrack, usually less than one mile.
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.
Running position of horses in a race at various points.
CARRERA DE NO GANADORES
Una carrera para los no ganadores.
Wagering favorite in a race. Dates from the days when on-track bookmakers would write current odds on a chalkboard.
Bettor who wagers on favorites.
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.
When a jockey slows a horse due to other horses impeding its progress.
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.
Extension of backstretch or homestretch to permit a straight running start in a race as opposed to starting on or near a turn.
The process of a licensed person purchasing a horse from a designated race for a predetermined price.
A race in which each horse entered is eligible to be purchased at a set price. Claims must be made before the race and only by licensed owners or their agents who have a horse registered to race at that meeting or who have received a claim certificate from the stewards.
clerk of scales
An official whose chief duty is to weigh the riders before and after a race to ensure proper weight is (was) carried.
When a horse lifts its front legs abnormally high as it gallops, causing it to run inefficiently.
A horse that runs best in the latter part of the race, coming from off the pace.
Generally, the turn on a racing oval that is closest to the clubhouse facility; usually the first turn after the finish line.
Colors accepted by The Jockey Club are bay, black, chestnut, dark bay or brown, gray, roan and white. See individual entries for definitions.
A male horse or altered/gelded male horse 3 years of age or younger.
An ungelded (entire) male horse four-years-old or younger.
Combining mutuel pools from off-track sites with the host track.
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.
A series of booklets issued by a racing secretary which set forth conditions of races to be run at a particular racetrack.
The requirements of a particular race. This may include age, sex, money or races won, weight carried and the distance of the race.
Present at birth.
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.
A race meeting that is less than 10 days in duration, with or without pari-mutuel wagering, held in conjunction with an agricultural fair.
Two or more horses running as an entry in a single betting unit.
A single breeding of a stallion to a mare For example, “He covered 70 mares.”
1) The number of foals by a sire in a given year. 2) A group of horses born in the same year. For example, “An excellent crop of three-year-olds.”
A dry and loose racing surface that breaks away under a horse’s hooves.
Top portion of a racetrack.
Type of wager calling for the selection of winners of two consecutive races, usually the first and second. See late double.
Daily Racing Form
A daily newspaper containing news, past performance data and handicapping information. Do not use definite article “The” when describing. For example, “According to Daily Racing Form…”
A wager where the bettor must select the winner of three consecutive races. Not to be confused with “triple,” meaning trifecta in some regions.
The mother of a horse.
dam’s sire (broodmare sire)
The sire of a broodmare. Used in reference to the maternal grandsire of a foal.
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.
Two or more horses finishing a race in a tie.
Racing surface lacking resiliency.
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.
A position very close to the finish line in race.
A stakes event for three-year-olds.
Abbreviation for dead heat.
Harness racing:Disqualified persons may not act as an official or start or drive a horse in a race. Disqualified horses shall not be allowed to start.
Thoroughbred racing: Change in order of finish by officials for an infraction of the rules.
A female horse.
A race for female horses.
Horse so far behind the rest of the field of runners that it is out of contact and unable to regain a position of contention.
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.”
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.
A listing of Dosage points by category. Used to develop the Dosage index (DI).
Abbreviation for disqualified.
The process by which horses are selected to start in specific races and post positions for each race.
A licensed person who drives a horse in a race.
A horse that is all out to win and under strong urging from its jockey.
A horse meeting a lower class of rival than it had been running against.
Any substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease in humans or other animals.
Extremely late in breaking from the gate.
A horse that is gently pulled up during a race.
Running or winning without being pressed by rider or opposition.
Qualified to start in a race, according to conditions.
1) Stakes nomination. 2) Riding commitment.
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.”
Money paid by an owner to enter a horse in a stakes race.
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.
Mutuel price horses would pay for each $1 bet.
Neither gaining nor losing position during a race.
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.
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. For example, boxing four horses would actually be 12 combinations (42-4). To arrive at the cost of the wager, multiply the total combinations by the cost of the individual 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.)
Horse that is a race favorite despite being outclassed by other competition in the field. See underlay.
Footing that is dry, even and resilient.
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.
The horses in a race.
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.
Breeding: Female horse four-years-old or younger.
Harness racing: A female horse 3 years of age or younger.
A burst of acceleration by a horse in a race. For example, “The horse did (didn’t) fire when asked.”
A condition of a turf course corresponding to fast on a dirt track. A firm, resilient surface.
Signal manually held at a short distance in front of the gate at the exact starting point of race. Official timing starts when flag is dropped by the “flagman” to denote proper start.
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.
Flat plate or wooden implement (float) dragged over the surface of a wet track to aid in draining water.
A newborn horse under 1 year of age.
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.
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 Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk and Godolphin Barb. Every Thoroughbred must be able to trace its parentage to one of the three founding sires.
