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Horse Racing Terms

Author: Dolly Gambler

Across The Board
A bet on a horse to win, place and show. If the horse wins, the player collects three ways; if second, two ways; and if third, one way, losing the win and place bets

A horse's manner of moving

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

A person empowered to transact business of a stable owner or jockey. Also, a person empowered to sell or buy horses for an owner or breeder

All Out
When a horse extends himself to the utmost

Allowance Race
A race other than claiming for which the racing secretary drafts certain conditions to determine weights

Weight permitted to be reduced because of the conditions of the race or because an apprentice is on a horse. Also, a weight females are entitled to when racing against males

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

Also Ran
A horse who finishes out of the money

Rider who has not ridden a certain number of winners within a specified period of time, also known as a bug boy

Apprentice Allowence
Weight concession to an apprentice rider, usually 10 pounds until the fifth winner, seven pounds until the 35th winner and five pounds for one calendar year from the 35th winner



Baby Race
A race for 2-year-olds Backstretch Straight of far side of track between the turns, also stable area

Stable area

Bad Actor
Fractious horse

Bad Doer
Horse with poor appetite

Bald or Bald Faced
White face of horse, including eyes, nostrils or part of the latter

Strips of cloth wound around the lower part of a horse's legs for support or protection against injury

Bar Shoe
A horse shoe with a rear bar to protect an injured foot, may be worn with aluminum pads to protect a bruised frog or may be worn alone

Color of horse varying from yellowish tan (light bay) to brown or dark, rich shade of mahogany (sometimes listed as dark bay or brown) with black points- black mane, tail and shadings of black low on the legs

Bearing In or Out
Deviating from a straight course, possibly due to weariness, infirmity, punishment by rider or rider's inability to control mount

Signal sounded when starter opens the gates or, at some tracks, to mark the close of betting

Bar in horse's mouth by which he is guided and controlled

Body, head muzzle, flanks and legs are covered with uniform black hair

Black Type
Designation for a stakes winner or stakes-placed horse in sales catalogues

Brace or Bracer
Rubdown liniment used on a horse after a race or a workout

Blanket Finish
Horses finishing so closely together they could be covered by a blanket

White patch on face of a horse

Horse who bleeds during or after a workout or race due to ruptured blood vessel

Blind Switch
Being caught in a pocket or such a position behind or between horses that a free course cannot be pursued

Device to limit a horse's vision to prevent him from swerving from objects or other horses on either side of him

Counter irritant to ease pain or to treat an ailment

Blood Worms
Parasites that get into the blood stream

A short, final workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to sharpen a horse's speed

Totalisator board on which odds, betting pools and other information is displayed

A bad step away from the starting gate, usually caused by the track breaking away from under a horse's hoof and causing him to duck his head or nearly go to his knees

Bog Spavin
Puffy swelling on the inside and slightly in front of the back, usually caused by overwork or strain

Sudden veering from a straight course

Stamina in a horse, also sub surface of racing strip

Bottom Line
Thoroughbred's breeding on female side, the bottom half of an extended pedigree diagram

Bowed Tendon or a Bow
Rupture of the sheath enclosing the tendon from the knee to the fetlock joint

Break a Horse
To accustom a young horse to racing equipment and methods, and to carry a rider

In pari-mutuel payoffs which are rounded out to a nickel or dime, those pennies that are left over, generally split between the track and state and, in some cases, breeding or other funds, in varying proportions

When a horse suffered an injury, lameness

Break Maiden
Horse or rider winning first race of career

Restraining or easing off on a horse for a short distance in a race to permit him to conserve or renew his strength

A horse is bred at the place of his birth, also the mating of horses

Owner of dam at time foal is dropped

Breeding Fund
A fund set up by many states to provide bonus prizes for state breds

Working a horse at a moderate speed, less effort than handily

Bridge Jumper
Someone who makes large show bets on short priced favorites

A harness consisting of a headstall, bit, and reins, fitted about a horse's head and used to restrain or guide the animal

Female Thoroughbred used for breeding

Sometimes difficult to separate from black or dark bay, can usually be distinguished by noting finer tan or brown hairs on the muzzles or flanks

Bucked Shins
Inflammation of front of cannon bone to which young horses are particularly susceptible

Apprentice allowance or Apprentice rider

Bullet Work
The best time for the distance on the work tab for a given day at a track

Bull Ring
Small racetrack, usually less than one mile

Bute or Butazolidin
Trade name for phenylbutazone, a commonly used analgesic for horses



