william-hill-racebook bodog-usa-horse-racing


Here is a complete glossary of all of the horse betting terms that you will come across:



Abandoned – A race meeting which has been cancelled because a club did not receive sufficient nominations to be able to stage it, or because of bad weather which made racing on the track unsafe. All bets placed on abandoned races are fully refunded.

Acceptor – A runner officially listed to start in a race.

Accumulator – (Also, Parlay) A multiple bet. A kind of ‘let-it-ride’ bet. Making simultaneous selections on two or more races with the intent of pressing the winnings of the first win on the bet of the following race selected, and so on. All the selections made must win for you to win the accumulator.

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.

Added Money – Money added to the purse of a race by the racing association or by a breeding or other fund.

Age – All thoroughbreds count January 1 as their birth date.

Agent – A person authorized to act on the behalf of a jockey or owner. Generally referes to a jockey’s agent who lines up rides for him or her.

Ajax – UK slang term for ‘Betting Tax’.

All Out – When a horse extends himself to the utmost.

All Weather Racing – Racing that takes place on an artificial surface.

All-age Race – A race for two-year-olds and up.

Allowance Race – A race where weights and eligibility to enter are determined by conditions set by the racing secretary.

Allowances – Reductions in weights to be carried allowed because of certain conditions such as; an apprentice jockey is on a horse, a female horse racing against males, or three-year-olds racing against older horses.

Also Eligible – A horse officially entered, but not permitted to start unless scratches below a specified number reduce the field.

Also Ran – Any selection not finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th in a race or event.

Amateur (rider) – On racecards, their names are prefixed by Mr, Mrs, Captain, etc, to indicate their amateur status.

Ante Post – (Also, Futures) Bets placed in advance predicting the outcome of a future event. Ante-post prices are those on major sporting events, usually prior to the day of the event itself. In return for the chance of better odds, punters risk the fact that stakes are not returned if their selection pulls out or is cancelled.

Apprentice – A trainee jockey. An apprentice will usually ride only flat races. A rider who has not ridden a specified amount of winners within a specific time period. These riders get weight allowances on all their mounts based on the number of winners they have. 10 pounds until the fifth winner, 7 pounds until the 35th winner and five pounds for one calendar year after the date of the 5th winner.

Apprentice Allowance – 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.

Approximates – The approximate price a horse is quoted at before a race begins. Bookmakers use these approximates as a guide to set their boards.

Arbitrage – Where a variation in odds available allows a punter to back both sides and guarantee a win.

ART – Artificial Turf.

ATS – Against The Spread.

AWT – All weather track.

Back to Top


Baby Race – A race for two-year-olds.

Back – To bet or wager.

Back Marker – In a standing start event, which is handicapped, the horse who is given the biggest handicap is known as the backmarker.

Back Straight – The straight length of the track farthest away from the spectators and the winning post.

Backed – A ‘backed’ horse is one on which lots of bets have been placed.

Backed-In – A horse which is backed-in means that bettors have outlaid a lot of money on that horse, with the result being a decrease in the odds offered.

Backside – Stable area.

Backstretch – The straight way on the far side of the track.

Backward – A horse that is either too young or not fully fit.

Bad Beat – A losing wager owing more to misfortune, unfortunate circumstances or sheer terrible luck than poor handicapping or analysis.

Bandage – Strips of cloth wound around the lower part of a horse’s legs for support or protection against injury.

Banker – (Also, Key) Highly expected to win. The strongest in a multiple selection in a parlay or accumulator. In permutation bets the banker is a selection that must win to guarantee any returns.

Bar Price – Refers to the odds of those runners in a race not quoted with a price during early betting shows. The bar price is the minimum odds for any of those selections not quoted.

Bar Shoe – A horse with a rear bar to protect an injured foot.

Barrier – (Also, Tape) A starting device used in steeple chasing consisting of an elastic band stretched across the racetrack which retracts when released.

Barrier Draw – The ballot held by the race club to decide which starting stall each runner will occupy.

Bat – (Also, Stick) A jockey’s whip.

