Racebook Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

A

accumulator (also, parlay)
A combination or multiple bet where you make simultaneous selections on two or more races with the intent of using the winnings of the first event as a wager on the second event, and so on. Instead of collecting your winnings after each event, you let your winnings "ride". However, all the selections must win for you to win the accumulator.
added weight
See extra weight.
agent
A person who is authorized to act on the behalf of a jockey or owner. The term generally refers to a jockey's agent, who lines up rides for the jockey and is paid a commission from the jockey's gross salary (25% in the US).
allowance race
A race other than a claiming event (i.e., the horses aren't for sale) for which the racing secretary has drafted certain conditions that determine the weight each horse is required to carry.
also eligible
A horse officially entered in a race, but not permitted to start unless another horse is scratched.
also ran
A horse that finishes out of the money.
ante post (also, futures)
A bet placed well in advance of the event—at least the day before the race but sometimes several weeks before. Ante post prices are usually offered on major sporting events. In return for the chance of better odds, bettors risk the fact that stakes aren't returned if their selection pulls out or is canceled.
apprentice
A jockey who is just getting started in the sport and is therefore, allowed to carry less weight than a veteran rider. Once an apprentice has won a certain number of races, he loses his apprentice status. An apprentice is also known as a bug boy.
apprentice allowance
The weight concession given to an apprentice rider.
at-post favorite
The horse with the lowest odds at post time. See also favorite.
AWT
All weather track.

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B

baby race
A race for two-year-old horses.
backstretch
The straight portion on the far side of the racetrack between the turns.
bay
A horse color where the body hair varies from yellowish tan (light bay) to brown or a dark, rich shade of mahogany (sometimes listed as dark bay or brown). Bay horses always have black points (mane, tail, lower legs, muzzle and ears).
bell lap
In harness racing, the last lap of a race signified by the ringing of the bell.
bettor
A person who places or has placed a bet. A bettor is known as a punter in the UK.
beyer speed rating
A measure of performance popularized by Andy Beyer of The Washington Post.
bit
A stainless steel, rubber or aluminum bar, attached to the bridle that fits in a horse's mouth and is used by the jockey to guide and control the horse.
black
A horse color where the body, muzzle, flanks and legs are covered with uniform black hair. Black horses may have some white markings.
blanket finish
When horses finish so close together that they could theoretically be covered by a blanket. With a blanket finish, determining the finishing order is difficult.
blaze
A white patch on a horse's face that starts at the forehead and goes down between the nostrils.
blinkers (or blinders)
A cup-shaped device used to limit a horse's vision, which prevents it from swerving to either side while racing.
blowout
A short, fast workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to sharpen a horse's speed.
board
See tote board.
bobble
A bad step away from the starting gate, usually caused by the track breaking away under a horse's hooves and causing him to duck his head or nearly go to his knees.
bolt
Sudden veering from a straight course.
box
A combination bet on two or more horses where you take all possible combinations of those horses in each place of finish in order to create more opportunities for winning. See also Quinella Box, Exacta Box, Trifecta Box and Superfecta Box.
boxed in
To be trapped between or behind other horses.
breakdown
When a horse suffers a serious injury; lameness.
Breeders' Cup
Thoroughbred racing's year-end championship. Known as Breeders' Cup Day, it features eight races in one day and is held at a different racetrack each year with purses and awards totaling $13 million. The Breeders' Cup was first held in 1984.
breezing
Working a horse at a moderate speed, but with less effort than handily.
bridge-jumper
A bettor who makes large show bets on short-priced favorites.
bridle
A piece of equipment usually made of leather, or nylon that fits on a horse's head. Other equipment such as the bit, and the reins attach to it.
broodmare
A female horse used for breeding.
brown
A horse color that is sometimes difficult to separate from black or dark bay. A brown horse can usually be distinguished by noting finer tan or brown hairs on the muzzle or flanks.
bug boy
An apprentice rider. As the mark (*) placed next to apprentice riders' names in programs resembles a squashed bug, they became known as "bug riders".
bullet work
The fastest workout of the day at a particular distance.
bute (or butazolidin)
The trade name for phenylbutazone, a commonly used analgesic for horses.

