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Racebook > Glossary of Horse Racing Terms

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A
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.
ACTION
A horse's manner of moving.
ADDED MONEY
Money added to the purse of a race by the racing association, breeding, or other fund to the amount paid by owners in nomination, eligibility, entry and starting fees.
AGENT
A person empowered to transact business of a stable owner or jockey. Also, a person empowered to sell or buy horses for an owner or breeder.
ALL OUT
When a horse extends himself to the utmost.
ALLOWANCE RACE
A race other than claiming for which the racing secretary drafts certain conditions to determine weights.
ALLOWANCES
Weight permitted to be reduced because of the conditions of the race or because an apprentice is on a horse. Also, a weight females are entitled to when racing against males.
ALSO-ELIGIBLE
A horse officially entered but not permitted to start unless the field is reduced by scratches below a specified number.
ALSO-RAN
A horse who finishes out of the money.
APPRENTICE
Rider who has not ridden a certain number of winners within a specified period of time. Also known as a bug boy.
APPRENTICE ALLOWANCE
Weight concession 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.
B
BABY RACE
A race for 2 year old horses
BACKSTRETCH
Straight of far side of track between turns. Also stable area.
BACKSIDE
Stable area
BAD ACTOR
Fractious horse.
BAD DOER
Horse with bad appetite.
BALD (or BALD FACE)
White face of horse, including eyes, nostrils or part of the latter.
BANDAGE
Strips of cloth worn around the lower part of a horse's legs for support or protection.
BAR SHOE
A horse shoe with a rear bar to protect an injured foot.
BAY
Color of horse varying from tan (light bay) to brown or dark, rich shade of mahogany (sometimes listed as dark bay or brown) with black points
black mane, tail and shadings of black low on the legs.
BEARING IN (or OUT)
Deviating from a straight course. May be due to weariness, infirmity, punishment by rider or rider's inability to control mount.
BELL
Signal sounded when starter opens the gates or sometimes to signal close of betting
BIT
Bar in horse's mouth which is used to guide or control horse.
BLACK
Body, head muzzle, flanks and legs are covered with uniform black hair.
BLACK TYPE
Designation for a stakes winner or stakes-placed horse in sales catalogues.
BRACE (or BRACER)
Rubdown liniment used on a horse after a race or a workout.
BLANKET FINISH
Term used for horses finishing so closely together they could be covered by a blanket.
BLAZE
White patch on face of a horse.
BLEEDER
A term for a horse who bleeds during or after a workout or race due to ruptured blood vessel.
BLIND SWITCH
Being caught in a pocket or such a position behind or between horses that a free course cannot be pursued.
BLINKERS
Device to limit a horse's vision to prevent swerving or distraction
BLISTER
Counter-irritant to ease pain or to treat an ailment.
BLOOD WORMS
Parasites that get into the blood stream.
BLOWOUT
A short, final workout a day or two before a race, designed to sharpen a horse's speed.
BOARD
Totalisator board on which odds, betting pools and other information is displayed.
BOBBLE
A bad step away from the starting gate, causing him to duck his head or nearly go to his knees.
BOG SPAVIN
Puffy swelling on the inside and slightly in front of the back, usually caused by overwork or strain.
BOLT
Sudden veering from a straight course.
BOTTOM
A horse's stamina. Also, sub-surface of racing strip.
BOTTOM LINE
Thoroughbred's breeding on female side. The bottom half of an extended pedigree diagram.
BREAK (A horse)
To accustom a young horse to racing equipment and methods, and to carry a rider.
BREAKAGE
In pari-mutual payoffs which are rounded out to a nickel or dime, those pennies that are left over. Breakage is generally split between the track and state and, in some cases, breeding or other funds, in varying proportions.
BREAKDOWN
When a horse suffered an injury; lameness.
BREAK MAIDEN
Horse or rider winning first race of career.
BREATHER
Restraining a horse for a short distance in a race in order to permit him to conserve or renew his strength.
BREEDER
Owner of dam at time foal is dropped.
BREEDING FUND
A state fund to provide bonus prizes for state breds.
