Horse Racing Betting Slang

Ante Post Simply put, Ante Post betting is a bet put at least a day before an event. Usually referring to a horse racing or greyhound racing bet, it refers to a bet that is taken usually before the starting price has been set. It is also offered for big races, such as the Melbourne Cup or the English Greyhound Derby. What are your favorite horse racing slang terms? Ray Wallin Introduced to the sport over the course of a misspent teenage summer at Monmouth Park by his Uncle Dutch, a professional gambler, he quickly fell in love with racing and has been handicapping for over 25 years.

If you’ve had a good look around this site then hopefully you’ve learnt some things that you didn’t know before as well as gained a solid all-round idea of how betting on horse racing works. Though the site is primarily aimed at those of you that are hoping to have a flutter on the Cheltenham Festival, it should serve as an all-encompassing reference for anyone that likes to have place a wager on the Sport of Kings.

For that reason we thought we’d add something of a glossary; an A to Z of terms that you’re likely to hear when discussing horse racing. Though we’ll try to make this as definitive as possible, we’ll inevitably miss out some things or deem them to be less relevant than others. If this happens then we apologise, but few lists like this are genuinely exhaustive. We’ll also try to stick to industry standards with different terminology, but sometimes different bookmakers or companies call things by different names. Hopefully you’ll be able to figure out what we mean easily enough!


Accumulator: A ‘rolling bet’ that requires all selections to win or place (depending on your bet) in order for you to be awarded the winnings.

All Weather: A type of race course that can be run on in any weather. It’s an artificial surface, so that’s worth bearing in mind when looking at a horse’s form. Do they know that type of ground?

Also-Ran: A horse that took part in the race but didn’t finish within the places so won’t earn anyone any money.

Amateur Jockey: Referred to on the race card as Mr., Miss or so on, an amateur jockey is one that is not yet qualified. Different to an apprentice jockey.

Ante post: Bets placed well in advance of the race. This is normally any bet placed before 10am on the day of the race, though it’s common to bet months in advance on major events such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The odds are normally higher, but you will usually lose your stake if the horse is a non-runner.

Apprentice: A jockey in training, normally seconded to a licensed trainer until they earn their stripes.


Backed In: When you place a bet on a horse you are said to be ‘backing’ it. If lots of people bet on the same horse then its odds will shorten and this is known as being ‘backed in’.

Banker: As close to a dead-cert to win as you’re likely to find in the horse racing business.

Best Odds Guarantee: A promise by a bookmaker that you’ll get paid out at the higher odds if the Starting Price on a horse is longer than when you backed it earlier in the day.

Betting In-Play: A bet placed whilst the horse race is taking place. Not all bookmakers offer these, though.

Boxed-In: During the race a horse can become surrounded by other horses and therefore can’t break free from the pack.

Bumper: This is another name for a National Hunt flat race.


Classics: There are five major horse races that take place in the UK every year and are known as the Classics; the 2,000 Guineas, the 1,000 Guineas, the Oaks, the Derby and the St Leger.

Colours: The ‘kit’ worn by the jockey that helps you recognise him during the race.

Colt: A male horse under five years of age.

Conditions Race: A race that’s only open to horses that have met certain conditions.

Course Specialist: As you’d expect, this is a horse that has run and won at a course before.


Dam: A horse’s mother.

Dead Heat: When two horses finish the race at exactly the same time.

Dead Weight: The weight a horse carries.

Distance: Fairly self-explanatory phrase that declares how long the race is, normally in miles and furlongs.

Draw Bias: A ‘draw’ refers to where in the stalls a horse has been put, so draw bias indicates that one position is better than another.

Drifter: A horse whose odds grow larger because few people are backing it.


Each-Way: This is when you bet on a horse to finish within the places, normally 1 to 3 but can be longer.

Evens: This is a bet that will pay 1/1, so a £10 bet would return £10 winnings.

Exchange: This is a type of betting offered by certain bookmakers, wherein you can bet against individual horses and essentially ‘become the bookie’.