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.
A race in which no nomination fees are required. More recently, and more commonly, a ranking of horses by weight for a theoretical 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.
A condition of a racetrack where any moisture present is frozen.
Horses that share the same sire and dam.
One-eighth of a mile, 220 yards, 660 feet.
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.
Harness racing: Either a trotting or pacing gait.
Thoroughbred racing: The characteristic footfall pattern of a horse in motion. Thoroughbreds have four natural gaits-walk, trot, canter and gallop. Thoroughbreds compete at a gallop.
An opening in the rail where horses enter and leave the course.
A close victory, usually from off the pace. Derived from “Snapper” Garrison, old-time rider given to that practice.
A card, issued by the starter, stating that a horse is properly schooled in starting gate procedures.
A neutered (castrated) male horse of any age.
Progeny of sire.
A dirt track that is almost fast or a turf course slightly softer than firm.
Track that is firm under the surface, which may be dry or wet.
1) Winning for the first time, horse or rider. 2) A horse that has moved up to allowance, stakes or handicap racing.
See second dam.
The grandfather of a horse; father (“sire”) of the horse’s dam or sire.
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.”
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.
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.
Urging a horse with the hands and not using the whip.
Betting: 1) Race for which the track handicapper assigns the weights to be carried. 2) To make selections on the basis of past performances.
Harness racing: A race in which performance, sex or distance allowance is made. Post positions for a handicap may be assigned by the racing secretary. Post positions in a handicap claiming race may be determined by claiming price.
A horse racing well within itself, with little exertion from the jockey.
Amount of money wagered in the parimutuels on a race, a program, during a meeting or for a year.
A condition of a turf course where there is no resiliency to the surface.
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 margin between horses. One horse leading another by the length of its head.
The wagering number for the horse or, in the case of a coupled entry, the wagering number of all horses that make up the coupled entry.
head of the stretch
Beginning of the straight run to the finish line.
A single race or a single trial of a race that is one of a series of races that make up an event (race).
Wettest possible condition of a turf course; not usually found in North America.
Highest weight assigned or carried in a race.
A leg harness used for controlling the gait of a pacer or trotter.
The final stretch where the finish line is situated.
A horse bred by its owner.
A horse that does not advance its position in a race when called upon by its jockey.
Weight carried or assigned.
Running under moderate control, at less than top speed.
in the money
A horse that finishes first, second or third.
Area encompassed by the inner rail of the racetrack.
Reviewing the race to check into a possible infraction of the rules. Also, a sign flashed by officials on the tote board on such occasions. If lodged by a jockey, it is called an objection.
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.
Sum paid to rider for competing in a 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.
Slow, easy gait.
An official licensed by the USTA to perform specific duties as outlined under Rule 6.
A single horse used in multiple combinations in an exotic wager.
A term used to describe a horse that is limping, has difficulty walking or is sore.
A term used to describe a horse that is limping, has difficulty walking or is sore.
A second daily double offered during the latter part of the program.
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.
leaky roof circuit
A measurement approximating the length of a horse, used to denote distance between horses in a race.
A stakes race just below a group race or graded race in quality.
Slang for a “sure” winner.
Breeding: A female that has never been bred.
Harness racing: A stallion, mare or gelding that has never won a heat or race at the gait at which it is entered to start and for which a purse is offered.
Thoroughbred racing: A horse or rider that has not won a race.
A race for non-winners.
Long hairs growing on the crest of the horse’s neck, which are usually kept clipped to about six inches in length for neatness, or decoratively braided.
A female horse 4 years of age or older.
Female horse five-years-old or older.
September. In theory, because mares that have not run well during the summer often “wake up” in September.
A substance, medicine or remedy used for healing or masking pain.
Broadly, from one mile to 1-1/8 miles.
A mutuel pool caused when a 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.
A rider who excels in rich races.
Horse that performs well in morning workouts but fails to reproduce that form in races.
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.
Horse that races well on muddy tracks. Also known as a “mudlark.”
A condition of a racetrack which is wet but has no standing water.
Short for “parimutuel pool.” Sum of the wagers on a race or event, such as the win pool, daily double pool, exacta pool, etc.
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. Examples “Love You by Heart,” “Go for Wand” and “Strike the Gold.”
Left side of a horse. Side on which a horse is mounted.
Unit of measurement. About the length of a horse’s neck; a little less than a quarter of a length.
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.
One who owns a horse at the time it is named to compete in a stakes race.
Smallest advantage a horse can win by. Called a short head in Britain.
A stakes event for three-year-old fillies (females).
Claim of foul lodged by rider, patrol judge or other official after the running of a race. If lodged by official, it is called an inquiry.
Odds of less than even money.
Right side of horse.
Wagering at legalized betting outlets usually run by the tracks, management companies specializing in parimutuel 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.