Projection bottom of shoe to give horse greater traction, especially on a wet track

Running position of horses in a race at various points

One who calls the running positions of horses in a race

Capped Hock    
Injury to hock caused by kicking or rubbing

A horse is a cast when he lies down in the stall in such a way that he is too close to the wall, and there is a danger that he may not be able to get up by himself without injury

Center of Distribution   
The balance point of speed and stamina influences in a horse's pedigree

A statistical "picture" of a race (from which past performances are compiled), which shows the position and margin of each horse at designated points of call (depending on distance of the race), age, weight carried, owner, trainer, purse, conditions, pay-off prices, odds, time and other data

A horse pulled up by his jockey for an instant because he is cut off or in tight quarters

Varies from light, washy yellow to dark liver color, between which comes red, gold and liver shades, a chestnut never has black points, mane or tail

Extension of backstretch or homestretch to permit straightaway run from start

Buying a horse out of race for entered price

Claiming Box     
Box in which claims are deposited before the race

Claiming Race   
Race in which horses are entered subject to claim for a specified price

Race of traditional importance, in the U.S. specifically the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes for colts, and Coaching Club American Oaks for fillies

Clerk of Scales  
An official whose chief duty is to weigh the riders before and after a race to be sure proper weight is carried

A fault in a horse's stride in which, instead of reaching out, his action is abnormally high

One who times workouts and races

A horse who runs best in the latter part of the race, coming from off the pace

Clubhouse Turn               
Generally, the turn closest to the clubhouse

Racing silks jacket and cap-worn by riders to denote the owner(s) of horse

Male horse under 5 years of age

Class of horses in a race, members of the field

Condition Book
Book issued by racing secretary which sets forth conditions of races to be run

Condition Race 
An event with conditions limiting it to a certain class of horse such as Fillies, 3-year-olds, non-winners of two races other than maiden or claiming

A horse's build and general physical structure, the way he is put together

Contract Rider  
Jockey under contract to a stable

Cooling Out       
Restoring a horse, usually by walking, to normal temperature after becoming overheated in a race or workout

Broadly, a cold, more prevalent in spring among young Thoroughbreds

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

A horse who clings to objects with his teeth and sucks air into his stomach

Trophy awarded to owners of winners, also distance race of a mile and a half or more

Cup Horse          
One qualified to engage in distance races

Cuppy Track      
A surface which breaks away under a horse's hoof

Surface of track or a layer of the track



Daily Double      
Type of wager calling for the selection of winners of two consecutive races, usually the first and second

Mother of a Thoroughbred

Damsire or Broodmare Sire        
The sire of a broodmare

Dead Heat          
Two or more horses finishing in an exact tie at the wire

Dead Track         
Racing surface lacking resiliency

In U.S. a horse withdrawn from a stake in advance of scratch time, in Europe a horse confirmed to start in a race

Diploma  or Earning a Diploma   
Breaking a maiden, winning for the first time

Change of order of finish by officials for an infraction of the rules

Distaff or Distaff Race   
Female or a race for fillies, mares, or both

Well beaten, finishing a great distance behind the winner

Wooden barrier or rubber traffic cones placed a certain distance out from the inner rail, to prevent horses during workout period, when track is wet, muddy, soft yielding or heavy, from churning the footing along the rail

Dosage Diagram              
A diagram showing the number and placement of chefs-de-race in a horse's pedigree

Dosage Index   
Mathematical reduction of the Dosage Diagram to a number reflecting a horse's potential for speed or stamina


Strong urging by rider

A horse meeting a lower class of rival than he had been running against

Tardy in breaking from the gate



Chart caller's assessment of a horse that is being deliberately slowed by the jockey to prevent injury or harm to the horse

Running or winning without being pressed by rider or opposition

A furlong, 220 yards, 660 feet

Qualified to start in a race, according to conditions

Stake nomination or riding commitment

Two or more horses owned by the same stable or in some cases trained by the same trainer and thus running as a single betting unit

Whip, blinkers, etc. Gear carried by a horse in a race

Equlivent Odds
Mutuel price horses pay for each $1 bet

Neither gaining nor losing position or distance during a race

Exacta or Perfecta          
A wager in which the first two finishers in a race, in exact order of finish, must be picked

Withdrawal from a race, sometimes on a veterinarian's recommendation, with consent of stewards