Beard (US) – A friend or acquaintance or other contact who is used to placing bets so that the bookmakers will not know the identity of the actual bettor. Many top handicappers and persons occupying sensitive positions use this method of wagering.

Bearing In (or Out) – Failing to maintain a straight course, veering to the left or right. Can be caused by injury, fatigue, outside distraction, or poor riding.

Beat the Chalk – To wager against the favorite in a race.

Beeswax – UK slang term for betting tax. Also known as ‘Bees’ or ‘Ajax’.

Bell Lap – In harness racing, the last lap of a race, signified by the ringing of the bell.

Bet – A transaction in which monies are deposited or guaranteed.

Betting Board – A board used by the bookmaker to display the odds of the horses engaged in a race.

Betting Ring – The main area at a racecourse where the bookmakers operate.

Betting Tax – Tax on a Bookmaker’s turnover. In the UK this is a ‘Duty’ levied on every Pound wagered. Common methods of recouping this by the punter are to deduct tax from returns (winnings) or to pay tax with the stake/wager. In the latter case, no tax is deducted from the punter’s winnings.

Bettor (US) – Someone who places or has a bet. A ‘Punter’ in the UK.

Beyer Number – A handicapping tool, popularized by author Andrew Beyer, assigning a numerical value to each race run by a horse based on final time and track condition. This enables different horses running at different racetracks to be objectively compared.

Bismarck – A favourite which the bookmakers do not expect to win.

Blanket Finish – When the horses finish so close to the winning line you could theoretically put a single blanket across them.

Bleeder – Horse who had pulmonary bleeding during or after a workout or race due to ruptured blood vessel.

Blind Bet – A bet made by a racetrack bookmaker on another horse to divert other bookmakers’ attention away from his sizeable betting on his/her main horse thus to avoid a shortening of the odds on the main horse.

Blinkers – A cup-shaped device applied over the sides of the horse’s head near his eyes to limit his vision. This helps to prevent him from swerving away from distracting objects or other horses on either side of him. Blinker cups come in a variety of sizes and shapes to allow as little or as much vision as the trainer feels is appropriate.

Blowout – A short fast workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to sharpen a horse’s speed.

Board – Short for ‘Tote Board’ on which odds, betting pools and other race information are displayed.

Bobble – A bad step away from the starting gate, sometimes caused by the ground breaking away from under a horse and causing him to duck his head or go to his knees.

Bolt – Sudden veering from a straight course.

Bomb(er) – A winning horse sent off at very high odds.

Book – A bookmaker’s tally of amounts bet on each competitor, and odds necessary to assure him of profit. Running a ‘book’ is the act of quoting odds and accepting bets on an event and the person doing it is called the ‘Bookmaker’.

Bookie – (U.K.) Short for bookmaker. The person or shop who accepts bets.

Bookmaker – Person who is licensed to accept bets on the result of an event based on their provision of odds to the customer. (Sportsbook US).

Bottle – UK slang, odds of 2 to 1.

Bowed Tendon – Rupture of the sheath enclosing the tendon from the knee to the fetlock joint.

Box – A wagering term denoting a combination bet whereby all possible numeric combinations are covered.

Boxed (in) – To be trapped between other horses.

Break Maiden – Horse or rider winning first race of a career.

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

Breakdown – When a horse suffered an injury; lameness. Commonly used to refer to a catastrophic or fatal breakdown.

Breeder – Owner of dam at time foal is dropped.

Breeders’ Cup – Thoroughbred racing’s year-end championship. Known as Breeders’ Cup Day, it consists of eight races conducted on one day at a different racetrack each year with purses and awards totalling $13 million. First run in 1984.

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

Breeze – Working a horse at a moderate speed; less effort than handily.

Bridge Jumper – Bettor who specializes in large show bets on odd-on favourites. A gambler who bets an exorbitant amount of money to show in order to capitalize on the minimum five percent pay out.

Broodmare – Female Thoroughbred used for breeding.

Buck (US) – A bet of US$ 100 (also known as a ‘dollar bet’).

Bucked Shins – Inflammation of the shin to which young horses are particularly susceptible. Usually treated by pin-firing.

Bug – See apprentice. The mark (*) placed next to the apprentice riders names in the program resembles a squashed bug so they came to be called bug riders.