1) Notice displayed when a race result is confirmed. 2) Used to denote a racing official.
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 muscle
Denotes a fit horse.
on the nose
Betting a horse to win only.
Abbreviation for off-track betting.
out of the money
A horse that finishes worse than third.
Racing wide throughout, outside of other horses.
A horse going off at higher odds than it appears to warrant based on its past performances.
A sheet published by the racing secretary’s office listing the entries for an upcoming racing card.
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.
Surplus weight carried by a horse when the rider cannot make the required weight.
The full owner or part owner of a registered Standardbred.
A gait in which the legs of a horse move in lateral pairs.
The horse that is running in front (on the lead).
Area where horses are saddled and paraded before being taken onto the track.
Official in charge of paddock and saddling routine.
Areas enclosed by a fence or other means, at which all entrances are secured, and entrance to such structure is limited.
A form of betting and of handling the betting on horse races at racetracks, in which those holding winning tickets divide the total amount bet in proportion to their wagers, less a percentage for the management, taxes, etc.
A form of wagering originated in 1865 by Frenchman Pierre Oller in which all money bet is divided up among those who have winning tickets, after taxes, takeout and other deductions are made. Oller called his system “parier mutuel” meaning “mutual stake” or “betting among ourselves.” As this wagering method was adopted in England it became known as “Paris mutuals,” and soon after “parimutuels.”
A multi-race bet in which all winnings are subsequently wagered on each succeeding race.
Using a key horse or horses in different, but not all possible, exotic wagering combinations. See wheel.
A horse’s racing record, earnings, bloodlines and other data, presented in composite form.
A lightning fast racing surface.
Official(s) who observe the progress of a race from various vantage points around the track.
A result so close it is necessary to use the finish-line camera to determine the order of finish.
A result so close it is necessary to use the finish-line camera to determine the order of finish.
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.
Small numbered ball used in a blind draw to decide post positions.
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.
Second position at finish.
Wager on a horse to finish first or second.
Official who posts the order of finish in a race.
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.
A position in a race with horses in front and alongside.
point(s) of call
A horse’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 designating the distance from the finish. 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 [LEED] pony.”
Finding by an approved laboratory that a blood or urine sample indicates the presence of a drug, medication or other prohibited substance.
1) Starting point for a race. 2) An abbreviated version of post position. For example, “He drew post four.” 3) As a verb, to record a win. For example, “He’s posted 10 wins in 14 starts.”
Horses going from paddock to starting gate past the stands.
The position assigned or drawn for a horse from which it will start the race.
Position of stall in starting gate from which a horse starts.
post race test
A blood or urine sample, taken after the completion of a heat or dash, that indicates the presence of a drug, medication or other prohibited substance.
The time set for the start of a race.
A blood or urine sample, taken prior to the completion of a heat or dash, that indicates the presence of a drug, medication or other prohibited substance.
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.
When a horse suddenly stops moving by digging its front feet into the ground.
PRUEBA PREVIA A LA CARRERA
Una muestra de sangre u orina, tomada antes de la finalización de una carrera preliminar, que indica la presencia de una droga, medicamento u otra sustancia prohibida.
To stop or slow a horse during or after a race or workout.
PUNTO(S) DE LLAMADA
La posición de un caballo en varios lugares de la pista donde su posición de carrera se anota en una tabla. Las ubicaciones varían según la distancia de la carrera.
The monetary amount that is distributed to the finishers of a race.
A race in which a horse must establish its ability to participate at a race meeting, consistent with the qualifying standards establish for that class of horse.
Wager in which the first two finishers must be picked in either order.
A speed horse running as an entry with another, usually come-from-behind horse. The rabbit is expected to set a fast pace to help the chances of its stablemate.
An official licensed by the USTA to perform specific duties as outlined under Rule 6.20.
Official who drafts conditions of races and assigns weights for handicap events.
The barrier on either side of the racing strip. Sometimes referred to as the “fence.”
Horse that prefers to run next to the inside rail.
A horse that refuses to settle under a jockey’s handling in a race, running in a headstrong manner without respect to pace.
Used in the expression, “He likes to hear his feet rattle,” a horse that likes a firm turf course.
The reason that the horse was scratched out of the race was that he was either a) entered in another race on that day, either at the same track or another track and opted to race in the other race OR b) was scratched out of this race to run in another race in the next few days.
Structure used by horses shipping in for a race who do not have a stall at that racetrack.
1) When a horse will not break from the gate. 2) In jumping races, balking at a jump.
A minimum price, set by the consignor, for a horse in a public auction. For example, “The horse did not reach its reserve.”
A horse that finishes a race under mild urging, not as severe as driving.
Using short stirrups.
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.”
Broadly, a race distance of longer than 1-1/8 miles.
Horse that performs well at longer distances.