BREEZE
Working a horse at a moderate speed; less effort than handily.
BRIDGE-JUMPER
Someone who makes large show bets on short-priced favorites.
BROODMARE
Female Thoroughbred used for breeding.
BROWN
Sometimes difficult to separate from black or dark bay. This color can usually be distinguished by noting finer tan or brown hairs on the muzzles or flanks.
BUCKED SHINS
Inflammation of front of cannon bone to which young horses are particularly susceptible.
BUG
Apprentice allowance. Apprentice rider.
BULLET (WORK)
The best time for the distance on the work tab for a given day at a track.
BULL RING
Small racetrack; usually less than one mile.
C
CALK
Projection bottom of shoe to give horse greater traction, especially on a wet track.
CALL (the)
Running position of horses in a race at various points.
CALLER
One who calls the running positions of horses in a race.
CAPPED HOCK
Injury to hock caused by kicking or rubbing.
CHART
A statistical "picture" of a race (from which past performances are compiled), which shows the position and margin of each horse at designated points of call (depending on distance of the race), age, weight carried, owner, trainer, purse, conditions, pay-off prices, odds, time and other data.
CHECKED
A horse pulled up by his jockey because he is cut off or in tight quarters.
CHESTNUT
Varies from light, yellowish to dark liver color, between which comes red, gold and liver shades. A chestnut never has black points, mane or tail.
CLAIMING
Buying a horse out of race for entered price.
CLAIMING BOX
Box in which claims are deposited before the race.
CLAIMING RACE
Race in which horses are entered subject to claim for a specified price.
CLASSIC
Race of traditional importance. In the U.S. specifically the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes for colts, and Coaching Club American Oaks for fillies.
CLERK OF SCALES
An official that weighs the riders before and after a race to be sure proper weight is carried.
CLIMBING
A fault in a horse's stride in which, instead of reaching out, his action is abnormally high.
CLOCKER
Person who times workouts and races.
CLOSER
A horse who runs best in the latter part of the race.
CLUBHOUSE TURN
Generally, the turn closest to the clubhouse.
COLORS
Racing silks-jacket and cap-worn by riders to denote the owner(s) of horse.
COLT
Male horse under 5 years old.
COMPANY
Class of horses in a race. Members of the field.
CONDITION RACE
An event with conditions limiting it to a certain class of horse.
CONFORMATION
A horse's build and general physical structure.
CONTRACT RIDER
Jockey under contract to a stable.
COOLING OUT
Restoring a horse, usually by walking, to normal temperature after becoming overheated in a race or workout.
COUGH
Broadly, a cold. More prevalent in spring among young Thoroughbreds.
COUPLED
Two or more horses running as an entry in a single betting unit.
CRIBBER (A WIND SUCKER)
A horse who clings to objects with his teeth and sucks air into his stomach.
CUP
Trophy awarded to owners of winners. Also distance race of a mile and a half or more.
CUP HORSE
One qualified to engage in distance races.
CUPPY (TRACK)
A surface which breaks away under a horse's hoof.
CUSHION
Surface of track or a layer of the track.
D
DAILY DOUBLE
Type of wager calling for the selection of winners of two consecutive races, usually the first and second.
DAM
Mother of a Thoroughbred.
DAMSIRE (BROODMARE SIRE)
The sire of a broodmare.
DEAD-HEAT
Two or more horses finishing in an exact tie.
DEAD TRACK
Racing surface lacking resiliency.
DECLARED
In U.S., a horse withdrawn from a stake in advance of scratch time. In Europe, a horse confirmed to start in a race.
DIPLOMA (Earning a...)
Breaking a maiden, winning for the first time.
DISQUALIFICATION
Change of finishing order by officials for an infraction of the rules.
DISTAFF (DISTAFF RACE)
Female. A race for fillies, mares, or both.
DISTANCED
Finishing a great distance behind the winner.
DOGS
Wooden barrier (or rubber traffic cones) placed a certain distance out from the inner rail, to prevent horses during workout period, when track is wet, muddy, soft yielding or heavy, from churning the footing along the rail.
DQ
Disqualified.