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C

call (the)
The running position of horses in a race at various points.
canter
A controlled, three-beat gait that is usually a bit faster than a trot but slower than a gallop.
cast
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.
caulk
A projection on the bottom of a shoe to give the horse better traction, especially on a wet track.
chalk
The wagering favorite in a race. This term dates from the days when on-track bookmakers would write the current odds on a chalkboard.
chalk player
A bettor who usually bets on favorites.
chart
A statistical "picture" of a race (from which past performances are compiled), showing the position and margin of each horse at designated points of call (depending on the distance of the race), age, weight carried, owner, trainer, purse, conditions, payoff prices, odds, time, and other data.
checked
A horse pulled up by its jockey for an instant because it is cut off or in tight quarters.
chestnut
A horse color that varies from light yellowish brown to dark liver. Other than white markings, the points (mane, tail, lower legs and ears) are the same color as the body. All chestnut horses have shades of red in their coats.
chute
An extended path that increases the length of either the backstretch or the homestretch and allows races of a specified distance to start at a location other than on one of the turns.
claiming race
A race in which the horses are for sale at a price specified before the race. Claims are made before the race and the new owner assumes possession immediately following the race.
classic
A race of traditional importance. In the U.S. specifically the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes for colts, and the Coaching Club American Oaks (a.k.a. Kentucky Oaks) for fillies.
clocker
A person who times workouts and races.
clubhouse turn
Generally, the turn closest to the grandstand.
colors
See silks.
colt
An ungelded male horse, four years old or younger. Older male horses that are ungelded are called stallions.
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.
conformation
A horse's build and general physical structure; the way he is put together.
consolation payout
A payout offered by some tracks when you place a Daily Double or Pick 3 / Pick 4 wager and your horse scratches in one leg of your ticket and all of the other legs win.
coupled
Two or more horses running together as a single betting unit. The horses have the same number (e.g., 1 and 1A; 2 and 2A). See also entry.
cup
The trophy awarded to the owner(s) of a winner. Also, a distance race of a mile and a half or more.
cuppy
A track surface that breaks away under a horse's hooves.

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D

Daily Double
A type of wager where you must select the winning horses of two consecutive races, which are usually the first and second races of the day. If one leg of the wager is a loss, the entire wager will be deemed a loss. See also Late Double and consolation payout.
Daily Double Wheel
A type of Daily Double wager where you increase your chances of winning by keying one horse, which can be in either the first or second race, with some or all of the horses in the other race.
dam
The mother of a horse.
dead heat
Two or more horses finishing in an exact tie at the wire.
declared
In the US, a horse withdrawn from a stakes race in advance of scratch time. In Europe, a horse confirmed to start a race.
derby
A stakes race for three-year-olds.
disqualification
A change of order of the finish by officials because of an infraction of the rules (e.g., interfering with another runner).
distaff race
A race for female horses (fillies, mares or both).
distanced
Well beaten, finishing a great distance behind the winner.
DQ
Disqualified.
driving
Strong urging by a jockey.
drop(ped) down
A horse meeting a lower class of rivals than it has run against in previous races.