Bug Boy – An apprentice rider.

Bull Ring – Small racetrack less than one mile around.

Bullet (Work) – The best time for the distance on a given day at a track.

Bullring – Small racetrack; usually less than one mile.

Burkington Bertie – 100/30.

Bute – Phenylbutazone a commonly used analgesic for horses.

Buy Price – In Spread or Index betting, the higher figure quoted by an Index bookmaker.

Buy the Rack (US) – Purchase every possible daily-double or other combination ticket.

Back to Top


Canadian – Also known as a Super Yankee. A Canadian is a combination bet consisting of 26 bets with 5 selections in different events. The combination bet is made up of 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five 4-folds and one 5-fold.

Card – Another term for fixture or race meeting.

Carpet – UK slang for Odds of 3 to 1 (also known as ‘Tres’ or ‘Gimmel’).

Caulk – Projection on the bottom of a shoe to give the horse better traction, especially on a wet track.

Century – GBP£ 100 (also known as a ‘Ton’).

Chalk – Wagering favorite in a race. Dates from the days when on-track bookmakers would write current odds on a chalkboard.

Chalk Player – Bettor who wagers on favorites.

Chalky – Characterized by a preponderance of winning favorites.

Chase – See ‘Steeplechase’.

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

Chute – Extension of the backstretch or homestretch to allow a longer straight run at the start.

Claiming – Buying a horse out of a race for the entered price.

Claiming Race – A race where horses are entered for a specified price and can be claimed (purchased) from the race for that price. Claimers are horses who generally run only in claiming races.

Classic – A race for three-year-olds, such as a Derby or Oaks, that has a long standing tradition behind it. The American classics are the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

Clerk of Scales – The official who is responsible for weighing the riders before and after a race to ensure proper weight is carried.

Client (US) – Purchaser of betting information from horseman or other tipster.

Clocker – The person who times the morning workouts.

Close (US) – Final odds on a horse (e.g. ‘closed at 5 to 1′). Confusingly equates to ‘Starting Price’ in the UK.

Closer – A horse that runs best in the latter part of the race (closing race), coming from off the pace.

Clubhouse Turn – Generally the turn immediately after the finish line and closest to the clubhouse.

Co-Favorites – Where three or more competitors share the status as favorite.

Colors (Colours) – Racing silks, the jacket and cap worn by jockeys. Silks can be generic and provided by the track or specific to one owner.

Colt – An ungelded (entire) male horse four-years-old or younger.

Combination Bet – Selecting any number of teams/horses to finish first and second in either order.

Condition Book – Book issued by racing secretary which sets the 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 etc.

Conditional Jockey – Same as ‘Apprentice’ but also allowed to jump.

Conditioned Race – Eligibility to enter is determined by a set of conditions such as age, sex, races won, etc.

Conditioner – See trainer.

Contract Rider – Jockey under a contract to a stable.

Correct Weight – Horses are allocated a weight to carry that is checked before and, for at least the placegetters, after a race. Correct weight must be signaled before bets can be paid out.

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

Cuppy (Track) – A surface which breaks away under a horse.

Cushion – Surface of track or a layer of the track.

Back to Top


Daily Double – Type of wager calling for the selection of winners of two consecutive races, usually the first and second. See ‘Late Double’.

Daily Racing Form – A daily newspaper containing racing information including news, past performance data and handicapping.

Daily Triple – A wager where the bettor must select the winner of three consecutive races.

Dead Heat – A tie. Two or more horses finishing equal in a race.

Dead Rail – A track bias against horses that travel near the rail.

Dead Track – Racing surface lacking resiliency.

Dead Heat – Two or more horses finishing in an exact tie at the finish.

Declaration Of Weights – The publication of weights allocated to each horse nominated for a race by the handicapper.

Declared – In the United States, a horse withdrawn from a stakes race in advance of scratch time. In Europe, a horse confirmed to start in a race.

Deductions – When a horse is scratched from a race after betting on that race has already started, deductions are taken out of the win and place bets at a rate in proportion to the odds of the scratched horse.

Derby – A stakes event for three-year-olds.