Exercise Rider   
Male or female rider who is aboard a horse in the mornings

Forced to run at top speed

Extra Weight or Added Weight 
More weight than conditions of race require



Used for a horse that was in contention early and drops back in the late stages, more drastic than weakened but less drastic than stopped

False Favorite   
Horse who is bet down to favoritism when others would appear to outclass him on form


Fast Track           
Footing at best, dry, fast and even

Amount paid to rider or the cost of nominating, entering or starting a horse in a stakes race

Sometimes called outside rail, more properly the barrier between the front of the stands and the racing strip

The horses in a race

Field Horse or Mutuel Field        
Two or more starters running as a single betting unit, when there are more entrants than positions on the totalisator board can accommodate

Female horse up to and including the age of 4

Applying a searing instrument, hot iron or electric needle to an injured portion of the leg to promote healing of injury or infirmity

A condition of a turf course corresponding to fast on a dirt track

First Turn            
Bend in the track beyond the starting point

Signal held by man stationed a short distance in front of the gate at exact starting point of race. Official timing starts when flag is dropped to denote proper start

Flat Race             
Contested on level ground as opposed to hurdle race or steeplechase

Flatten Out        
When a horse drops his head almost on straight line with body, may indicate exhaustion

Piece of track equipment dragged over racing strip to squeeze off surface water

Newly born Thoroughbred, or until weaned, male or female


Four Furlongs   
Half a mile, 880 yards or 2,640 feet

Fractional Time
Intermediate time recorded in a race, as at the quarter, half and three-quarters

Fresh or Freshened       
A rested horse

Free Handicap  
A race in which no nomination fees

Front Runner    
A horse who usually leads, or tries to lead the field for as far as he can

One-eighth of a mile, 220 yards or 660 feet

Generic term for a medication for the treatment of bleeders, most common trade name is Lasix



The ways in which a horse can move-walk, trot, canter, gallop and run

A type of gait, a fast canter, also to ride a horse at that gait

Starting mechanism

Castrated male horse

Progeny of sire

Good Bottom   
Track that is firm under the surface, which may be sloppy or wet

Good Track        
Condition between fast and slow

Grab a Quarter 
To strike the side of a front foot with a hind foot, this is racetrack jargon that would be expressed more clearly by saying that the horse overstepped or overreached and cut himself, reserve grabbed a quarter for direct quotes

Winning first time horse or rider, also graduate of the claiming ranks a horse that has moved up to allowance, stakes or handicap racing

Grand Dam or Second Dam        
Grandmother of a horse

Grand Sire          
Grandfather of a horse, sire of the horse's dam

A mixture of white and black hairs

A person who cares for a horse in a stable

Group Race       
European equivalent to North American graded races



Half a mile, four furlongs,  880 yards or 2,640 feet

Half Brother and Half Sister        
Horses out of the same dam but by different sires

Like a bridle, but lacing a bit, used in handling horses around the stable and when not being ridden

Halter To             
To claim a horse

Four inches, the unit used in measuring height of horses from withers to ground

Race for which a handicapper assigns weights to be carried, also to handicap a race and to make selections on the basis of the past performances

One who assigns weights for handicap race, also one who makes selections based on past performances

One who assigns weights for a handicap race, also one who makes selctions based on past performances

Working or racing with moderate effort, but more effort than breezing

Amount of money wagered in the pari-mutuel on a race, a program, a meeting or a year

Hand Ride          
Urging a horse with the hands and not using the whip

Kentucky horsemen

A margin between horses, one horse leading another by the length of his head

Head of the Stretch       
Beginning of the straight run home

Condition of track similar to, but even slower than, muddy

Heavyweight Handicap 
Race in which the top weight is assigned no less than 140 pounds

A horse bred by his owner

Broadly any Thoroughbred regardless of sex, specifically an entire male 5 years old or older

Mare in heat

Person who walks horses to cool them out after workout or races

Horse tiring, but holding position

Hurdle Race       
Contest over obstacles, a jumping race over lower fences than steeplechase races



Standing a horse in a bucket of ice or applying ice packs to the legs to encourage circulation

In Foal  
Pregnant mare

In the Money   
Finishing first, second or third

Area within the inner rail of the racetrack

Infield Racing    
Turf racing

In Hand               
Running under moderate control, at less than best pace

Weight carried or assigned

Inter State Wagering     
Wagering on a simulcast of a race from another state

Inter Track Wagering     
Wagering on a simulcast of a race from another track within the state

Reviewing the race to check into a possible infraction of the rules, also a sign flashed by officials on tote board on such occasions




