savage

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.

scratch

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.

second call

A secondary mount of a jockey in a race in the event his primary mount is scratched.

second dam

Grandmother of a horse. Also known as a “granddam.”

set down

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.”

shadow roll

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.

shank

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

shedrow

Stable area. A row of barns.

sheets

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.

show

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.

simulcast

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

sloppy

A racing strip that is saturated with water; with standing water visible.

slow

A racing strip that is wet on both the surface and base.

socks

Solid white markings extending from the top of the hoof to the ankles.

soft

Condition of a turf course with a large amount of moisture. Horses sink very deeply into it.

solid horse

Contender.

sophomores

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.

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.

sprint

Short race, less than one mile.

stake

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.

stakes horse

A horse whose level of competition includes mostly stakes races.

stakes-placed

Finished second or third in a stakes race.

stall walker

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

stallion

A male horse used for breeding.

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.

start

Any type of condition, unless specifically so stated, that includes only those performances in a purse race. Qualifying and matinee races are excluded.

starter

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.

starter race

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

starting gate

A mobile device used to start horses in a race.

starting gate

Partitioned mechanical device having stalls in which the horses are confined until the starter releases the stalls’ confined front doors to begin the race.

state-bred

A horse bred in a particular state and thus eligible to compete in races restricted to state-breds.

stayer

A horse that can race long distances.

steadied

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

step up

A horse moving up in class to meet better competition.

stewards

Officials of the race meeting responsible for enforcing the rules of racing.

stockings

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

stretch call

Position of horses at the eighth pole.

stretch runner

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

stretch turn

Bend of track into the final straightaway.

stride

Manner of going. Also, distance covered between successive imprints of the same hoof.

stripe

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

stud

1) Male horse used for breeding. 2) A breeding farm.

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.”

subscription

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

substitute race

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

suckling

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

sulk

When a horse refuses to extend itself.

swipe

A groom.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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