DRIVING
Strong urging by rider.
DWELT
Tardy in breaking from the gate.
E
EASED
Chart caller's assessment of a horse that is being deliberately slowed by the jockey to prevent injury or harm to the horse.
EASILY
Running or winning without being pressed by rider or opposition.
EIGHTH
A furlong; 220 yards; 660 feet.
ELIGIBLE
Qualified to start in a race, according to conditions.
ENGAGEMENT
Stake nomination. Riding commitment.
ENTRY
Two or more horses owned by the same stable or (in some cases) trained by the same trainer and thus running as a single betting unit.
EQUIPMENT
Whip, blinkers, etc. Gear carried by a horse in a race.
EQUIVALENT ODDS
Mutual price horses pay for each $1 bet.
EVENLY
Neither gaining nor losing position or distance 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.
EXCUSED
Withdrawal from a race (sometimes on a veterinarian's recommendation) with consent of stewards.
EXERCISE RIDER
Male or female rider who is aboard a horse in the mornings.
EXTENDED
Forced to run at top speed.
EXTRA WEIGHT (ADDED WEIGHT)
More weight than conditions of race require.
F
FALTERED
Used for a horse that was in contention early and drops back in the late stages. More drastic than weakened but less drastic than stopped.
FALSE FAVORITE
Horse who is bet down to favoritism when others would appear to outclass him on form.
FARRIER
Blacksmith.
FAST TRACK
Footing at best, dry, fast and even.
FEES
Amount paid to rider or the cost of nominating, entering or starting a horse in a stakes race.
FIELD
The horses in a race.
FIELD HORSE (or MUTUAL FIELD)
Two or more starters running as a single betting unit, when there are more entrants than positions on the totalisator board can accommodate.
FILLY
A young female horse up to four years old.
FIRM
A condition of a turf course corresponding to fast on a dirt track.
FIRST TURN
Bend in the track beyond the starting point.
FLAG
Signal held by man stationed a short distance in front of the gate at exact starting point of race. Official timing starts when flag is dropped to denote proper start.
FLAT RACE
Contested on level ground.
FLATTEN OUT
When a horse drops his head almost on straight line with body. May indicate exhaustion.
FLOAT
Piece of track equipment dragged over racing strip to squeeze off surface water.
FOAL
Newly born Thoroughbred, or until weaned. Male or female.
FOUNDER
See Laminitis.
FOUR FURLONGS
Half a mile; 880 yards; 2,640 feet.
FRACTIONAL TIME
Intermediate time recorded in a race.
FRESH (FRESHENED)
A horse that is rested.
FREE HANDICAP
A race in which there are no nomination fees.
FRONT-RUNNER
A horse who usually leads (or tries to lead) the field for as far as he can.
FURLONG
One-eighth of a mile; 220 yards; 660 feet.
FUROSEMIDE
Generic term for a medication for the treatment of bleeders. Most common trade name is Lasix.
G
GAIT
The ways in which a horse can move-walk, trot, canter, gallop, run, etc.
GALLOP
A type of gait, a fast canter. Also, to ride a horse at that gait.
GATE
Starting mechanism.
GELDING
Castrated male horse.
GET
Progeny of sire.
GOOD BOTTOM
Track that is firm under the surface, which may be sloppy or wet.
GOOD TRACK
Condition between fast and slow.
GRAB A QUARTER
Racetrack jargon meaning to strike the side of a front foot with a hind foot. Reserve grabbed a quarter for direct quotes.
GRADUATE
Winning first time, horse or rider. Also, graduate of the claiming ranks-a horse, that has moved up to allowance, stakes or handicap racing.
GRANDDAM (SECOND DAM)
Grandmother of a horse.
GRANDSIRE
Grandfather of a horse, sire of the horse's dam.
GRAY
A mixture of white and black hairs.
GROOM
A person who cares for a horse in a stable.
GROUP RACE
European equivalent to North American graded races.
H
HALF
Half a mile, four furlongs; 880 yards; 2,640 feet.
HALF-BROTHER, HALF-SISTER
Horses out of the same dam but by different sires.