Jockey Fee         
Sum paid to a rider

Slow, easy gait

Steeplechase or hurdle horse

Two-year-old horse



Inflammation under horny wall of foot


Late Double       
A second daily double offered on the latter part of the program

Strap attached to halter to lead a horse

Lead or Lead Pad             
Weights carried to make up the difference when a rider weighs less than the poundage a horse is assigned to carry

Lead Pony          
Horse or pony who heads parade of field from paddock to starting gate, also a horse or pony who accompanies a starter to post

Leaky Roof Circuit           
Minor tracks

Leg Up 
To help a jockey mount his horse, also a jockey having a mount or to strengthen a horse's legs through exercise

Length of a horse from nose to tail, about 8 feet, also distance between horses in a race

Listed Race        
A European race just below a group race in quality

Slang for a sure thing winner

Lug In or Out     
Action of a tiring horse, bearing in or out

Horse rearing or plunging



A horse who has not won a race also applied to non winning rider

Maiden Race     
A race for non winners

Make a Run       
Charge by a horse in a race

Female horse 5 years old or older also a female of any age who has been bred

Moist mixture, hot or cold, of grain and other feed given to horses

Medication List
A list kept by the track veterinarian and published by the track and Daily Racing Form (when provided by track officials) showing which horses have been treated with phenylbutazone and/or furosemide

Middle Distance              
Broadly from one mile to less than a mile and an eighth

Minus Pool        
A mutuel pool caused when one horse is so heavily played that, after deductions of state tax and commission, there is not enough money left to pay the legally prescribed minimum on each winning bet, the racing association usually makes up the difference

Money Rider     
A rider who excels in rich races

Morning Glory  
Horse who performs well in morning workouts but fails to reproduce that form in races

Morning Line    
Approximate odds quoted before wagering determines exact odds

Muddy Track     
Deep condition of racetrack after being soaked with water

Horse who races well on muddy tracks

Superior mudder

Nose and lips of a horse, also a guard placed over a horse's mouth to prevent him from biting or eating



Navicular Disease            
Corrosive ulcer on the navicular bone, usually in the fore feet

Near Side           
Left side of a horse, side on which he is mounted

Unit of measurement, about the length of a horse's neck or a quarter of a length

Operation that severs vital nerve to enable horses to race without pain, illegal in most jurisdictions

Lowering of head, winning in that manner

Nom de Course               
Assumed name of owner or racing partnership

Nose or Short Head       
Smallest advantage a horse can win by



A classic stakes event for 3 year old fillies

Claim of foul lodged by rider, patrol judge or other official, if lodged by official, it is called an inquiry

Odds On             
Odds of less than even money, in England it is simply called on, thus a horse 5-4 on is actually at odds of 4-5

Sign displayed when result is confirmed, also racing official

Off Side               
Right side of horse

Off Track             
An off track refers to a wet racing surface

Off Track Betting             
Wagering on horses at legalized betting offices run usually by the state or the tracks, or in New York by independent corporations chartered by the state, with wagers commingled with on-track betting pools

On the Bit           
When a horse is eager to run

On the Board    
Finishing among the first four

On the Nose     
Betting a horse to win only

Bony growth on the fetlock or ankle joint resulting in inflammation of the enveloping membrane of the bone

Over Reaching  
Toe of hind shoe striking forelegs on heel, or back of coronet

Racing wide throughout, outside of other horses

A horse going off at a higher price than he appears to warrant based on his past performances

Overnight Line 
Prices quoted night before the race

Overnight Race
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

Surplus weight carried by a horse when the rider cannot make the required weight



Structure or area where horses are saddled and kept before post time

Paddock Judge 
Official in charge of paddock and saddling routine

A form of wagering that originated in France in which all money bet is divided up among those who have winning tickets, after taxes, takeout and other deductions are made

Past Performances         
A compilation in Daily Racing Form of a horse's record, including all pertinent data, as a basis for handicapping

Patrol Judges    
Officials who observe progress of race from various vantage points around the track

Extra weight a horse must carry, especially in a handicap

Photo Finish      
A result so close it is necessary to use a finish-line camera to determine order of finish

Pick Six
A type of wager in which the winners of all the included races must be selected

Small numbered ball drawn to decide post positions

Pinched Back    
Horse in close quarters and forced back

Pinhooker or Pinhook   
To buy a horse at auction fo r the purpose of reselling him later