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E

eased
The chart caller's assessment of a horse that is being deliberately slowed by the jockey to prevent injury or harm to the horse.
eighth
One furlong—220 yards or 660 feet.
engagement
A stakes nomination.
entry
Two or more horses owned by the same stable or (in some cases) trained by the same trainer and running together as a single betting unit. See also coupled.
equipment
Gear such as whip, blinkers and tongue tie that is carried by a horse in a race.
equivalent odds
The mutuel payoff per $1 wagered.
Exacta (also, Perfecta)
A type of wager where you must select the first two finishers of a race in the exact order of their finish. For example: If you select the #3 horse to finish first and the #5 horse to finish second, they must finish in that order. Called an Exactor in Canada and a Straight Forecast in the UK.
Exacta Box
A type of Exacta wager where all possible combinations of the horses you select are covered for finishing first and second. For example, if you box the #3, #4 and #5 horses, you'll win if the first two finishers are 3-4, 3-5, 4-3, 4-5, 5-3 or 5-4. The more horses you put in your box, the better chance you have of winning.
Exacta Wheel
A type of Exacta wager that involves keying one horse with several others. For example: If you wheel the #2 horse with the #4, #5 and #7 horses (2 / 4, 5, 7), you'll win if the first two finishers are 2-4, 2-5 or 2-7.
Exactor
See Exacta.
excused
Withdrawal from a race (sometimes on a veterinarian's recommendation) with consent from the stewards.
exercise rider
A male or female rider who exercises a horse during its morning training sessions.
exotic bet
Any bet where you are selecting more than one horse (e.g., Daily Double, Exacta, Trifecta).
extra weight (also, added weight)
A horse carrying more weight than the conditions of the race require, usually because the jockey exceeds the stated limit.

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F

faltered
A horse that was in contention early in the race but drops back in the late stages. Faltered is more drastic than weakened but less drastic than stopped.
false favorite
A horse that is the race favorite despite being outclassed by other competition in the field. See also underlay.
farrier
A blacksmith.
fast track
The optimum condition for a dirt track—dry, fast and even.
favorite
The most popular horse in a race. The favorite has the lowest odds because it is deemed to have the best chance of winning the race.
fence
Sometimes called "outside rail"; more properly, the barrier between the front of the stands and the racetrack.
field
1. All the horses running in a race.
2. All the horses not specifically listed who are also running. If a horse in the field wins, the field is declared the winner for wagering purposes.
filly
A female horse, four years old or younger. See also mare.
final odds
The odds that are calculated once betting closes. The final odds determine your payout amount.
firm track
The optimum condition for a turf course. This track condition corresponds to fast on a dirt track.
fixed odds
Your wager is fixed at the odds that were quoted when you placed your bet.
flag
The signal held by a person stationed a short distance in front of the starting gate at the exact starting point of a race. The official timing starts when the flag is dropped.
flak jacket
A vest worn by a jockey during a race to help protect the ribs and spine in the event of a fall.
flanks
The area of a horse's barrel between the rib cage and the hindquarters.
flatten out
When a horse drops its head almost in a straight line with its body. Flattening out may indicate exhaustion.
foal
A newborn male or female horse. A horse is considered a foal until it is weaned.
four furlongs
Half a mile—880 yards or 2,640 feet.
fractional times
The intermediate times (at the quarter, half, three-quarters, etc.) recorded throughout a race.
fresh (or freshened)
A rested horse.
front-runner
A horse that usually leads (or tries to lead) the field for as far as it can.
furlong
One-eighth of a mile—220 yards or 660 feet. Races are measured in furlongs.
furosemide
Otherwise known as Lasix, the medication used to treat respiratory bleeding.
futures
See ante post.

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G

gait
The ways in which a horse can move—such as walk, trot, canter and gallop—by lifting its feet in a different order or rhythm.
gallop
A gait that is similar to a canter, except that it is faster, more ground-covering and four beats rather than three. A gallop is the gait of classic horse races.
gate
See starting gate.
gelding
A gelded (castrated) male horse of any age.
get
A progeny of a sire.
good track
A dirt track condition that is between fast and slow.
grab a quarter
A common injury caused by a horse striking the side of its front foot with its hind foot.
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. They are always classified as Grade I, Grade II or Grade III, and the classification is capitalized when used in race titles (e.g., the Grade I Kentucky Derby).
granddam (also, second dam)
The grandmother of a horse.
grandsire
The grandfather of a horse; the sire of the horse's dam.
gray
A horse color that is a mixture of white and black hairs. Gray horses have black skin.
green
An inexperienced horse. A green horse hasn't raced or has raced only a few times.
groom
A person who takes care of one or more horses—washing, grooming, and feeding them.
group race
The European equivalent of North American graded races.