HALTER
Like a bridle, but lacing a bit. Used in handling horses around the stable and when not being ridden.
HALTER (TO)
To claim a horse.
HAND
Four inches. Unit used in measuring height of horses from withers to ground.
HANDICAP
Race for which a handicapper assigns weights to be carried. Also, to handicap a race, to make selections on the basis of the past performances.
HANDICAPPER
One who assigns weights for handicap race. Also one who makes selections based on past performances.
HANDILY
Working or racing with moderate effort, but more effort than breezing.
HANDLE
Amount of money wagered in the pari-mutual on a race, a program, a meeting or a year.
HAND RIDE
Urging a horse with the hands, not using the whip.
HEAD
A margin between horses. One horse leading another by the length of his head.
HEAD OF THE STRETCH
Beginning of the straight run home.
HEAVY
Condition of track similar to, but even slower than, muddy.
HIGHWEIGHT HANDICAP
Race in which the topweight is assigned no less than 140 pounds.
HOMEBRED
A horse bred by his owner.
HORSE
Broadly, in any Thoroughbred regardless of sex. Specifically, an entire male 5 years old or older.
HORSING
Mare in heat.
HUNG
Horse tiring, but holding position.
HURDLE RACE
Contested over obstacles. A jumping race over lower fences than steeplechase races.
I
ICING
Encouraging circulation by standing a horse in a bucket of ice or applying ice packs to the legs.
IN FOAL
Pregnant mare.
IN THE MONEY
Finishing first, second or third.
INFIELD
Area within the inner rail of the racetrack.
INFIELD RACING (SPORT)
Turf racing.
IN HAND
Running under moderate control, at less than best pace.
IMPOST
Weight carried or assigned.
INTER-STATE (Wagering)
Wagering on a simulcast of a race from another state.
INQUIRY
Reviewing the race to check into a rule infraction. Also, a sign flashed by officials to signify an inquiry.
IRONS
Stirrups.
J
JOCKEY FEE
Sum paid to a rider.
JOG
Slow, easy gait.
JUMPER
Steeplechase or hurdle horse.
JUVENILE
Two-year-old horse.
K L
LAMINITIS
Inflammation under horny wall of foot.
LATE DOUBLE
A second daily double offered on the latter part of the program. (See Daily Double)
LEAD
Strap attached to halter to lead a horse.
LEAD (or LEAD PAD)
Weights carried to make up the difference when a rider weighs less than the poundage a horse is assigned to carry.
LEAD PONY
Horse or pony who heads parade of field from paddock to starting gate. Also a horse or pony who accompanies a starter to post.
LEAKY ROOF CIRCUIT
Minor tracks.
LENGTH
Length of a horse from nose to tail, about 8 feet. Also distance between horses in a race.
LOCK
Slang for a "sure thing" winner.
LUG (in or out)
Action of a tiring horse, bearing in or out.
LUNGE
Horse rearing or plunging.
M
MAIDEN
A horse who has not won a race. Also applied to non-winning rider.
MAIDEN RACE
A race for non winners.
MAKE A RUN
Charge by a horse in a race.
MARE
Female horse 5 years old or older. Also, female of any age who has been bred.
MASH
Moist mixture, hot or cold, of grain and other feed given to horses.
MEDICATION LIST
A list kept by the track veterinarian and published by the track and Daily Racing Form (when provided by track officials) showing which horses have been treated with phenylbutazone and/or furosemide.
MIDDLE DISTANCE
Broadly from one mile to less than a mile and an eighth.
MINUS POOL
A mutual pool caused when one 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.
MONEY RIDER
A rider who excels in rich races.
MORNING GLORY
Horse who performs well in morning workouts but fails to reproduce that form in races.
MORNING LINE
Approximate odds quoted before betting determines exact odds.
MTP
Minutes to post
MUDDY TRACK
Deep condition of racetrack after being soaked with water.
MUDDER
Horse who races well on muddy tracks.
MUDLARK
Superior mudder.
MUZZLE
Nose and lips of a horse. Also a guard placed over a horse's mouth to prevent him from biting or eating.
