Horse Racing Terms

Across the Board
Three equal bets, to win, to place and to show, on a single horse.

Blinkers
Headgear worn by a horse to limit his vision and prevent distractions.

Breezing
A horse working under restraint.

Claiming Race
A race for horses that are eligible to be purchased for a specified price by a licensed owner. This tends to equalize the level of competition because an owner is unlikely to enter a $10,000 horse in a race for $5,000 claimers and risk having it claimed.

Colt
A male horse under the age of five.

Dam
Mother.

Driving
Running under extreme urging.

Entry
Two or more horses with the same owner or trainer that run as a single betting interest.

Filly
Female horse under the age of five.

Furlong
One eighth of a mile. Originally a “furrow long” or the length or a plowed field.

Handle
Amount of money wagered on a race or single day.

Gelding
A castrated male horse

Handicap Race (HCP)
A race for better quality horses in which weight carried is assigned to the horses by the Racing Secretary based on an assessment of their past ability. Better horses get higher weights to enable horses with a lesser record to have a chance to win.

Inquiry
Investigation by the Stewards of a foul or violation which occurred during the running of the race.

Maiden
A horst that has not yet won a race.

Mare
Female horse five year or older.

Morning Line
The track handicapper’s estimate of the probable odds for each horse at post time.

Paddock
The area where the horses are brought before the race to be saddled and mounted by their jockeys.

Photo Finish
Results of a race so close that placing judges cannot decide the order of the finish with the naked eye and must consult the official photograph.

Post Time
The scheduled start of the race.

Purse
The amount of money distributed to a designated number of finishers in a race.

Route
A race distance of one mile or longer.

Sire
Father.

Sprint
A race distance of seven furlongs or less.

Stewards
Racing officials designated to uphold the rules of racing at the race track, answerable to the state racing commission.