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H

half
Half a mile, or four furlongs—880 yards or 2,640 feet.
halter
Like a bridle, but without a bit. A halter is used when handling horses around the stable and when they are not being ridden.
hand
Four inches. A hand is the unit used to measure the height of horses from their withers to the ground.
handicap
To make selections on the basis of past performances.
handicap race
A race in which various weights are assigned to horses in an attempt to equalize their ability. The best horse in the race carries the most weight.
handicapper
A person who assigns weights for handicap races or who makes selections based on past performances.
handily
Working or racing with moderate effort, but with more effort than breezing.
hand ride
When a jockey urges a horse with his hands and arms rather than using his whip.
harness racing
A form of horse racing in which the horses are trotting or pacing and are harnessed to two-wheeled carts called sulkies.
homestretch (also, stretch)
The final straight portion of the racetrack on which the race finishes.
horse
An ungelded male horse, five years old or older.
hot walker
A person who walks horses to cool them off after a workout or race.
hurdle race
A race where horses are required to jump over a series of obstacles that are at least three and a half feet high. However, the obstacles are lower than those used in the steeplechase.

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I

impost
The weight that a horse is assigned to carry in a particular race.
in the money
The horses in a race that finish first, second or third.
infield
The area within the inner rail of the racetrack.
in hand
Running under moderate control, at less than best pace.
inquiry
An official investigation of rule infractions. Also, a sign flashed by officials on the Tote Board on such occasions.
invitational
A stakes race open only to horses that are invited to enter. Generally no entry fee is charged.
irons
See stirrups.

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J

jockey (or jock)
A person who rides a horse during a race.
jog
A slow, easy gait; a trot.
juvenile
A two-year-old horse.

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K

key horse
The main expected win/place/show horse used in multiple combinations in an exotic wager.

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L

lasix
The medication used to treat respiratory bleeding, a condition that occurs when tiny blood vessels in a horse's respiratory system are damaged by exertion. See also furosemide.
Late Double
A second Daily Double offered on the latter part of the program.
lead (or lead pad)
Weights carried to make up the difference between the weight of the jockey and the weight that the horse has been assigned to carry during the race.
leg up
To help a jockey mount his horse. Also, a jockey having a mount.
length
A measurement approximating the length of a horse from nose to tail, about 8 feet, which is used to denote the distance between horses in a race.
live odds (also, tote)
The odds that are set by the public after betting starts. These odds are constantly updated as money comes in—approximately once every 60 seconds. As they are posted on a tote board, they are commonly referred to as "the tote".
lock
Slang for a "sure thing" winner.
long shot (also, outsider)
A horse that is returning high odds and is deemed to have little chance of winning the race.
lug (in or out)
The action of a tiring horse; bearing in or out, failing to keep a straight course.

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M

maiden
A horse (male or female) that has never won a race. The term is also applied to a non-winning rider.
maiden race
A race for horses that have never won a race.
mare
A female horse five years old or older, or a female horse of any age that has been bred. See also filly.
match race
A race between two horses. Only a planned two-horse race is a match race—if a field scratches down to two horses, it isn't considered a match race.
minus pool
A mutuel pool caused when one horse is so heavily played that, after deductions of state tax and commission, there isn't enough money left to pay the legally prescribed minimum on each winning bet. The racing association usually makes up the difference.
minutes to post (MTP)
The time remaining before the race starts.
ML
See Morning Line.
morning glory
A horse that performs well in morning workouts, but fails to reproduce that form in actual races.
Morning Line (ML)
The approximate odds set by professional handicappers before wagering determines the exact odds. The Morning Line is informational only and isn't used to calculate payouts; however, reviewing the Morning Line will give you a good idea of who the contenders are. See also tote.
MTP
See minutes to post.
mudder
A horse that races well on muddy tracks.
muddy track
A dirt track condition where the base of the track has been permeated with water.
mudlark
A superior mudder.
mutuel pool
Short for parimutuel pool. The total amount bet on a specific kind of wager (e.g., Win, Daily Double, Exacta). Once the betting is closed, the track deducts a share from the pool and the remainder is divided among the winning bettors.
muzzle
The nose and lips of a horse. Also, a guard placed over a horse's mouth to prevent it from biting or eating.