N
NAVICULAR DISEASE
Corrosive ulcer on the navicular bone, usually in the fore feet.
NEAR SIDE
Left side of a horse, side on which he is mounted.
NECK
Unit of measurement, about the length of a horse's neck; a quarter of a length.
NERVED
Operation that severs vital nerve to enable horses to race without pain. Illegal in most jurisdictions.
NOD
Lowering of head. Winning in that manner.
NOSE
Smallest advantage a horse can win by. In England called a short head.
0
OAKS
A classic stakes event for 3-year-old fillies.
OBJECTION
Claim of foul lodged by rider, patrol judge or other official. If lodged by official, it is called an inquiry.
ODDS-ON
Odds of less than even money. In England it is simply called "on," thus a horse "5-4 on" is actually at odds of 4-5.
OFFICIAL
Sign displayed when result is confirmed. Also racing official.
OFF TRACK
A wet racing surface.
OFF-TRACK BETTING
Wagering on horses at legalized betting offices run usually by the state or the tracks, or, in New York, by independent corporations chartered by the state, with wagers commingled with on-track betting pools.
ON THE BOARD
Finishing among the first four.
ON THE NOSE
Betting a horse to win only.
OVER-REACHING
Toe of hind shoe striking forelegs on heel, or back of coronet.
OVERLAND
Racing wide throughout, outside of other horses.
OVERLAY
A horse going off at a higher price than he appears to warrant based on his past performances.
OVERNIGHT LINE
Prices quoted night before the race.
OVERNIGHT RACE
A race in which entries close a specific number of hours before running, as opposed to race for which nominations close weeks and sometimes months in advance.
OVERWEIGHT
Surplus weight carried by a horse when the rider cannot make the required weight.
P
PADDOCK
Structure or area where horses are saddled and kept before post time.
PARIMUTUAL
A form of wagering in which all money bet is divided up among those who have winning tickets, after taxes, takeout and other deductions are made.
PAST PERFORMANCES
A compilation in Daily Racing Form of a horse's record, including all pertinent data, as a basis for handicapping.
PATROL JUDGES
Officials who watch the progress of race from various vantage points around the track.
PENALTIES
Extra weight a horse must carry, especially in a handicap.
PHOTO FINISH
A result so close it is necessary to use a finish-line camera to determine order of finish.
PICK SIX (or more)
A type of wager in which the winners of all the included races must be selected.
PILL
Small numbered ball drawn to decide post positions.
PINCHED BACK
Horse in close quarters and forced back.
PINHOOKER; PINHOOK
To buy a horse at auction for the purpose of reselling later.
PLACE
Second position at finish.
PLACE BET
Wager on a horse to finish first or second.
PLACING JUDGES
Officials who determine the order in which horses reach the finish line.
PLATTER
Claiming horse. Also a farrier.
PLATES
Shoes horses wear in races. Racing plates.
POCKET
Boxed in, shut off. Running in a position with horses in front and alongside.
POLE
Markers at measured distances around the track that mark the distance from the finish.
POST
Starting point or position in starting gate.
POOL
Mutual pool. Total sum bet on a race or event, such as the win pool, daily double pool, exacta pool.
POST PARADE
Horses going from paddock to starting gate past the stands.
POST POSITION
Position of stall in starting gate from which a horse starts.
POST TIME
Designated time from race to start.
PREFERRED LIST
Horses with prior rights to starting for various reasons.
PREP (or PREP RACE)
A workout or a race to prepare a horse for a future engagement.
PROP
Refusing to break with field from gate. Standing flat-footed. Also, when a horse suddenly stops running a full speed by extending his forefeet as "brakes."
PUBLIC TRAINER
One whose services are not exclusively engaged by a single stable and who accepts horses from a number of owners.
PURSE
A prize of money to which owners do not contribute.
Q
QUARTER
One-quarter of a mile; 440 yards; 1,320 feet.
QUARTER CRACK
Crack in wall of hoof running downwards from coronet.
QUARTER HORSE
Breed of horse especially fast for a quarter of a mile, from which its name is derived.
