Glossary
A
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.

B

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.

Bug:  The asterisk (*) that denotes an apprentice jockey and their weight allowance.

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

C

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.

D

Dam: The mother of a horse.

Distaff: A race for female horses.

Driving: Strong urging by jockey.

E

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.

F

Filly: A female horse younger than 5 years old.

Foal: A baby horse, also called a suckling; a horse ia a foal from the time it is born until it is weaned from its mother.

Furlong: An eighth of a mile.

G

 

Gelding: A neutered male horse.

Gray: A horse with a black coat interspersed with white hairs.  A gray horse is nearly always black when it is born and gets lighter in color as it ages.

H

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.

I

Inquiry: Official investigation of rule infractions.

J

Juvenile: Two-year-old horse.

L

Lasix: Diuretic medication given to horses which bleed.

M

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

Mare: A female horse 5 years old or older.

Morning line: The starting odds set by the track handicapper.

O

Off track: A track that is not fast; also, a type of wagering offered away from the host facility.

Overlay: A horse going off at higher odds than it appears to warrant, based on past performances and other available information.

P

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.

R

 

Roan: Horse with white hairs mingled throughout its coat.

Ridgling:  A colt or horse with one descended testicle.

S

Sealed Track: A sealed track is a dirt track that has been packed down. Dry tracks are sealed so that water runs off the track, reducing the amount of precipitation absorbed into the surface. Wet tracks are sealed to provide a safe and even racing surface.

Silks: Jacket and cap worn by jockeys.

Sire: Father of a foal.

Steward: The racetrack officials who enforce the rules of the track and determine the outcome of a race in the case of an inquiry.  They are the officiating judges of all horse-related activity at the track.

Stallion: Uncastrated male horse.

Stud: Stallion.

T

Turf course: Grass covered race course.

U

Underlay: A horse going off at lower odds than it appears to warrant, based on past performances and other available information.

V

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

Wxyz

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

Weanling: A young horse who has been separated from its mother but is not yet a year old.  Horses are generally weaned when they are four to six months old, and are called a weanling until they reach one year of age.

Workout: Exercise session at a predetermined distance.

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