Dime (US) – A bet of USD$ 1,000 (also known as a ‘dime bet’).

Disqualification – Change of order of finish by officials for an infraction of the rules.

Distaff Race – A race for fillies, mares, or both.

Distance – The length of a race – 5 furlongs is the minimum and the 4 1/2 miles of the Grand National the longest. Also, the margin by which a horse wins or is beaten by the horse in front; this ranges from a short head to ‘by a distance’ (more than 30 lengths); a ‘length’ is measured from the horse’s nose to the start of its tail.

Distanced – Well beaten, finishing a long distance behind the winner.

Dividend – The amount that a winning or placed horse returns for every $1 bet by the bettor.

Dog (US) – The underdog in any betting proposition.

Dog Player (US) – A bettor who mainly wagers on the underdog.

Dogs – Wooden barrier (or rubber traffic cones) placed a certain distance out from the inner rail, to protect the inner part of the track (usually the turf course) from traffic during workouts in order to save it for racing.

Double – Selecting the winners in two specific races.

Double Carpet – UK slang for Odds of 33 to 1, based on ‘Carpet’.

DQ – Disqualified.

Draw – Refers to a horse’s placing in the starting stalls. For flat racing only. Stall numbers are drawn at random.

Drift (Ease) – Odds that ‘Lengthen’, are said to have drifted, or be ‘On The Drift’.

Driving – Strong urging by rider.

Dropdown – A horse facing a lower class of rivals than he had been running against.

Dual Forecast – A tote bet operating in races of 3 or more declared runners in which the punter has to pick the first two to finish in either order.

Back to Top


Each Way – UK term for betting on a horse to win and/or ‘Place’. An each way bet is when you have the same amount on the horse for a win and for a place. Bookmakers will give you one quarter of the win odds for a place in fields of eight or more and one third of the win odds in fields of six or seven horses.

Each Way Double – Two separate bets of a win double and a place double.

Each Way Single – Two bets. The first is for the selection to win; the second for it to be placed (each way).

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

Easily – Running or winning without being pressed by the jockey or opposition.

Eclipse Award – Thoroughbred racing’s year-end awards, honoring the top horses in 11 separate categories.

Eighth – A furlong; 220 yards; 660 feet, 1/8 of a mile.

Eligible – Qualified to start in a race, according to conditions.

Enclosure – The area where the Runners gather for viewing before and after the race.

Entry – 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.

Equibase (Company) – A partnership between The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations to establish and maintain an industry-owned, central database of racing records. Equibase past-performance information is used in track programs across North America.

Equipment – Whips, blinkers, etc. Gear carried by a horse in a race.

Equivalent Odds – Mutuel price horses would pay for each $1 bet.

Even Money Bet (or Evens) – A 1 -1 bet. A $10 wager wins $10.

Evenly – Neither gaining nor losing position or distance during a race.

Exacta – (Also, Perfecta) A wager that picks the first two finishers in a race in the exact order of finish. (Straight Forecast in the UK)

Exacta Box – A wager in which all possible combinations using a given number of horses are covered.

Exercise Rider – Male or female rider who is aboard a horse for morning workouts.

Exotic (wager) – Any wager other than win, place or show.

Exposure – The amount of money one actually stands to lose on a game or race.

Extended – Forced to run at top speed.

Extra Weight (Added Weight) – More weight than conditions of race require.

Back to Top


False Favorite – A horse that is a race favorite despite being outclassed by others.

Faltered – A term used for a horse that was in contention early and drops back in the late stages. It is more drastic than weakened but less drastic than stopped.

Fast (track) – Optimum condition for a dirt track that is dry, even, resilient and fast.

Favorite (Favourite) – The most popular horse in a race, which is quoted at the lowest odds because it is deemed to have the best chance of winning the race.

Feature Races – Top races.

Fence – The inside fence is the inside running rail around the race track, while the outside fence is the outside running rail.

Field – 1) All the runners in a race. 2) Some sportsbooks or bookmakers may well group all the outsiders in a competition under the banner headline of ‘Field’ and put it head to head with the favorite. This is known as favorite vs the field betting and is common in horse and golf betting.