QUARTER POLE
Marker one-quarter mile from the finish.
QUINELLA
Wager in which first two finishers must be picked, but payoff is made no matter which of the two wins and which runs second.
R
RABBIT
A horse that is considered to have little chance of winning a race but is entered only to ensure a fast pace and tire out the other front-runners, softening up the competition for the benefit of an entrymate.
RAIL RUNNER
Horse who prefers to run next to inside rail.
RECEIVING BARN
Structure at which horses are isolated for a certain period of time before a race.
REFUSE
When a horse will not break from the gate. In jumping races, balking at the jump.
RESERVED
Held for a particular engagement or race. Also, held off the pace.
RIDDEN OUT
Refers to the running of a horse that wins under a vigorous hand ride but is not whipped.
RIDGLING
A horse with one or both undescended testes.
ROAN
Mixture of white and red (or brown) hairs.
ROARING
Deep, prolonged cough, generally when a horse is galloping.
ROGUE
Ill-tempered horse.
ROMP
Running (or winning) with ease.
ROUTE
Race distance of one mile or more.
ROUTER
Horse who performs well at distance races.
RUNDOWN
Of a horse, to suffer abrasions on the heels as a result of contact with the dirt and sand of the track surface.
RUNDOWN BANDAGES (or WRAPS)
Bandages on the hind legs, usually with a pad inside, to keep a horse from "burning" or scraping his heels when he races.
RUN-OUT BIT
A special type of bit to prevent a horse from bearing out (or in).
S
SADDLE CLOTH
Cloth under the saddle on which number (and sometimes horse's name) denoting post position is displayed.
SAVAGE
To bite another horse or a person.
SCHOOLING
Accustoming a horse to starting from the gate and to teach him racing practices. In steeplechasing, more particularly to teach a horse to jump.
SCHOOLING LIST
List of horses required by the starter to school at the starting gate before being permitted to race.
SCRATCH
To be taken out of a race.
SECOND CALL
A second engagement of jockey who already is listed for a mount in a race.
SECOND DAM
Grandmother; granddam.
SELLING RACE
A claiming race.
SET DOWN
A suspension. Also, put to a drive, or asked to run by a jockey.
SEVEN FURLONGS
Seven-eighths of a mile; 1,540 yards; 4,620 feet.
SEX ALLOWANCE
Rules describing amount of weight that can be carried by females. Fillies and mares, according to their age and time of year, are allowed to carry three to five pounds less when meeting males.
SHADOW ROLL
Usually a lamb's wool roll half way up the horse's face to keep him from seeing his own shadow.
SHANK
Rope or strap attached to a halter or bridle by which a horse is led.
SHOW
Third position at the finish.
SHOW BET
Wager on a horse to finish in the money; third or better.
SHUT OFF
Pocketed. Unable to improve position.
SILKS
Jacket and cap worn by riders which designate owner of the horse.
SIMULCAST
Televising a race to other tracks, OTB offices or other outlets for the purpose of wagering.
SIRE
Father of a horse.
SIX FURLONGS
Three-quarter of a mile; 1,320 yards, 3,960 feet.
SIXTEENTH
One-sixteenth of a mile; 110 yards, 330 feet.
SLOPPY
Condition of footing. Wet on surface with firm bottom.
SLOW
Footing that is not fast, between good and heavy.
SNUG
Mild restraining hold by rider.
SOLID HORSE
Contender.
SOPHOMORE
Three-year-old horse.
SPIT THE BIT
When a horse quits running against the bit, usually because of fatigue;
STAKES-PLACED
Finishing first, second or third in a stakes race.
STAKE
A race (usually a feature race) for which owner must pay up a fee to run a horse. The fees can be for nominating, maintaining eligibility, entering and starting, to which 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
One capable of competing in such events.
STALLION
Entire male horse.
STALL WALKER
Horse that moves about his stall and frets and does not rest.
STAR
Small patch of white hair on a horse's forehead. Also a credit a horse receives from being forced out of an overcrowded race, giving him priority in future races.
STARTER RACE
An allowance or handicap race restricted to horses who have started for a specific claiming price or less.