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N

National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA)
A non-profit, membership organization created in 1997 to improve economic conditions and public interest in Thoroughbred racing.
near side
The left side of a horse, which is the side on which it is mounted. See also off side.
neck
A measurement approximating the length of a horse's neck, or a little less than a quarter of a length, which is used to denote the distance between horses in a race. When a horse reaches the finish line a neck ahead of the second horse, the first horse has "won by a neck".
nod
When a horse lowers its head. To win by a nod, a horse extends its head such that its nose touches the finish line ahead of a close competitor.
nose
The smallest advantage a horse can win by. When a finish is so close that only a portion of a horse's head reaches the finish line ahead of the second horse, the first horse has "won by a nose".

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O

oaks
A classic stakes race for three-year-old fillies.
objection
A claim of foul lodged by a rider, owner or trainer. If lodged by an official, it is called an inquiry.
odds-on
Odds of less than even money.
official
The sign displayed when a result is confirmed. Also, a racing official.
off side
The right side of a horse. See also near side.
off the board
A horse so lightly bet that its odds exceed 99 to 1.
off track
A track that isn't fast.
off track betting (OTB)
Wagering at legalized betting outlets.
on the muscle
When a horse is eager to run and is pulling at the bit.
on the board
Finishing among the first three.
on the nose
Betting a horse to win only.
out of the money
Finishing worse than third.
outrider
The person who rides the lead horse that accompanies the racehorses to the post. The outrider also catches loose horses and acts as a lifeguard on the track.
overlay
A horse whose odds for a race are greater than warranted based on its past performances.
overnight race
A race in which entries close a set number of hours before the race begins (such as 48 hours), as opposed to a stakes race where nominations close weeks and sometimes months in advance.
overweight
The surplus weight carried by a horse when the rider can't make the required weight. See also lead.

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P

pacesetter
The horse that is running in the lead.
pacing
A type of gait where the horse moves both legs on the same side forward at the same time.
paddock
The structure or area where horses are saddled and kept before post time.
parimutuel betting
A form of wagering that originated in France in which all money bet is divided among those who have winning tickets, after the track has deducted a share to cover expenses and profit. Parimutuel betting is the most widespread horse betting system and is used at all major American tracks. See also mutuel pool.
parlay
See accumulator.
payout
Your winnings plus your original bet amount.
Perfecta
See Exacta.
photo finish
A result so close that it is necessary to use the finish-line camera to determine the order of finish.
Pick 3 / Pick 4
A type of wager where you must select the first place finishers of all the designated races. If one leg of the wager is a loss, the entire wager will be deemed a loss. See also consolation payout.
Pick 3 / Pick 4 Wheel
A type of Pick 3 / Pick 4 wager where you increase your chances of winning by selecting more than one horse in one or more of the designated races.
pill
A small numbered ball that is used in a draw to decide post positions.
pinhook or pinhooker
To buy a horse at auction for the purpose of reselling it at a higher price later.
place
Finishing in second position.
Place bet
A type of wager where you must select which horse will come either first or second in the race.
pole
A marker at a measured distance around the track that marks the distance from the finish. For example: The quarter pole is a quarter of a mile from the finish (rather than from the start).
pool
See mutuel pool.
post
The starting point or position in the starting gate.
post parade
Horses going from the paddock to the starting gate past the stands.
post position
The position of the stall in the starting gate from which a horse starts.
post time
The designated time for a race to start.
prep (or prep race)
A workout or a race to prepare a horse for a future engagement.
purse
The total amount of money collected and offered as a prize for winning a race.
punter
A bettor or investor.