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.

Filly – Female horse four-years-old or younger.

Firm (track) – A condition of a turf course corresponding to fast on a dirt track. A firm, resilient surface.

First Turn – Bend in the track beyond the starting point.

First Up – The first run a horse has in a new campaign or preparation.

Fixed Odds – Your dividend is fixed at the odds when you placed your bet.

Fixture – See ‘Meeting’.

Flag – 1) A bet consisting of 23 bets (a ‘Yankee’ plus 6 ‘Single Stakes About’ bets in pairs) on 4 selections in different event. 2) Signal held by a man (referred to as a flagman) standing just in front of the gate at the exact starting point of race. Official timing starts when flag is dropped to denote proper start.

Flash (US) – Change of odds information on tote board.

Flat race – Contested on level ground as opposed to a steeplechase.

Flatten Out – When a horse drops his head almost in a straight line with his body, generally from exhaustion.

Foal – A baby horse, usually refers to either a male or female horse from birth to January 1st of the following year. All racehorses are given the nominal birthday of January 1st. Thus a two-year-old born in June and one born in January of the same year are considered to be of the same age for the purposes of satisfying the conditions of some races re – weight carried. In reality, the January horse may be considered to have a significant advantage in terms of physical development at this early stage in its career.

Fold – When preceded by a number, a fold indicates the number of selections in an accumulator (e.g. 5-Fold = 5 selections).

Forecast – A wager that involves correctly predicting the 1st and 2nd for a particular event. This bet can be straight, reversed or permed. (USA, Perfecta or Exacta).

Form – Statistics of previous performance and comment as to the expected current performance of a runner, useful in deciding which runner to bet on.

Form Player – A bettor who makes selections from past-performance records.

Four Furlongs – Half a mile; 880 yards; 2,640 feet.

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

Fresh (Freshened) – A rested horse.

Front-runner – A horse whose running style is to attempt to get on or near the lead at the start of the race and stay there as long as possible.

Frozen (track) – A condition of a racetrack where any moisture present is frozen.

Full Cover – All the doubles, trebles and accumulators involved in a given number of selections.

Furlong – One-eighth of a mile or 220 yards or 660 feet (approx. 200 meters).

Furosemide – Lasix, the medication used to treat of bleeders.

Futures (Ante Post) – Bets placed in advance predicting the outcome of a future event.

Back to Top


Gait – The ways in which a horse can move – walk, trot, canter, gallop, run, etc. Harness horses are divided into two distinct groups, pacers or trotters, depending on their gait when racing. The gait is the manner in that a horse moves its legs when running. The pacer is a horse with a lateral gait, whereas a trotter or square-gaiter has a diagonal gait.

Gallop – A type of gait, a fast canter. Also, to ride a horse at that gait.

Gate – Another term for barrier, or position a horse will start from.

Gelding – A male horse that has been castrated.

Gentleman Jockey – Amateur rider, generally in steeplechases.

Get on – Have your bet accepted.

Going – The condition of the racecourse (firm, heavy, soft, etc.). Official Jockey Club going reports progress as follows – Heavy – soft – good to soft – good – good to firm – firm.

Good (track) – Condition between fast and slow, generally a bit wet. A dirt track that is almost fast or a turf course slightly softer than firm.

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

Graded Race – Established in 1973 to classify select stakes races in North America, at the request of European racing authorities, who had set up group races two years earlier. Always denoted with Roman numerals I, II, or III. Capitalized when used in race title (the Grade I Kentucky Derby). See ‘Group Race’ below.

Graduate – Winning at a class and moving up.

Grand – USD$ or GBP£ 1,000 (also known as a Big’un).

Green – An inexperienced horse.

Groom – The person who takes direct care of one or more horses, washing, grooming, and feeding them.

Group Race – An elite group of races. Established in 1971 by racing organizations in Britain, France, Germany and Italy to classify select stakes races outside North America. Collectively called ‘Pattern Races’. Equivalent to North American graded races. Always denoted with Arabic numerals 1, 2, or 3. Capitalized when used in race title (the Group 1 Epsom Derby). See ‘Graded Race’ above.