STARTING GATE
Mechanical device with stalls for horses in which they are confined until the starter releases the doors in front to begin the race.
STATE-BRED
A horse bred in a particular state and is eligible to compete in special races restricted to state-breds.
STAYER
Stout-hearted horse who can race long distances.
STEADIED
A horse being taken in hand by his rider, usually because of being in close quarters.
STEPS UP
A horse moving up in class to meet better runners.
STEWARDS
Top officials of the meeting responsible for enforcing the rules.
STEEPLECHASE
A jumping race over high obstacles.
STRETCH
Final straight portion of the racetrack to the finish.
STRETCH CALL
Position of horses at the eighth pole, usually about halfway down the stretch.
STRETCH RUNNER
Horse who finishes fast.
STRETCH TURN
Bend of track into homestretch.
STRIDE
Manner of going. Also distance covered after each foot has touched the ground once.
STRIP
Markings of a horse. White hairs running part-way down the face.
STRIPE
A white marking running down a horse's face to bridge of nose or below.
STUD
Male horse used for breeding. Also breeding farm.
STUD BOOK
Registry and genealogical record of the breeding of Thoroughbreds maintained by The Jockey Club.
SUBSCRIPTION
Fee paid by owner to nominate horse for a stakes race or to maintain eligibility for a stakes race.
SUCKLING
Thoroughbred still nursing.
SUSPEND (or SUSPENSION)
Punishment for infraction of rules.
SWAYBACK
Horse with a dipped backbone.
T
TACK
Riders' racing equipment. Also applied to stable gear.
TAKE (or TAKEOUT)
Commission deducted from mutual pools which 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.
TATTOO
A letter and a group of numerals on underside of the upper lip of each registered Thoroughbred.
TIGHT
Ready to race.
TIMBER TOPPER
Jumper or steeplechase horse. More properly horses jumping over timber fences.
TONGUE STRAP
Strap used to tie down a horse's tongue to prevent it from choking in a race or workout.
TOP LINE
Thoroughbred's breeding on his sire's side.
TOPWEIGHT
Highest weight assigned or carried in a race.
TOUT
One who gives tips on racehorses, usually with expectation of some personal reward in return; to give tips.
TRACK BIAS
A racing surface that favors a particular running style or position; horses that run on the lead or on the rail.
TRACK RECORD
Fastest time at various distances recorded at a particular track.
TRIAL
Workout.
TRIFECTA (or TRIPLE)
A wager picking the first three finishers in exact order.
TRIPLE CROWN
In the United States, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. In England the 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St. Leger.
TURF COURSE
Grass course.
TURN DOWN
A protrusion on the bottom of a horseshoe added to give traction.
U
UNDER CONTRACT
A trainer or rider formally signed for a specified time and compensation.
UNDERLAY
A horse racing at longer odds than he should.
UNDER WRAPS
Horse under stout restraint in a race or workout.
UNTRIED
Not raced or tested for speed. Also a stallion who has not been bred.
UNWIND
Gradually withdrawing a horse from intensive training.
V
VALET
Person who attends riders and keeps equipment in order.
W
WALK HOTS
To cool down a horse out after a workout or race.
WALKOVER
Race which scratches down to only one starter who gallops required distance. A formal gesture required by rules of racing.
WARMING UP
Galloping horse on way to post.
WEANLING
A foal that is less than 1-year-old that has been separated from its dam.
WEAVING
Swaying motion in stall, or act of threading way through field in race.
WEIGHT-FOR-AGE
Fixed scale of weights to be carried by horses according to age, sex, distance of race and season of year.
WINDED
Breathing with difficulty after workout or race.
WINNER-TAKES-ALL
Winner receives all the purse or stakes.
WITHERS
The highest point of a horse's shoulder.
WOBBLER
A neurological disease due to compression of the spinal cord. Seen principally in 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds.
WORK
To exercise a horse. A workout.
X Y
YEARLING
Thoroughbred between the first New Year's Day after being foaled and the following January 1.
YIELDING
Condition of turf course with a great deal of moisture.
Z