Favourite: The horse that the bookmakers believe is most likely to win, meaning they’ll normally offer short odds on the chance of it doing so. If there’s more than one horse with the same chance of winning then it will be called a Joint-Favourite.

Filly: A female horse, typically under the age of four – also called Fillie.

First Past The Post: FPTP betting means that bookies will pay out on the result of the race before the Weighed-in announcement as well as after, should they be different.

Fixed Odds: A type of bet that means the odds are ‘fixed’ to when you place it.

Flat Racing: A race that takes place without jumps, fences or obstacles of any kind.

Fold: A term for how many bets there are in an accumulator, so an acca with five legs would be called a five-fold.

Forecast: A type of bet that asks the bettor to predict the winner and runner-up in a single race.

Form: How well the horse is doing heading into the race.

Front-Runner: The horse that is out in front of the chasing pack.

Full-Cover: A type of bet that offers the punter as much coverage as possible on the bet, essentially guaranteeing a win.

Furlong: A measurement of distant peculiar to horse racing, with a mile containing eight furlongs.


Gelding: A male horse that has been castrated and will therefore be unable to sire any horses in the future.

Going: The state of the surface that the race is taking place on. Is it soft? Hard? Good? These things matter when looking at the horse’s past performances on a similar surface.

Grade: The type of National Hunt race that it is, with Grade 1 being the best.

Guineas: The original currency that horses were bought and sold in. Even to this day some companies still trade in guineas and two of the Classics are named after this way of trading.


Hand: A unit of measurement for a horse’s height, meaning four inches.

Handicap: This is a type of race whereby each horse is given extra weight to carry according to its ability. Theoretically all horses should be evenly matched in a handicap race and the handicappers dream would be all participants crossing the finishing line at the same time, meaning they’ve got the weighting right.

Hedging: Placing a bet in order to cover another bet and mitigate potential losses.

Hurdles: A National Hunt race where horses jump over obstacles. Normally these are less experience horses than you’d find in a Steeplechase, mainly because the obstacles are less difficult to get over.

I, J, K

In The Money: A term meaning that a horse looks set to finish in the top few positions, meaning that it will earn money for those that placed an Each-Way bet on it.

Jackpot: A Tote-style bet that requires the bettor to correctly pick the winners of all listed races in order to be victorious.

Jockey: The person riding the horse. Their experience can be invaluable, especially in the big races.

Juvenile: A race for horses under two years of age in flat racing and three-year-olds and under in National Hunt races.

Key Race: A crucial race of the day, normally featuring most of the best horses.


Lay: A betting term from the Exchange, meaning a bet placed on a horse to lose.

Left-Handed: A racecourse that runs anti-clockwise, meaning that the rails will be on the jockey’s lefthand side.

Length: Literally the length of a horse from its nose to where its tail starts. You’ll often hear commentators say a horse has ‘lost by a length’, essentially meaning a full horse.

Level Weights: A race wherein all horses carry the same amount of weight.

Liability: Another Exchange term, this one meaning the amount of money you stand to lose if the horse you decided to Lay wins the race.

Listed Race: Racing that comes underneath Grades 1, 2 and 3 but that’s still considered to be better than a handicap race or a conditions race. Find casinos near me.

Long-Shot: A horse without much chance of winnings and therefore very long odds.

M, N

Maiden: A horse that hasn’t won a race yet in its career.

Mare: A female horse over the age of five.

Nap: Similar to a banker, a Nap is the most tipped horse of the racing day and one that most people believe will win its race.

National Hunt: The opposite of Flat Racing, the National Hunt takes place over obstacles, jumps and fences.

Non-Runner: A horse that ends up not participating in a race, despite being listed to do so at a previous stage. As long as your bet was not an ante-post one you should find that Non-Runner, No Bet rules apply, wherein you’ll get you stake refunded to you.

Novice: A horse that is still young but has already won at least one race.


