A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | V | W | Y



Added Money: Money added to purse entry fee (usually by owners in the nominating process, to make a horse eligible to start)
Allowance Race: A race in which horses competing cannot be claimed; race onditions specified in condition book.
Also Ran: Out of the money finishers.
Announcer: Person who calls the position of horses as they race, sometimes referred to as caller.
Apprentice Allowance: Pounds of weight off given "bug" (apprentice) riders.


Bay: A horse with any shade of brown body color and black points(mane, tail and lower legs).
Backside: Barn area of a race track.
Backstretch: Part of the race track with straightaway on far side from grandstand.
Bandages: Wrappings for horses legs to protect and support.
Beaten Favorite: Horse that ran as the favorite in a previous race and did not win.
blk: Indicates the color of the horse as black.
Bleeder: Horse bleedes from the lungs after exertion.
Blinkers: Headpiece or blinders restricting side vision of horse.
Blow Out: Pre-race tune up.
Bolt: Veering abruptly from straight course.
Breakdown: When a horse cannot run because of a physical injury; becomes lame.
Break Maiden: To win a race for the first time.
Breeze: Fast workout of ahorse. Clocker can get an official time from a breeze.
Bug Rider Jockey who is an apprentice. He is entitled to carry less weight in a race depending on teh number of races he has won. Bugs are indicated in the program by asterisks (*).
Bute: (Phenylbutazone) Medication used to kill pain in horses.


Caulks: Metal cleats on horse shoes.
ch: Indicates the color of the horse as "chestnut".
Change Leads: Horse changes stride to lead with the opposite leg.
Chestnut: A reddish-brown colored horse. Mane and tail may be a different shade but not black.
Chutes: An extension to the track making a straightaway run, so horses do not have to make an immediate turn when they run a race.
Claiming Race: A race in which horses competing in the race can be purchased(claimed) by a qualified buyer by entering a claim slip before the race is run. Equalizes competition by requiring owners to put a price tag on entries.
Clerk of Scales: Person employed by the track who weighs each jockey before each race to verify that the horse will be carrying its assigned weight. Jockeys are also weighed after each race.
Clocker: The timer who records the workouts of the horses at the race track.
Clubhouse Turn: The turn in the track closest to the Clubhouse.
Colors: Silks worn by jockey to distinguish owner's horses.
Condition Book: Book issued by the racing secretary and officers of each track. The book explains in detail rules and regulations regarding eligibility for entering races. Each day's racing conditions are spelled out for the program of the day.
Cool Out: Walking a horse after a race or workout to cool it down.
Coupled: Two horses entered by the same trainer in a race. Listed in the program as 1 and 1A. If two trainers couple horses the second group will be listed as 2 and 2B.
Crop: Jockey's whip, sometimes referred to as bat.
Crowding: One horse forcing another horse into the inside rail of the track.


Dam: Mother of a horse.
Dark: There is no racing on a dark day.
Dead Heat: Two or more horses are tied at the finish of the race. If tied for first, the purse for first and second will be divided equally. The same applies for other ties.
Dk.B./Br.: Indicates the color of the horse as dark bay or brown.
Driving: Horse finishing strong at the end of a race.


Eligible: Meeting the conditions of a race.
Entry: Horse entered into a race.
Exercise Rider: A person who rides horses during morning workouts. Many jockeys also excercise horses.


fst: Fast track.
Filly: A female horse four years old or younger.
fm: Firm track (turf).
Foal: Baby horse, either sex.
Foal Papers: A Thoroughbred race horses must be registered with The Jockey Club. A copy of the registration papers must be kept on file at the race track during the period that the horse is racing. These papers include the horse's name, pedigree and physical description.
fr: Frozen track.
Fractions: Times recorded during the running of the race, usually at 1/4 mile intervals and at the finish.
Furlong: 1/8 of a mile (660 ft.).


gd: Good track condition.
Gait: The way a horse moves. The main four gaits of a horse are walk, trot (jog), canter and gallop.
Gate Card: Permission from officials for a horse to start in a race based on the fact that he has practiced in the starting gate and can break from the gate without endangering the other horses or riders.
Gelding: A castrated male horse.
Gimpy: Noticeable lameness.
gr: Indicates the color of the horse as gray.
Graduate: To win for the first time and move up from maiden classification.
Grooms: Stable hands hired by the trainer to care for the horses. They feed and water the horses, wash them down, bandage their legs, etc. Grooms lead the horses to the paddock before the race.


Hand: Unit of measure for horses height from the ground to the withers. One hand equals four inches.
Handicap: To consider all the variables and try to select a winner of a race.
Handicap Race: Race in which the weights carried are adjusted to equalize the horses' chances of winning.
Handle: Total money bet, may be in terms of a race, day, meet, year or other period of time.
Hand Ride: Jockey uses only his hands, not a whip, to command the horse.
Hit the Board: Those horses whose numbers appear on the tote board as first, second, third or fourth.
Homestretch: The part of the track in front of the grandstand from the final turn to the finish. Often shortened to just "stretch".
Horse Shoes: Every track displays a board describing the type of shoes worn by horse. Shoes are made of aluminum and weigh approximately 8 oz. Shoes are replaced often while racing or training. Although the shoes are nailed to the horses hooves the process is painless to the horse.
Hot Walkers: Stable hands who cool horses down gradually by walking them around. If this is not done the horse may catch cold.
Hung: Horse tired.