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Q

quarter
One-quarter of a mile—440 yards or 1,320 feet.
quarter horse
A breed of horse especially fast for a quarter of a mile, from which its name is derived.
Quinella
A type of wager where you must select the first two finishers in a race (like an Exacta), but payoff is made in either order of finish. For example: If you place a Quinella wager on the #3 and #8 horses, you'll win if the first two finishers are 3-8 or 8-3.
Quinella Box
A type of Quinella wager where you select as few as three horses or as many as the field, and you'll win if any two of the horses you select finish first and second. For example: If you box the #3, #4 and #5 horses, you'll win if the first two finishers are 3-4, 4-3, 3-5, 5-3, 4-5 or 5-4.

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R

rabbit
A horse that is considered to have little chance of winning a race but is entered purely to ensure a fast pace and tire out the other front-runners, softening up the competition for the benefit of an entry-mate.
racecard
A program for the day's racing.
racing secretary
The official who drafts conditions of races and assigns weights for handicap events.
receiving barn
The structure where horses are isolated for a certain period of time before a race.
ride long
Using long stirrup leathers.
ride short
Using short stirrup leathers.
ridgling
A horse with one or both undescended testes.
ringer
A look-alike horse entered in a race under the other's name—usually a good runner replacing a poorer one.
roan
A horse color that is a mixture of white and colored hairs. The white hairs aren't spots or markings; rather, they are mixed in with the darker coat color. The head, legs, mane and tail of a roan horse are solid-colored and don't display "roaning".
roaring
A deep, prolonged cough, generally when a horse is galloping.
route race
A race that is a mile or longer, generally around two turns. See also sprint race.
running off
Going too fast; out of control.