Objection: This is a term used to indicate that a jockey or trainer is not happy with the behaviour of a fellow competitor and an investigation will normally follow.

Odds: Simply the price offered on a competitor to win its race. If a horse is believed to stand such a good chance that the odds are less than evens then it will be ‘odds-on’.

Official Result: This is the result declared after the ‘Weighed-in’ declaration has been made and after which point bets will be paid out on, regardless of whether there is then a steward’s inquiry or a change to the result.

On The Nose: This is another way of saying that you’d like to place a Win bet.

Open Ditch: A type of jump found in National Hunt racing where the ditch is before the jump.

Outsider: A horse that is unlikely to win, similar to a Long-Shot. Generally a runner over 15/1.

Owner: The person, people or organisation that owns a horse.

P, Q

Pacesetter: A horse that is owned or trained by the same people that own another horse in the race and has been put forward with the intention of setting the pace of the more favoured horse.

Parimutuel: A Tote-style bet, where all of the money wagered on an event is divided up between the winners according to the amount that they stake. The term comes from the French ‘Parier Mutuel’, which means ‘Mutual Stake.

Penalty: Extra weight that a horse may have to carry if it has previously won a handicap race.

Photo-Finish: Quite literally when a photo is taken of two horses crossing the line in order to determine which one won the race.

Place: Finishing within the top few horses. How many horses are declared to have ‘placed’ typically depends on how many entered the race in the first place. Some bookmakers attempt to entire punters by offering to pay out on more Places than their competitors.

Placepot: Like the Jackpot mentioned earlier, this is a Tote-style bet but the punter only has to predict horses to place rather than win a set number of races.

Postponed: When a race is cancelled for some reason and it is agreed that it will take place at another time instead.

Price: Another way of saying Odds.

Pulled Up: Sometimes a horse will not pay attention to what the jockey is asking it to do or something else may go wrong that requires it to stop racing. This is normally referred to as the horse being ‘Pulled Up’ and if it happens consistently then you may want to think twice before betting on it.

Punter: You! Someone who places a bet on a race.


Race Card: Information about that day’s racing is contained within a Race Card, including which horses are participating in which races, the horse’s form and the jockey that will be riding it.

Rating: This is a score given to a horse based on certain criteria, including its past performances. The better a horse’s rating the more likely it is to win a race.

Return: How much money you’ll get back if your bet wins.

Reverse Forecast: Similar to a straight Forecast, with the exception being that the horses can come first or second in either order.

Right-Handed: A racecourse that runs clockwise, meaning that the rails will be on the jockey’s righthand side.

Rule 4: The rule that declares the amount of money that will be knocked off a winning bet in order to allow for a non-runner.


Seller: A race where the winner is put up for auction afterwards.

Short Head: A term that reflects how close the runner-up in the race came to winning it. It lost by little more than the length of a horse’s head.

Short-Price: When a horse has low odds it is sometimes declared to have a short price.

Single: A one-off bet, settled according to the odds offered when it was placed (unless something like a Best Odds Guarantee kicks in).

Sire: A horse’s father.

Special: A particular type of bet offered by a bookie in order to try and attract customers to use its services over those of a competitor.

Springer: A horse whose odds shorten quickly and dramatically, said to ‘spring the market’.

Stable Jockey: As the name suggests, this is a jockey that is signed up to ride for a particular trainer from a specific stable.

Sprint Race: A race that is quite short and is run at a quick pace.

Stake: The amount of money placed on a bet.

Stall: A box that horses are put into for specific races and released from when the race gets underway.

Starting Price: The odds offered on a horse at the moment the race begins. You’ll normally see this referred to as SP.

Steeplechase: A Type of National Hunt race that is typically participated in by the best and most experienced horses. The obstacles on such a course are normally much harder to jump than in a Hurdle, including water jumps and open ditches.

Steward’s Enquiry: A steward is a race official whose job is to ensure that everything is done fairly in the race. If a complaint is made then a steward will look into it and a Steward’s Enquiry will then take place.

