Horse Racing Glossary Online Racebooks Horse Racing Glossary

For those trying to break into the fun and exciting world of horse racing, all of the terminology can be confusing. We have supplied a horse racing glossary to help you along, as these terms, while not enough to break you, should give you a better idea about the happenings on the track. Not knowing these terms could cause you to be either completely confused, or worse, completely lost, and thus make you miss an opportunity that you would have otherwise been privy to had you known all of the lingo. For those who are particularly vain, you might just want to sound like you know what you are talking about, thus making this list of horse racing terms important. Horse racing jargon and lingo is, most importantly, taking that extra step toward determination, one step that could lead you to winning.

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Across the Board - A bet on a horse to take first, second, or third - win, place, or show. This allows you to place a bet on all three spots - if the horse takes first place, all three bets are collected. If the horse takes second place, two bets are collected, and if he takes third, only the final bet is won.

Action - Having a bet on a race or line. Usually denotes a static wager, e.g. a bet will have action even if the odds change. The new odds will be tied to the old bet.

Allowances - The weight reduction allowed for a horse due to certain conditions of the race or the horse being mounted by an apprentice. This also determines the weight females are allowed when racing against males.

Apprentice - A rider who has not ridden a preordained number of winners within an allotted amount of time.

Baby Race - A race for 2 year old horses.

Bearing In/Out - Straying from a straight path for various reasons.

Blind Switch - Being caught in a pocket or other position such that their path is blocked, obstructed, or otherwise restricted.

Call, the - The position of a horse or horses at different places throughout the race.

Caller - He or she who calls the running positions of the horses in a race.

Closer - A horse who tends to perform better in the later portions of the race.

Colt - Male horse five years of age or younger.

Dead-heat - When multiple horses finish in an exact tie.

Equivalent Odds - Mutuel price paid for each $1 dollar bet.

Field - Horses in the Race.

Filly - A female horse aged four years or younger.

Foal - Newborn thoroughbred, can be male or female.

Furlong - 220 yards, 660 feet, 1/8th of a mile.

Gelding - Castrated male horse.

Horse - Usually used to refer to a male that is five years of age or older.

Juvenile - Two year old horse.

Lock - A horse that is expected to be a sure win.

Maiden - A horse that has not yet won a race.

Maiden Race - A race for those horses who have not won.

Mare - A female horse that is five years of age or older, or has bred at any age.

Nose - Smallest advantage with which a horse can win.

Oaks - A stakes event for the three year old fillies.

Odds On - Odds of less than even money.

On the Bit - When a horse is ready to run.

Post - Starting position in a race.

Post time - The time at which the race begins.

Rabbit - A horse who's odds to win are low, but is entered to tire out front runners.

Refuse - A horse that will not break from the gate.

Rogue - A horse with a foul temper.

Router - A horse who is better with distance.

Savage - A horse that bites other horses or people.

Scratch - To be removed from a race.

Shut off - Unable to improve position, stuck in a pocket.

Sophomore - Three year old horse.

Stayer - A horse that has the stamina to run long distance.

Steeplechase - A race involving high obstacles which must be jumped.

Stretch Runner - A horse that finishes quickly.

Take - The commission taken from mutuel pools, usually given to the track or the state.

Under punishment - Horse being whipped throughout the race.

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