• Glossary of Terms


    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.


    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.

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


    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.


    Dam: The mother of a horse.

    Distaff: A race for female horses.

    Driving: Strong urging by jockey.


    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.


    Filly: A female horse less than 5 years old.

    Furlong: An eighth of a mile.


    Gelding: A neutered male horse.


    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.


    Inquiry: Official investigation of rule infractions.


    Juvenile: Two-year-old horse.


    Lasix: Diuretic medication given to horses which bleed.


    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.


    Off track: A track that is not fast.

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


    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.


    Roan: Horse with white hairs mingled throughout its coat.


    Silks: Jacket and cap worn by jockeys.

    Sire: Father of a foal.

    Stallion: Uncastrated male horse.

    Stud: Stallion.


    Turf course: Grass covered race course.


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


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


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

    Workout: Exercise session at a predetermined distance.

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