Stud Farm: Where horses mate with each other.

System: If you are following a ‘system’ then you believe that you’ve found a way to beat the bookies. Betting on all horses who have won a race before and never been Pulled Up would be following a system.


Tailed Off: If a horse drops away from the front runners so much that it is unlikely to catch them then it can be said to have Tailed Off.

Tic-Tac: A secret language of sign language and signals used by bookmakers to communicate with each other.

Tote: The Tote is a pool-type betting system that was originally under the control of the government.

Trainer: The person who has, quite literally, trained the horse.

Tricast: An attempt to predict the first three horses to finish a race and the order that they’ll finish said race in.

Triple Crown: A horse than wins all three of the 2,000 Guineas, the Derby and the St Leger Classic races is said to have completed the Triple Crown.

U, V

Under Orders: At the beginning of the race the Starter will give the horses instructions before the race gets underway. At this point the horses are said to be ‘Under Orders’.

Underdog: A horse that is unlikely to win but is still favoured by some members of the crowd.

Unfancied: Another way of saying a Long Shot or an Outsider, an unfenced horse is one that is unlikely to win the race.

Value: If you get the bets odds possible on a bet then you are said to be getting Value.

Void: This is when a bet is declared to be invalid and your stake is returned to you.


Walkover: A race that only consists of one horse competing in it. Sufficed to say you’re unlikely to get good odds on it winning!

Weighed-In: When all jockeys have been successfully weighed after the race the racecourse announcer will make a declaration that they have been ‘Weighed-in’. At this point the result of the race is official and cannot be changed as far as betting results are concerned.

Weight Allowance: If the jockey is inexperienced then they are given a certain weight allowance to account for that fact. If a horse is supposed to carry eleven stone seven pounds, for example, and a jockey is being ‘given’ seven pounds in weight allowance then the horse will only carry eleven stone. Sometimes horses will be given an allowance in a race depending on their sex or age.
Weight Cloth: The fabric that weights are put inside of when a horse is having to carry weight either because of a penalty or handicap.

Weight For Age: These races are non-handicap affairs and the amount of weight a horse has to carry is decided by the weight-for-age scale. If a horse has previously won a race then it may be required to carry a penalty weight in addition to the weight-for-age amount assigned to it.

Win: This is a type of bet that means you believe the horse you’re betting on will finish first in the race.

Winnings: The amount of money you’re paid on a victorious bet, minus any stake you have placed.

Withdrawn: If a horse is removed from the race before it actually gets underway then it is declared to have been ‘Withdrawn’.

X, Y, Z

Yearling: A term assigned to a horse between the 1st of January to 31st of December after the year it was born.

As mentioned at the start, this list is not exhaustive. Hopefully, though, it has given you a really solid idea of the sorts of terms you’re likely to come across when discussing horse racing or listening to other people discuss it. For a more in-depth understanding of the major betting terms used, have a look at some of the other pages of this site.

Everything you needed to know about Horse Racing

A Win, Place and Show bet on a horse. If your selection wins, you collect on all three bets. If your selection runs second, you collect on Place and Show bets. If your selection runs third, you collect the Show bet. Your total wager will be three times the individual bet. For example; $2 'Across The Board' would cost $6.

1: A horse's manner of moving
2: A term meaning wagering: 'The horse took a lot of action'

Money added to the purse of a race by the racing association or a breeding or other fund to the amount paid by owners in nomination, eligibility, entry and starting fees.

Winning easily

When a horse extends itself to the utmost.

A race other than a claiming event for which the racing secretary drafts certain conditions to determine weights to be carried based on the horse's age, sex and/or past performance.

A horse officially entered for a race, but not permitted to start unless the field is reduced by scratches below a specified number.

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

Weight concession given to an apprentice rider of ten pounds until the fifth winner, seven pounds until the 35th winner, five pounds after the 35th winner. The apprentice is then allowed five pounds for one calendar year after the 40th winner beginning with the date of the 5th winner.

