Glossary of Terms

A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  I  |  J  |  L  |  M  |  O  |  P  |  R  |  S  |  T  |  U  |  V  |  WXYZ


Across the board: A win, place and show bet on a horse.

Allowance: A race other than a claiming event for which the racing secretary drafts certain conditions.

Apprentice: A jockey who has ridden for less than a year and who receives weight allowances. 

[back to top]


Backside: The racetrack's barn area.

Bay: A color ranging from tan to dark chestnut with black mane, tail and points.

Beyer speed rating: A measure of performance popularized by Andy Beyer of The Washington Post.

Bounce: An exceptionally poor performance on the heels of an exceptionally good one.

Broodmare: Female horse used for breeding.

Broodmare sire: A sire whose female offspring become producers of exceptional performers.

Bullet: Fastest workout of the day at a particular distance. 

[back to top]


Call to the post: A special call played on a Bugle used to signal the horses to the starting gate.

Chestnut: A color ranging from light gold to deep red. Also, a small, horny growth on the inside of a horse's front legs.

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.

Colt: An ungelded male horse 4 years old or younger. 

[back to top]


Dam: The mother of a horse.

Distaff: A race for female horses.

Driving: Strong urging by jockey. 

[back to top]


Early foot: Good speed at the start of a race.

Entry: Two or more horses representing the same owner or trained by the same person and running together as a single betting entity. 

[back to top]


Filly: A female horse less than 5 years old.

Furlong: An eighth of a mile. 

[back to top]


Gelding: A neutered male horse. 

[back to top]


Handicapping: This is the study of factors in the past performances which determine the relative qualities and abilities of horses in a race.

Handle: Money wagered.

[back to top]


Inquiry: Official investigation of rule infractions. 

[back to top]


Juvenile: Two-year-old horse. 

[back to top]


Lasix: Diuretic medication given to horses which bleed. 

[back to top]


Maiden: A horse that hasn't won a flat racein any country.

Mare: A female horse 5 years old or older.

Morning line: The starting odds set by thetrack handicapper. 

[back to top]


Off track: A track that is not fast.

Overlay: A horse whose odds are greater than itspotential to win. 

[back to top]


Paddock: Structure or area where horses are saddled and kept before going to the track.

Pari-mutuel: System of wagering where all the money is returned to the wagerers after deduction of track and state percentages. 
[back to top]


Roan: Horse with white hairs mingledthroughout its coat. 

[back to top]


Silks: Jacket and cap worn by jockeys.

Sire: Father of a foal.

Stallion: Uncastrated male horse.

Stud: Stallion. 
[back to top]


Turf course: Grass covered race course. 

[back to top]


Underlay: Horse whose odds are more promising than his potential to win. 

[back to top]


Valet: A person who helps jockeys keep their wardrobe and equipment in order. 

[back to top]


Weight: The assigned weight for a horse, including the jockey, equipment and lead weights if needed.

Workout: Exercise session at a predetermined distance.

Yearling: A horse that is one year old. The universal birthdate of horses is January 1.

[back to top]