When a horse bites another horse or a person.
scale of weights
Fixed weights to be carried by horses according to their age, sex, race distance and time of year.
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.
A secondary mount of a jockey in a race in the event his primary mount is scratched.
Grandmother of a horse. Also known as a “granddam.”
1) A suspension. For example, “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. For example, “The horse was set down for the drive to the wire.”
A (usually sheepskin) roll that is secured over the bridge of a horse’s nose to keep it from seeing shadows on the track and shying away from or jumping them.
Rope or strap attached to a halter or bridle by which a horse is led.
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.
Third position at the finish.
Wager on a horse to finish in the money; third or better.
Unable to improve position due to being surrounded by other horses.
A simultaneous live television transmission of a race to other tracks, off-track betting offices or other outlets for the purpose of wagering.
A racing strip that is saturated with water; with standing water visible.
A racing strip that is wet on both the surface and base.
Solid white markings extending from the top of the hoof to the ankles.
Condition of a turf course with a large amount of moisture. Horses sink very deeply into it.
Three-year-old horses. Called sophomores because age three is the second year of racing eligibility.
A handicapping tool used to assign a numerical value to a horse’s performance. See Beyer number.
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.
Short race, less than one mile.
A race that will be contested in a year subsequent to its closing, in which the money given by the track member conducting the same is added to the money contributed by the nominators.
A horse whose level of competition includes mostly stakes races.
Finished second or third in a stakes race.
Horse that moves about its stall constantly and frets rather than rests.
A male horse used for breeding.
The right to breed one mare to a particular stallion during one breeding season.
A lifetime breeding right to a stallion; one mare per season per share.
Any type of condition, unless specifically so stated, that includes only those performances in a purse race. Qualifying and matinee races are excluded.
1) An official responsible for ensuring a fair start to the race, the starter supervises the loading of horses into the starting gate through a gate crew. He/she also has control of the opening the gate. 2) A horse that is in the starting gate when the race begins, whether he runs or not.
An allowance or handicap race restricted to horses that have started for a specific claiming price or less.
A mobile device used to start horses in a race.
Partitioned mechanical device having stalls in which the horses are confined until the starter releases the stalls’ confined front doors to begin the race.
A horse bred in a particular state and thus eligible to compete in races restricted to state-breds.
A horse that can race long distances.
A horse being taken in hand by its rider, usually because of being in close quarters.
A horse moving up in class to meet better competition.
Officials of the race meeting responsible for enforcing the rules of racing.
Solid white markings extending from the top of the hoof to the knee or hock.
Position of horses at the eighth pole.
Horse that runs its fastest nearing the finish of a race.
Bend of track into the final straightaway.
Manner of going. Also, distance covered between successive imprints of the same hoof.
A white marking running down a horse’s face, starting under an imaginary line connecting the tops of the eyes.
1) Male horse used for breeding. 2) A breeding farm.
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.
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 itself.
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.
A horse pulled up sharply by its rider because of being in close quarters.
A male horse used at breeding farms to determine whether a mare is ready to receive a stallion.
Special facility for showing simulcast races.
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.
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.
Ready to race.
A Thoroughbred’s breeding on its sire’s side.
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.”
The (usually) electronic totalizator display in the infield which reflects up-to-the-minute odds. It may also show the amounts wagered in each mutuel pool as well as information such as jockey and equipment changes, etc. Also known as the “board.”
A racing surface that favors a particular running style or position. For example, a track bias can favor either front-runners or closers or horses running on the inside or outside.
Condition of the racetrack surface. See fast; good; muddy; sloppy; frozen; hard; firm; soft; yielding; heavy.
Used to describe a fit horse losing its competitive edge.
In Thoroughbred racing, a preparatory race created in tandem with a subsequent, more important stakes race to be run a few days or weeks hence The Derby Trial.
A wager picking the first three finishers in exact order. Called a “triactor” in Canada and a “triple” in some parts of the U.S.
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 x3-3×2+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.
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.
A gait in which the legs of the horse move in diagonal pairs.
A horse racing at shorter odds than seems warranted by its past performances.
A stallion that has not been bred.
A person employed by a racing association to clean and care for a jockey’s tack and other riding equipment.
A race in which only one horse competes.
A horse that becomes so nervous that it sweats profusely. Also known as “washy” or “lathered (up).”
A foal that is less than one-year-old that has been separated from its dam.
A foal that is less than one-year-old that has been separated from its dam.
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.
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.)
Betting all possible combinations in an exotic wager using at least one horse as the key. See part wheel.
A horse color, extremely rare, in which all the hairs are white. The horse’s eyes are brown, not pink, as would be the case for an albino.
The finish line of a race.
A horse in its second calendar year of life, beginning Jan. 1 of the year following its birth.
Condition of a turf course with a great deal of moisture. Horses sink into it noticeably.