The racetrack's stable area.

Straight portion of the far side of the racing surface between the turns.

Leg wraps used for support or protection against injury during a race.

A horseshoe closed at the back to help support the heel of the hoof. Often worn by horses with quarter cracks or bruised feet.

A colour ranging from tan to dark chestnut with black mane, tail and points.

A measure of performance popularized by Andy Beyer of The Washington Post

A stainless steel, rubber or aluminium bar, attached to the bridle, which fits in the horse's mouth and is one the means by which a jockey exerts guidance and control.

A horse colour which is black, including the muzzle, flanks, mane, tail and legs unless white markings are present.

A horse that bleeds from the lungs when small capillaries that surround the lungs' air sacs (alveoli) rupture. The medical term is 'exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage' (EIPH). The most common treatment is the use of the diuretic furosemide (Lasix).

A cup-shaped device to limit a horse's vision to prevent him from swerving from objects or other horses on either side of him.

A short, timed workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to sharpen a horse's speed. Usually three-eights on either side of it.

Sudden veering from a straight course, usually to the outside rail.

An exceptionally poor performance on the heels of an exceptionally good one

A type of tendonitis. The most common injury to the tendon is a strain or 'bowed' tendon, so named because of the appearance of a bow shape due to swelling.

Horse or rider winning the first race of its career.

Working a horse at moderate speed.

Horse Racing Betting Sites Reviews

A piece of equipment, usually made of leather or nylon, which fits on a horse's head and is where other equipment, such as a bit and the reins, are attached.

Horse Racing Betting Terms Box

A female horse used for breeding.

A sire whose female offspring become producers of exceptional performers.

Inflammation of the covering of the bone of the front surface of the cannon bone, to which young horses are particularly susceptible. This primarily a condition of the front legs.


An apprentice rider.

Fastest workout of the day at a particular distance.

A small racetrack, usually less than one mile.

Short for phenylbutazone, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication that is legal in most racing jurisdictions. Often known by the trade name Butazolidin.

A projection on the heels of a horseshoe, similar to a cleat, on the rear shoes of a horse to prevent slipping, especially on a wet track. Also known as a 'sticker.' Sometimes incorrectly spelled 'caulk.'

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

The third metacarpal (front leg) or metatarsal (rear leg), also referred to as the shin bone. The largest bone between the knee and ankle joints.

Wagering favourite in a race. Dates from the days when on-track bookmakers would write current odds on a chalkboard.

When a jockey slows a horse due to other horses impeding its progress.

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

Process by which a licensed person may purchase a horse entered in a designated race for a predetermined price. When a horse has been claimed, its new owner assumes title after the starting gate opens although the former owner is entitled to all purse money earned in that 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.

1: A race of traditional importance
2: Used to describe a distance, i.e., a race at the American classic distance, which is 1 1/4 miles. The European classic distance is 1 1/2 miles.

When a horse lifts its front legs abnormally high as it gallops, causing it to run inefficiently.

The turn on a racing oval that is closest to the clubhouse facility usually the first turn after the finish line.

An ungelded male horse 4 years old or younger.

A series of booklets issued by a racing secretary, which set forth conditions of races to be run at a particular racetrack.

The requirements of a particular race. This may include age, sex, money or races won, weight carried and the distance of the race.

A fracture in the lower knobby end (condyle) of the lower (distal) end of a long bone such as the cannon bone or humerus (upper front limb).

Two or more horses running as an entry in a single betting unit.

A dry and loose racing surface that breaks away under a horse's hooves.

Top portion of a racetrack.

The mother of a horse.

A horse colour that ranges from brown with areas of tan on the shoulders, head and flanks, to a dark brown, with tan areas seen only on the flanks and/or muzzle. The mane, tail and lower portions of the legs are always black unless white markings are present.

In the United States, a horse withdrawn from a stakes race in advance of scratch time. In Europe, a horse confirmed to start a race.

A race for female horses.