In Foal: Pregnant mare.
Irons: Stirrups.


Jockey: Person who rides a horse in a race.
Jog: Slow trot.
Juvenile Stakes: Stake race for two-year-olds.


Lasix: Medication for a horse who is a bleeder.
Lead Shank: Leather strap with a metal chain which attaches to the halter to lead a horse.
Lead Weight: Metal carried in the saddle to make weight assigned.
Leg Up: Trainer helps jockey to mount the horse by holding a hand under the jockey's knee and giving him a boost.
Length: Distance between horses in a race equivalent to the length of a horse.
Lip Tattoo: Before a horse can race, it is assigned a tattoo number and this number is tattooed on it's upper lip. This becomes a permanent identification for that horse.
Longshot: Horse paying good odds (usually 10-1 or better).
Lug In/Lug Out: Bearing in or out while running.


Maiden: A horse which has never won a race.
Mare: Female horse five years old or older.
Match Race: A race between only two horses.
Medication: Each state has its own medication rules.
Morning Line: Early estimate of probable odds handicapped by the track handicapper.These odds area listed in the program.
Mudder: A horse who runs well on a muddy track.
my: Muddy track condition.


Near Side: Left side of horse; off side is the right side. Most handling of the horse including mounting and leading is done from the near side.


Objection: Claim of foul by jockey.
Official: On tote board, display confirms results official.
Off Track: When the track condition is other than fast.
Off Track Betting (OTB): Betting done at establishment away from the race track--not legal in some states.
Outrider: Employed by the track to keep horses from acting up, running away or getting out of control before, during or after a race.
Overnights: Sheets put out by the race track which list the entries for the following day.
Overweight: Carring more than the weight published in the program.


Paddock: Area at the track where the horses are saddled.
Parimutuel: Sharing in money bet.
Photo: When flashed on the tote board, two horses finished so close a review of the film must be made to determine the winner.
Place: Come in second.
Plates: Horse shoes.
Pole: Markers placed around the track. Quarter miles marked by red and white poles, eighth's (furlongs) are green and white, and sixteenth poles are black and white.
Pony Rider: Person riding a calm horse to lead the race horse to the track.
Pool: Money bet on race in each pool--win/place/show, etc.
Post Parade: Horses parade from the paddock to the starting gate before each race.
Post Position: The position from which a horse starts a race--from the inside rail which is position #1.
Post Time: The starting time for each race.
Purse: The amount of money distributed to the top finishers in a race.


Receiving Barn: Back side area where horses shipped in for a race are housed.
Rogue: Horse that can not be broken of bad habits.
Run Downs: Elastic bandages that protect a horses legs.


Saddle Cloth: Cloth under the saddle with the horses program number on it.
Schooling: Taking a horse to practice in the paddock, starting gate or on the track.
Scratched: Taken out of a race after being entered.
Set Down: Jockey suspended from racing for a specific length of time.
sf: Soft track (turf).
Shadow Roll: Thick, wooley material under eyes to keep horse from seeing shadows on the ground so that the horse doesn't spook.
Shed Row: A row of stalls used to house horses on the backside.
Show: Come in third.
Silks: The jacket worn by the jockey, usually made of shiny nylon and displays the colors of the horse's owner.
Sire: Father of a horse.
Sly: Sloppy track condition.
Speed Rating: Number assigned to a horses performance in a race. Above 80 is good. Above 100 is excellent.
Spook: A horse's reaction when startled.
Starting Gate: The gate which horses are loaded into before a race and break from to begin the race.


Tack: Any special equipment for riding and caring for a horse.
Tip Sheet: Professional handicappers pick horses they think will win and sell sheets at the race track.
Tongue Tie: Strip of material tied around a horse's tongue and jaw to keep it from swallowing its tongue and clogging its air passage.
Tote Board: Display board in front of the grandstand area which gives information regarding races.
Turf: Grass track on the inside of the main track.


Valet: A person who assists a jockey by keeping his clothing and equipment in order.


Washy Horse: One that sweats excessively showing signs of nervousness. Usually indicates pre-race tension. When a horse is washy it uses up too much energy; and this may affect its performance.
Weanling: A foal which is a suckling ready to be weaned (separated from its mother). A foal is usually weaned when it is approximately six months old.
Winner's Circle: Winning horse enters the area designated as winner's circle. Winner's picture with owners, trainers, jockeys, and interested people involved with horse's performance is taken in winner's circle.


Yearling: A horse which is one year old. January 1 after the year of the birth of a foal is the birthday for all thoroughbred horses. On January 1, a foal becomes a yearling, and on the following January1, it becomes a two-year-old, etc.
yld: yielding track condition (turf).