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S

saddlecloth
The cloth under the saddle on which the number denoting the horse's post position (and sometimes the horse's name) is displayed.
scratched
Listed as an entry in a race but taken out of the race before it starts. A horse may be scratched early in the day or right up until post time.
second dam
See granddam.
sesamoid bones
Two small bones located above and at the back of the fetlock joint, which is the joint formed by the pastern bone and the cannon bone.
shadow roll
A sheepskin roll that is positioned halfway up the horse's face to keep it from seeing shadows on the track.
shank
A rope or strap attached to the halter or bridle that is used to lead a horse.
shed row
Stable area; a row of barns.
show
Finishing in third position.
Show bet
A type of wager where you must select which horse will come either first, second, or third in a race.
shut off
Cut off, unable to improve position because of another horse blocking the path.
silks (also, colors)
The colorful jacket and cap worn by a jockey during a race to designate the owner(s) of the horse.
simulcast
Televising a race, live to other tracks, OTB offices or other outlets for the purpose of wagering.
single
A straight bet on a horse to win, place or show in a race or event.
sire
The father of a horse.
six furlongs
Three-quarters of a mile—1,320 yards or 3,960 feet.
sixteenth
One-sixteenth of a mile—110 yards or 330 feet.
sloppy track
A dirt track condition where there is moisture on the surface, but the base of the track is still firm.
slow track
A dirt track condition where both the surface and the base of the track are wet.
smart money
Insiders' bets or the insiders themselves.
soft track
A turf course condition where the track has become boggy, or spongy, after a prolonged rain.
sprint race
A race that is less than a mile, generally with only one turn. See also route race.
stake
The money risked in a wager.
stakes race
A race (usually a feature race) for which the owner must pay an entry fee to run his horse. The fees can be for nominating, maintaining eligibility, entering and starting and 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 capable of competing in stakes races.
stallion
A ungelded male horse. See also colt.
starter
The person who is responsible for starting a race. The starter releases the doors on the gate once all horses and riders are in and facing forward.
starter race
An allowance race or handicap race restricted to horses that have started for a specific claiming price or less.
starting gate
A mechanical device with stalls for horses to stand in until the starter releases the doors and begins the race.
steeplechase
A race where horses are required to jump over a series of high obstacles on the course.
step(ping) up
A horse moving up in class to compete against better runners.
stewards
The top officials of the race who are responsible for enforcing the rules.
stick
See whip.
stirrups
Metal D-shaped rings that a jockey places his feet in.
stockings
When a horse has white legs below the knees.
straight bet
A wager on the outcome of a single event (win, place or show). See also single and exotic bet.
Straight Forecast
See Exacta.
stretch
See homestretch.
stretch call
The call of the position of horses at the eighth pole, which is usually about halfway down the homestretch.
stretch runner
A horse that runs its fastest near the finish of a race.
stud
A male horse used for breeding.
stud book
A registry and genealogical record of thoroughbreds that is maintained by The Jockey Club.
suckling
A baby horse that is still nursing.
Superfecta
A type of wager where you must select the first four finishers of a race in the exact order of their finish. For example: If you select the #3 horse to finish first, the #5 horse to finish second, the #2 horse to finish third and the #1 horse to finish fourth, they must finish in that order.
Superfecta Box
A type of Superfecta wager where all possible combinations of the horses you select are covered for running first, second, third and fourth. For example: If you box the #2, #3, #4 and #5 horses, you'll have 24 different combinations that could win.
Superfecta Wheel
A type of Superfecta wager that typically involves keying one horse with several others. For example: If you think that the #2 horse will win the race and that the #3, #5 and #6 horses are equally likely to finish second, third and fourth, you could construct the following Superfecta Wheel: 2 / 3,5,6 / 3,5,6 / 3,5,6. You'll win if the first four finishers are 2-3-5-6, 2-3-6-5, 2-5-3-6, 2-5-6-3, 2-6-3-5 or 2-6-5-3. Like Trifecta Wheels, you can also construct a Superfecta Wheel with more then one horse in each spot (e.g., 3,5 / 3,5 / 1,2,4,6,7 / 1,2,4,6,7).
swayback
A horse with a dipped backbone.

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T

tack
A rider's racing equipment. The term is also applied to the stable gear worn by a horse.
take (or takeout)
The commission deducted from mutuel pools that is shared by the track and local and state governing bodies in the form of tax.
taken up
A horse pulled up sharply by his rider because of being in close quarters.
tattoo
A permanent mark on the inside of the upper lip that is used to identify the horse.
thoroughbred
A horse whose parentage traces back to any of the three "founding sires" (the Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk and Godolphin Barb) and that 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. No other horse, no matter what its parentage, is considered a thoroughbred for racing and/or breeding purposes.
ticket
The betting slip or ticket that you receive from the bookmaker or totalisator, as proof of your wager. The ticket is necessary to collect the dividends.
tongue tie (or tongue strap)
A strap or tape bandage used to tie down a horse's tongue to prevent it from choking in a race or workout.
topweight
The highest weight assigned or carried in a race.
totalisator (also, tote machine)
An automated machine that sells and records betting tickets and calculates up-to-the-minute odds and payoffs. The name is often shortened to "tote machine".
tote
See live odds.
tote board (also, board)
The board on which the odds calculated by a tote machine are posted.
tote machine
See totalisator.
tout
A person who gives tips on racehorses, usually attaining some personal reward in return. The term is also used as a verb, meaning to give tips.
track record
The fastest time at various distances recorded at a particular track.
Triactor
See Trifecta.
Tricast
See Trifecta.
Trifecta (also, Triple)
A type of wager where you must select the first three finishers of a race in the exact order of their finish. For example: If you select the #3 horse to finish first, the #5 horse to finish second and the #2 horse to finish third, they must finish in that order. Called a Triactor in Canada, a Triple in some parts of the US, and a Tricast in the UK.
Trifecta Box
A type of Trifecta wager where all possible combinations of the horses you select are covered for running first, second and third. For example: If you box the #3, #4 and #5 horses, you'll win if the first three finishers are 3-4-5, 3-5-4, 4-3-5, 4-5-3, 5-3-4 or 5-4-3. The more horses you put in your box, the better chance you have of winning.
Trifecta Wheel
A type of Trifecta wager that typically involves keying one horse with several others. For example: If you think that the #9 horse will win the race and that the #3 and #5 horses are equally likely to finish second and third, you could construct the following Trifecta Wheel: 9 / 3,5 / 3,5. You'll win if the first three finishers are 9-3-5 or 9-5-3. You can also construct a Trifecta Wheel with more then one horse in each spot (e.g., 3,5 / 3,5 / 1,2,4,6,7).
Triple
See Trifecta.
Triple Crown
A combination of three races for three-year-old thoroughbreds. A horse must win all three races to win the Triple Crown, which is considered the greatest accomplishment of a racehorse (and hasn't been done since 1978). In the US, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. In the UK, the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes, Epsom Derby and St. Leger Stakes. In Canada, the Queen's Plate, Prince of Wales Stakes and Breeders' Stakes.
trot
A type of gait in which the horse moves its legs in unison in diagonal pairs. A trot is slower than a canter but faster than a walk.
turf course
A racetrack with a grass surface.
turn down
A protrusion added to the bottom of a horseshoe to provide better traction.
twitch
A device usually consisting of a stick with a loop of rope at one end, which is placed around a horse's nose and upper lip and twisted to curb fractiousness.