Rubber traffic cones (or a wooden barrier) placed at certain distances out from the inner rail, when the track is wet, muddy, soft, yielding or heavy, to prevent horses during the workout period from churning the footing along the rail.

Strong urging by jockey to.

Extremely late in breaking from the gate.

Good speed at the start of a race.

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

Footing that is dry, even and resilient.

Joint located between the cannon bone and the long pastern bone, also referred to as the 'ankle.'

Two or more starters running as a single betting unit (entry), when there are more starters in a race than positions on the tote board.

A female horse less than 5 years old.

A condition of a turf course corresponding to fast on a dirt track. A firm, resilient surface.

A very tired horse that slows considerably.

An aluminium rail, in use since 1981, designed to help reduce injuries to horse and rider. It has more of an offset (slant) to provide greater clearance between the rail and the vertical posts as well as a protective cover to keep horse and rider from striking the posts.

An eighth of a mile.

A medication used in the treatment of bleeders, commonly known under the trade name Lasix, which acts as a diuretic, reducing pressure on the capillaries.

A race for two-year-olds in which the owners make a continuous series of payments over a period of time to keep their horses eligible. Purses for these races vary but can be considerable.

A neutered male horse.

An elastic and leather band, sometimes covered with sheepskin, that passes under a horse's belly and is connected to both sides of the saddle.

A dirt track that is almost fast or a turf course slightly softer than firm.

Injury to the back of the hoof or foot caused by a horse stepping on itself (usually affects the front foot). Being stepped on from behind in the same manner, usually affects the back foot. A common, usually minor injury.

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. Capitalized when used in race title (the Grade I Belmont Stakes). See group race.

A horse colour where the majority of the coat is a mixture of black and white hairs. The mane, tail and legs may be either black or gray unless white markings are present. Starting with foals of 1993, the color classifications gray and roan were combined as 'roan or gray.' See roan.

Like a bridle, but lacking a bit. Used in handling horses around the stable and when they are not being ridden.

Four inches. A horse's height is measured in hands and inches from the top of the shoulder (withers) to the ground, e.g., 15.2 hands is 15 hands, 2 inches. Thoroughbreds typically range from 15 to 17 hands.

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

Money wagered.

Wettest possible condition of a turf course; not usually found in North America.

A large joint just above the shin bone in the rear legs. Corresponds to the level of the knee of the front leg.

When reference is made to sex, a 'horse' is an ungelded male five-years-old or older.

The person who walks the horses to cool them down after a workout or a race.

Finishes first, second or third.

Area encompassed by the inner rail of the turf course.

Official investigation of rules infractions.

See 'Stirrups'

Intertrack wagering.

Two-year-old horse.

An inflammation of the sensitive laminae of the foot, which usually manifests itself in the front feet, develops rapidly, and can be life-threatening. In mild cases, a horse can resume a certain amount of athletic activity. Also known as 'founder.'

Diuretic medication given to horses which bleed.

A measurement approximating the length of a horse, used to denote distance between horses in a race.

A stakes race just below a group race or graded race in quality.

A horse that hasn't won a flat race in any country. Also: A female that has never been bred.

A female horse 5 years old or older.

Broadly, from one mile to 1 1/8 miles.

The starting odds set by the track handicapper.

A condition of a racetrack which is wet but has no standing water.

A leather strap that goes over the bridge of a horse's nose to help secure the bridle. A 'figure eight' nose band goes over the bridge of the nose and under the rings of the bit to help keep the horse's mouth closed. This keeps the tongue from sliding up over the bit and is used on horses that do not like having a tongue tie used.

Claim of a foul lodged by a rider, patrol judge or other official after the running of a race. If lodged by an official, it is called an inquiry.

Odds of less than even money.

Horse Racing Betting Terms Trifecta

Wagering at legalized betting outlets usually run by the tracks, management companies specializing in pari-mutuel wagering or, in New York State, by independent corporations chartered by the state. Wagers at OTB sites are usually commingled with on-track betting pools.