Back to Top


Half – Half a mile, four furlongs; 880 yards; 2,640 feet.

Hand – Four inches. A horse’s height is measured in hands and inches from the top of the shoulder (withers) to the ground, e.g., 15.2 hands is 15 hands, 2 inches. Thoroughbreds typically range from 15 to 17 hands.

Hand Ride – The jockey urges a horse with the hands and arms without using the whip.

Handicap – 1) Race for which the track handicapper assigns the weights to be carried. Each horse is allocated a different weight to carry, the theory being all horses then run on a fair and equal basis.. 2) To make selections on the basis of past performances.

Handicapper – The official who decides the weights to be carried in handicap events, and the grading of horses and greyhounds.

Handily – Working or racing with moderate effort, but more effort than breezing.

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

Hard (track) – A condition of a turf course where there is no resiliency to the surface.

Head – A margin between the horses. One horse leading another by the length of his head.

Head Of The Stretch – Beginning of the straight run to the finish line.

Heavy (track) – Wettest possible condition of a turf course, similar to muddy but slower; not usually found in North America.

Hedge – The covering of a bet with a second bet.

Hedging – A bet made by a cautious bookie on a horse on which he has accepted large bets – in order to cut his losses if the horse wins (also known as a ‘lay-off bet’).

Heinz – A Heinz is a multiple bet consisting of 57 bets involving 6 selections in different events. The multiple bet breakdown is 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15×4-folds, 6×5-folds and one 6-fold.

High Weight – Highest weight assigned or carried in a race.

Home Turn – The final turn a horse must travel around before entering the home straight in the run to the finish line.

Horse – When reference is made to sex, a ‘horse’ is an ungelded male five-years-old or older.

Horse Identifier – The person who checks the lip tattoo of each horse as they enter the paddock to make sure the correct horses are running in the race.

Hot Walker – Someone who walks horses to cool them out after workouts or races.

House Horse – A horse that is owned by an individual who owns all or part of the track.

Hung – A horse holding the same position, unable to make up distance on the winner.

Back to Top


Impost – Weight carried or assigned.

In Foal – A pregnant mare.

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

In The Money – Describes the horses in a race that finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd (and sometimes 4th) or the horses on which money will be paid to bettors, depending on the place terms.

In The Red – Are odds shown in red on the betting boards because they are Odds-On bets.

Inquiry – Reviewing the race to check into a possible infraction of the rules. Also, a sign flashed by officials on the tote board on such occasions. If lodged by a jockey, it is called an objection.

Investor – A bettor. A person at a licensed race meeting who bets with a bookmaker or the totalisator, or a person not present at the meeting, but places bets on the horses engaged at that meeting with the off-course totalisator.

Invitational – A stakes race open only to horses who are invited to enter. Generally no entry fee is charged.

Irons – Stirrups.

Back to Top


Jockey Fee – Sum paid to a rider.

Jog – Slow, easy gait.

Joint Favourites – When a sportsbook or bookmaker cannot separate two horses or teams for favouritism, they are made joint favourites.

Jolly – The favourite in a race. The horse with the shortest odds.

Judge – The official who determines the finishing order of a race.

Juice – 1) The bookmaker’s commission, also known as vigorish or vig. 2) Lasix or any illicit medication administered to a racehorse in order to enhance performance.

Jumper – Steeplechase or hurdle horse.

Juvenile – Two-year-old horse.

Back to Top


Key Horse – The main expected winning horse used in multiple combinations in an exotic wager.

Kite – UK slang for a cheque (‘Check’ in the US).

Back to Top


Laminitis – Inflammation of the soft tissue inside the wall of the hoof.

Lasix – A medication for the treatment of bleeding.

Late Double – A second daily double offered during the latter part of the program. See ‘Daily Double’ above.

Lay – Take a bet on, like a Bookmaker.

Lay Off (Layoff) – Bets made by one bookmaker with another bookmaker, in an effort to reduce his liability in respect of bets already laid by him with investors.

LBO – Acronym for ‘Licensed Betting Office’ in the UK.

Lead Pony – Horse or pony that heads parade of field from paddock to starting gate. Also a horse or pony who accompanies a starter to post.

