Horse Racing Glossary of Terms

 Horse Racing Glossary of Terms

Age- For thoroughbred horse racing all horses are considered born on January 1st.


All Age Race- This is a race where only horses that are two years, or older, can race.


All Out- This is where a horse is showing a particularly strenuous effort.


All Weather Racing- Racing that takes place on an artificial surface allowing racing to occur during any weather condition.


Also Ran- These are horses that did not finish in the top four positions.


Amateur Rider- Riders that are not professional jockeys.  They are designate by Mr., Mrs., etc' on the race card to designate that they are non-professionals.


Apprentice Jockey- A jockey that is learning the trade and has not reached professional status.


Back- This is to place a bet or wager on the race.


Backed- This is where a horse has a high volume of bets, or wagers, placed on it.


Backed In- This is where a horse has a high volume of bets placed on it.


Backstretch- This is the straight away on the back portion of the horse racing track.


Banker- A horse that is highly favored by the odds to win the race.


Bat- Refers to the whip used by the jockey.


Bet- Where the money for the wager is put on the horse that the person wants to win.


Betting Board- The board used by a bookmaker to show the odds of each horse winning the prospective race.


Bismarck- A horse that is favored, but not necessarily expected by the bookmakers to win the race.


Blanket Finish- A finish to a race so close that a blanket can be thrown over all of the horses at the finish line at the same time.


Break Maiden- A horse that wins the first race of their career


Breeder's Cup- The final championship race for thoroughbreds.


Bug Boy- Reference used to denote a novice, or apprentice, rider.


Combination Bet- A bet placed on a group of horses to win or place during a race.


Cuppy Track- A track in where the racing surface is loose and easily broken allowing the horse's hooves to "cup" the track.


Cracking Pace- When the leaders of the race start off with a very quick pace.


Daily Racing Form- This form, also known as the "Dailies," offers racing information and news.


Dark Day- When there are no horse races scheduled for a day.


Dark Horse- A race that is relatively unknown with an unknown chance of winning the race.


Derby- A race that is for three year old horses.


Distanced- When a horse is beaten by a long distance by the winning horse.


Dog- The underdog in the race; not expected to win.


Eclipse Awards- The awards given at the end of the year to horses.


Entry- The horse that is entered to run a specific race.


Evenly- When a horse maintains a position during a race.  The horse does not gain, nor lose, its position on the track.


Exacta- A bet in where the person wagering predicts the finish of the top two horses of the race.


Exotic Wager- A wager that is other than the traditional wager of win, place, or show.


Faltered- A horse that falls back during the later stages of the race.


Fire- When a horse comes on strong during the race.


Form Player- A person that wagers on horse races solely based on past performances.


Fresh Horse- A well rested horse.


Frozen Track- Where there is moisture on the track that is frozen.


Furlong- 220 yards (equivalent to one eighth of a mile)


Gelding- A castrated male horse.


Green Horse- An inexperienced horse.


Gentleman Jockey- An amateur rider.


Hedging- A bet made by a bookie to cover losses against bets made on a horse.


In the Money- Horses that have placed and will pay out.


Money Rider- A rider that fares well in high stakes racing.


On the Nose- Wagering on a horse to win the race. 


Off Track Betting (OTB)- A legalized betting establishment.


Outsider- A horse that is not expected to win the race.


Post Position- The position that the horse starts at the gate.


Purse- The prize money of the horse race.


Race Caller- The person at the track that calls the race.


Roughie- A horse that is not a probable horse to win.


Scope- The potential winning ability that a horse exhibits.


Selling Race- A race that after it's over the winner of the race is sold at auction.


Spell- The time between races.


Sports book- The place where wagers are accepted prior to the races.


Starting Stalls- Gates that open at the same time to ensure that all the horses are out of the gates at the same time.


Yearling- A horse that is just over its first year of life.


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