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U

underlay
A horse whose odds for a race are less than warranted based on its past performance.
untried
Not raced or tested for speed. Also, a stallion that has not been bred.
upset
When a heavy favorite is beaten by another horse. The term was once thought to have originated in 1919 when a horse named Upset beat Man O' War (the only loss of the stallion's career). However, the term was used in reference to sporting events before that date.

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V

valet
A person who attends jockeys, keeping their wardrobe and equipment in order and assisting in saddling their horses.

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W

walk
A type of gait in which the horse's legs follow this sequence: left hind leg, left front leg, right hind leg, right front leg, in a regular 1-2-3-4 beat.
walkover
A race that scratches down to only one starter who merely gallops the required distance. A walkover is a formal gesture required by the rules of racing.
warming up
Galloping/jogging a horse before a race begins.
washy (or washed out)
A horse breaking out in a nervous sweat from head to tail before a race.
weanling
A foal less than one year old that has been separated from its dam. When it turns one, it is referred to as a yearling.
weigh in (out)
The certification, by the clerk of scales, of a jockey's weight before (after) a race. A jockey weighs in fully dressed with all equipment except for his helmet, whip and (in many jurisdictions) flak jacket.
weight
The assigned weight for a horse, including the jockey, equipment and lead weights if needed.
wheel
Betting numerous combinations on one ticket by keying one (or more) horse to finish in one position with any number of horses to finish in the remaining positions. See also Exacta Wheel, Trifecta Wheel, Superfecta Wheel, Daily Double Wheel and Pick 3 / Pick 4 Wheel.
whip (also, stick)
An instrument usually of leather with which a rider strikes his horse in an effort to increase its speed.
white
An extremely rare horse color in which all the hairs are white. A white horse's eyes are brown or blue, not pink, as would be the case for an albino.
win
Finishing in first position.
Win bet
A type of wager where you must select which horse will come first in a race.
win by a neck
See neck.
win by a nose
See nose.
wire
The finish line of a race.
withers
The highest point of a horse's shoulder.
with the field
Having one horse linked with all the other horses in an event. It can apply to forecasts or in doubles.
work
An exercise run timed by clockers to go onto a horse's record, which can be seen on past performances.

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Y

yearling
A horse between the first New Year's Day after being foaled and the following January 1.
yielding
A turf course condition where some moisture has created a softer surface for the horses to run on.

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