Leg In – To nominate one runner to win with a selection of other runners. This is possible on Forecast, Quinella, Trifecta, Quartet and Superfecta (eg. Quinella bet with selection 4 to win, from runners 5, 7, 8 and 9 to come second, in any order).

Leg Up – To help a jockey mount his horse.

Length – A measurement approximating the length of a horse from nose to tail, about 8 feet, used to denote distance between horses in a race. For example, “Secretariat won the Belmont by 31 lengths”.

Lengthen – The opposite of ‘Shorten’. Referred to odds getting longer, that is, more attractive to the bettor.

Listed Race – A stakes race just below a group race or graded race in quality.

Lock (As in ‘Banker’) – US term for an almost certain winner. Easy winner.

Long Odds – More than 10 -1.

Long Shot (Outsider) – A runner is often referred to as being a long shot, because of the fact it is returning high odds and is therefore deemed to have little chance of winning the race.

Lug In (or Out) – Action of a tiring horse, bearing in or out, failing to keep a straight course.

Lunge – Horse rearing or plunging.

Back to Top


Maiden – 1) A horse or rider that has not won a race. 2) A female that has never been bred.

Maiden Race – Horses who have not yet won a race are referred to as maidens, hence a race for non winners.

Mare – Female horse 5 years old or older. Also, female of any age who has been bred.

Market – The list of all horses engaged in a race and their respective odds.

Medication List – A list kept by the track veterinarian and published by the track and Daily Racing Form.

Meeting – A collection of races conducted by a club on the same day or night forms a race meeting.

Middle Distance – Broadly, from one mile to 1-1/8 miles.

Mile Rate – In harness racing it is the approximate time a horse would have run per mile (1609 meters).

Minus Pool – A mutuel pool caused when a 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.

Monkey – GBP£ 500.

Morning Glory – A 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.

Mudder – A horse that races well on muddy tracks. Also known as a ‘Mudlark’.

Muddy (track) – A condition of a racetrack which is wet but has no standing water.

Mutual Clerk – The person at the window who takes your bets. Also called a teller.

Mutual Pool – Short for ‘Parimutuel Pool’. Sum of the wagers on a race or event, such as the win pool, daily double pool, exacta pool, etc.

Back to Top


Nap – The selection that racing correspondents and tipsters nominate as their strongest selection of the day or meeting. Reputed to stand for ‘Napoleon’.National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) – A non-profit, membership organization created in 1997 to improve economic conditions and public interest in Thoroughbred racing.

Neck – Unit of measurement, about the length of a horse’s neck; a quarter of a length.

Nickel – A $500 wager.

Nod – Lowering of head. To win by a nod, a horse extends its head with its nose touching the finish line ahead of a close competitor.

Nominations – The complete list of runners entered by owners and trainers for a race.

Nose – Smallest advantage a horse can win by. Called a short head in Britain.

Nursery – A handicap for two-year-old horses.

Back to Top


Oaks – A stakes event for three-year-old fillies (females).

Objection – Claim of foul lodged by rider, patrol judge or other official after the running of a race. If lodged by official, it is called an inquiry.

Odds – The sportsbook’s or bookmaker’s view of the chance of a competitor winning (adjusted to include a profit). The figure or fraction by which a bookmaker or totalisator offers to multiply a bettor’s stake, which the bettor is entitled to receive (plus his or her own stake) if their selection wins.

Odds Compiler – Same as ‘Oddsmaker’ below.

Odds Man (US) – At tracks where computers are not in use, an employee who calculates changing odds as betting progresses.

Odds-against – Where the odds are greater than evens (e.g. 5 to 2). When the bookmaker’s or totalisator’s stake is greater than the bettor’s stake. For example, a horse that is quoted at 4 -1 would be odds against, because if it wins a race, the bookmaker or totalisator returns $4 for every dollar a bettor places on that horse, plus his or her original outlay.

Oddsmaker – A person who sets the betting odds. (Sportsbooks or Bookies don’t set the odds. Most major sportsbooks use odds set by Las Vegas oddsmakers.)