A horse whose odds are greater than its potential to win.

A race in which entries close a specific number of hours before running (such as 48 hours), as opposed to a stakes race, for which nominations close weeks and sometimes months in advance.

A horse carrying more weight than the conditions of the race require, usually because the jockey exceeds the stated limit.

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

System of wagering where all the money is returned to the wagerers after deduction of taxes, track and state percentages.

A horse's racing record, earnings, bloodlines and other data, presented in composite form.

An official who observe the progress of a race from various vantage points around the track.

See 'Bute'

See 'Bute'

A result so close that it is necessary to use the finish-line camera to determine the order of finish.

Small numbered ball used in a blind draw to decide post positions.

A person who buys a racehorse with the specific intention of re-selling it at a profit.

Markers at measured distances around the track designating the distance from the finish. The quarter pole, for instance, is a quarter of a mile from the finish, not from the start.

The top of the horse's head, between the ears.

Horses going from paddock to starting gate past the stands.

Position of stall in starting gate from which a horse starts.

Designated time for a race to start.

When a horse suddenly stops moving by digging its front feet into the ground.

The total monetary amount distributed after a race to the owners of the entrants who have finished in the top five positions.

A crack between the toe and heel.

A horse with one or both undescended testes.

A horse that finishes a race under mild urging, not as severe as driving.

Horse with white hairs mingled throughout its coat.

A race distance of longer than 1 1/4 miles.

Abrasions of the heel.

A Thoroughbred racing saddle is the lightest saddle used, weighing less than two pounds.

Fixed weights to be carried by horses according to their age, sex, race distance and time of year.

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.

Two small bones (medial and lateral sesamoids) located above and at the back of the fetlock joint. Four common fractures of the sesamoids are apical (along the top of the bone), abaxial (the side of the sesamoid away from the ankle joint), mid-body (sesamoid broken in half) and basilar (through the bottom) fractures.

A roll (usually sheepskin) 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.

Stable area. A row of barns.

Jacket and cap worn by jockeys.

Father of a foal.

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

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

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

Three-year-old horses. Called sophomores because age three is the second year of racing eligibility.

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.

1: Either of the two small bones that lie along the sides of the cannon bone.
2: The condition where calcification occurs on the splint bone causing a bump. This can result from response to a fracture or other irritation to the splint bone.

Short race, less than one mile.

A race for which the owner usually must pay a fee to run a horse. The fees, to which the track adds more money to make up the total purse, can be for nominating, maintaining eligibility, entering and starting. Stakes races by invitation require no fees.

Uncastrated male horse.

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

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

Metal 'D'-shaped rings into which a jockey places his/her feet. They can be raised or lowered depending on the jockey's preference. Also known as 'irons.'

Bend of track into the final straightaway.


A horse pulled up sharply by its rider because of being in close quarters.

A permanent, indelible mark on the inside of the upper lip used to identify the horse.

A Thoroughbred is a horse whose parentage traces back to any of the three 'founding sires': the Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk and Godolphin Barb, and who 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.

Strip of cloth-type material used to stabilize a horse's tongue to prevent the horse from 'choking down' in a race or workout or to keep the tongue from sliding up over the bit, rendering the horse uncontrollable.

Rear shoe that is turned down 1/4-inch to one inch at the ends to provide better traction on an off-track. Illegal in many jurisdictions.

Grass covered race course.

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

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

A race in which only one horse competes.

A horse that becomes so nervous that it sweats profusely. Also known as 'washy' or 'lathered (up).'

A foal that is less than one-year-old that has been separated (weaned) from its dam.

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

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An extremely rare horse colour in which all the hairs are white. The horse's eyes are brown, not pink, as would be the case for an albino.

Area above the shoulder, where the neck meets the back.

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Exercise session at a predetermined distance.

A horse that is one year old. The universal birth date of horses is January 1.

Condition of a turf course with a great deal of moisture. Horses sink into it noticeably.