Second position at finish

Place Bet            
Wager on a horse to finish first or second

Placing Judges  
Officials who determine the order in which horses reach the finish line

Claiming horse, also a farrier

Plates or Racing Plates  
Shoes horses wear in races

Running in a position with horses in front and alongside

Markers at measured distances around the track, marking the distance from the finish

Starting point or position in starting gate

Mutuel pool, total sum bet on a race or even, such as the win pool, daily double pool or exacta pool

Post Parade       
Horses going from paddock to starting gate past the stands

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

Post Time           
Designated time from race to start

Preferred List   
Horses with prior rights to starting for various reasons

Prep or Prep Race           
A workout or a race to prepare a horse for a future engagement

Refusing to break with field from gate, standing flat-footed also, when a horse suddenly stops running a full speed by extending his forefeet as brakes

Public Trainer    
One whose services are not exclusively engaged by a single stable and who accepts horses from a number of owners

A prize of money to which owners do not contribute



One-quarter of a mile, 440 yards or 1,320 feet

Quarter Crack   
Crack in wall of hoof running downwards from coronet

Quarter Horse  
Breed of horse especially fast for a quarter of a mile, from which its name is derived

Quarter Pole     
Marker one-quarter mile from the finish

Wager in which first two finishers must be picked, but payoff is made no matter which of the two wins and which runs second



A horse that is considered to have little chance of winning a race but is entered purely to ensure a fat pace and tire out the other front-runners, softening up the competition for the benefit of an entrymate

Racing Secretary              
Official who drafts conditions of races and assigns weights for handicap events

Rail Runner        
Horse who prefers to run next to inside rail

Receiving Barn 
Structure at which horses entered are isolated for a certain period of time before a race

When a horse will not break from the gate, in jumping races, balking at the jump

Held for a particular engagement or race, also held off the pace

Ridden Out        
Refers to a horse that wins under a vigorous hand ride but is not being whipped

Ride Short          
Using short stirrup leathers

A horse with one or both undescended testes

Mixture of white and red or brown hairs

Deep, prolonged cough, generally when a horse is galloping

Ill-tempered horse

Running or winning with utmost ease

Race distance of a mile or longer

Horse who performs well at distance races

To suffer abrasions on the heels as a result of contact with the dirt and sand of the track surface

Rundown Bandages or Wraps   
Bandages on the hind legs, usually with a pad inside, to keep a horse from burning or scraping his heels when he races

Run Out Bit        
A special type of bit to prevent a horse from bearing out or in



Saddle Cloth      
Cloth under the saddle on which number and sometimes horse's name denoting post position is displayed

To bite another horse or a person

Scale of Weights              
Fixed imposts to be carried by horses in a race according to age, distance, sex, and time of year

Accustoming a horse to starting from the gate and to teach him racing practices, in steeplechasing more particularly to teach a horse to jump

Schooling List    
List of horses required by the starter to school at the starting gate before being permitted to race

To be taken out of a race

Second Call        
A second engagement of jockey who already is listed for a mount in a race

Second Dam      
Grandmother, Grand Dam

Selling Race       
A claiming race

Sesamoid bones are located at the back of the fetlock, the joint formed by the pastern bone and the cannon bone

A group of horses working together

Set Down           
A suspension, also put to a drive, or asked to run by a jockey

Seven Furlongs
Seven-eighths of a mile, 1,540 yards or 4,620 feet

Sex Allowance  
Fillies and mares, according to their age and time of year, are allowed to carry three to five pounds less when meeting males

Shadow Roll      
Usually a lamb's wool roll half way up the horse's face to keep him from seeing his own shadow

Rope or strap attached to a halter or bridle by which a horse is led

Shed Row           
Stable area or a row of barns

A horse in need of more work or racing to reach winning form

Third position at the finish

Show Bet            
Wager on a horse to finish in the money, third or better

Shut Off              
Pocketed, unable to improve position

Jacket and cap worn by riders which designate owner of the horse

Televising a race to other tracks, OTB offices or other outlets for the purpose of wagering

Father of a horse

Six Furlongs       
Three-quarters of a mile, 1,320 yards or 3,960 feet

One-sixteenth of a mile, 110 yards or 330 feet

Condition of footing, wet on surface with firm bottom

Footing that is not fast, between good and heavy

Mild restraining hold by rider

Solid Horse        

Three year old horse

Speedy Cut        
Injury to knee or hock caused by a strike from the opposite foot

Spit Box               
Receptacle for urine and blood taken from a horse for testing

Spit the Bit         
When a horse quits running against the bit, usually because of fatigue, often said disdainfully

Stakes Placed   
Finishing first, second or third in a stakes race

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

Stakes Horse     
One capable of competing in such events

Entire male horse

Stall Walker       
Horse that moves about his stall and frets rather than rests

Small patch of white hair on a horse's forehead, also a credit a horse receives from being forced out of an overcrowded race, giving him priority in future races

Starter Race      
An allowance or handicap race restricted to horses who have started for a specific claiming price or less

Starting Gate    
Mechanical device having partitions or stalls for horses in which they are confined until the starter releases the doors in front to begin the race

State Bred          
A horse bred in a particular state and thus eligible to compete in special races restricted to state breds

Stout-hearted horse who can race long distances

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

Steps Up             
A horse moving up in class to meet better runners

Top officials of the meeting responsible for enforcing the rules

A jumping race over high obstacles

A jockey's whip

Calks on shoes which give a horse better traction in mud or on soft tracks

White legs below the knees

Final straight portion of the racetrack to the finish

Stretch Call        
Position of horses at the eighth pole, usually about halfway down the stretch

Runner Horse who finishes fast

Stretch Turn      
Bend of track into homestretch

Manner of going, also distance covered after each foot has touched the ground once

Markings of a horse, white hairs running part way down the face

A white marking running down a horse's face to bridge of nose or below

Male horse used for breeding also breeding farm

Stud Book          
Registry and genealogical record of the breeding of Thoroughbreds maintained by The Jockey Club

Fee paid by owner to nominate horse for a stakes race or to maintain eligibility for a stakes race

Thoroughbred still nursing

Suspend or Suspension
Punishment for infraction of rules, offender denied privileges of racetrack for specified period of time

Horse with a dipped backbone



Riders' racing equipment also applied to stable gear

Take or Take Out             
Commission deducted from mutuel pools which s shared by the track and local and state governing bodies in the form of tax

Taken Up            
A horse pulled up sharply by his rider because of being in close quarters

A letter and a group of numerals applied to the underside of the upper lip of each registered Thoroughbred

Special facility for showing simulcast races

Inflammation of the cleft of the frog

Ready to race

Timber Topper 
Jumper or steeplechase horse, more properly horses jumping over timber fences

Tongue Strap    
Strap or tape bandage used to tie down a horse's tongue to prevent it from choking in a race or workout

Top Line              
Thoroughbred's breeding on his sire's side

Highest weight assigned or carried in a race

Machine which sells and records betting tickets and shows odds, also figures out and displays payoff figures

One who gives tips on racehorses, usually with ecpcetation of some personal reward in return, to give tips

Track Bias           
A racing surface that favors a particular running style or position; horses that run on the lead or on the rail

Track Record     
Fastest time at various distances recorded at a particular track


Trifecta or Triple              
A wager picking the first three finishers in exact order

A horse's race

Triple Crown     
In the United States, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, in England the 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St. Leger

Turf Course       
Grass Course

Turn Down         
A protrusion on the bottom of a horseshoe added to give traction

A device usually consisting of a stick with a loop of rope at one end, which is placed around a horse's nose and upper lip and twisted to curb fractiousness



Under Contract
A trainer or rider formally signed for a specified time and compensation

A horse racing at longer odds than he should

Under Punishment        
Horse being whipped and driven

Under Wraps    
Horse under stout restraint in a race or workout

Not raced or tested for speed, also a stallion who has not been bred

Gradually withdrawing a horse from intensive training



Person who attends riders and keeps their wardrobe and equipment in order



Walk Hots           
To cool a horse out after a workout or race

Race which scratches down to only one starter who merely gallops required distance, a formal gesture required by rules of racing

Warming Up      
Galloping horse on way to post

Horse breaking out in nervous sweat before race

A foal that is less than 1-year-old that has been separated from its dam

Swaying motion in stall, or act of threading way through field in race

Weight for Age
Fixed scale of weights to be carried by horses according to age, sex, distance of race and season of year

Instrument, usually of leather, with which rider strikes horse to increase his speed, also called bat and gad

Breathing with difficulty after workout or race

Winner Takes All             
Winner receiving all the purse or stakes

The highest point of a horse's shoulder

A neurological disease due to compression of the spinal cord seen principally in 2 year olds and 3 year olds

To exercise a horse, a workout



Thoroughbred between the first New Year's Day after being foaled and the following January 1

Condition of turf course with a great deal of moisture