Odds-On – You have to outlay two dollars to win one dollar and your total collect if the horse wins is three dollars. That is made up of your two dollars and the one dollar you win.

Off the Board (US) – A horse so lightly bet that its pari-mutuel odds exceed 99 to 1. Also, a game or event on which the bookie will not accept action.

Off Track – An off track refers to a wet racing surface.

Official – Sign displayed when result is confirmed. Also racing official.

Off-Track Betting (OTB) – Wagering at legalized betting outlets.

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.

On Tilt – Going ‘on tilt’ is losing the ability to rationalise bets and betting wildly on every race.

Open Ditch – Steeplechase jump with a ditch on the side facing the jockey.

Out Of The Money – A horse that finishes worse than third.

Outlay – The money a bettor wagers is called his or her outlay.

Outrider – 1) The person who rides the horses that accompany the race horses to the post and catches any horses who get loose. 2) A horse that is not expected to win. An outsider is usually quoted at the highest odds.

Over The Top – When a horse is considered to have reached its peak for that season.

Overbroke – Where the book results in a loss for the bookmaker.

Overlay – A horse going off at higher odds than it appears to warrant based on its past performances.

Overnight Line – Prices quoted the 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.

Overweight – Surplus weight carried by a horse when the rider cannot make the assigned weight.

Back to Top


Pacesetter – The horse that is running in front (on the lead).

Paddock – Area where horses are saddled and kept before post time.

Paddock Judge – Official in charge of the paddock and saddling routine.

Panel – A slang term for a furlong.

Parimutuel(s) – A form of wagering originated in 1865 by Frenchman Pierre Oller in which all money bet is divided up among those who have winning tickets, after taxes, takeout and other deductions are made. Oller called his system ‘Parier Mutuel’ meaning ‘Mutual Stake’ or ‘betting among ourselves’. As this wagering method was adopted in England it became known as ‘Paris Mutuals’, and soon after ‘Parimutuels’.

Parlay (Accumulator) – A multiple bet. A kind of ‘let-it-ride’ bet. Making simultaneous selections on two or more races with the intent of pressing the winnings of the first win on the bet of the following race selected, and so on. All the selections made must win for you to win the parlay.

Part Wheel – Using a key horse or horses in different, but not all possible, exotic wagering combinations.

Past Performances – A compilation in the Daily Racing Form of a horse’s record, including all pertinent data, used as a basis for handicapping.

Pasteboard Track – A lightning fast racing surface.

Patent – A multiple bet consisting of 7 bets involving 3 selections in different events. A single on each selection, plus 3 doubles and 1treble.

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

Penalty – A weight added to the handicap weight of a horse.

Permutations – It is possible to Perm bets or selections (e.g. on 4 selections all the possible doubles could be Permed making 6 bets).

Phone Betting – A service enabling punters to bet on horses with bookmakers by using telephones.

Phone Tab – Another phone betting service, provided by a totalisator which allows people with special betting accounts to place bets via the telephone. Much the same as a bank account, you must have a credit balance to be able to place a bet. The cost of the investment is debited to your account, and winning dividends and refunds are automatically credited to your account.

Photo Finish – A photo is automatically taken as the horses pass the winning line and when the race is too close to be judged the photo is used to determine the order of finish.

Pick Six (or more) – A type of wager in which the winners of all the included races must be selected.

Picks – Betting selections, usually by an expert.

Pitch – The position where a bookmaker conducts his business on a racecourse.

Place – Finish in the top two, top three, top four and sometimes also top five in a competition or event. A Place bet will win if the selection you bet on is among those placed. Usually, a horse runs a place if it finishes in the first three in fields of eight or more horses. If there are only six or seven runners the horse must finish first or second to place. Different sportsbooks have different Place terms and you should check their rules before placing a bet. In US, 2nd place finish. (See ‘Each Way’ UK)

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.

Plater – Horse which usually runs in selling races.

Pocket – Boxed in, shut off. Running in a position with horses in front and alongside.

Point Spread (Line or Handicap) – The points allocated to the ‘underdog’ to level the odds with the ‘favorite/favourite’.

Pole(s) – Markers at measured distances around the track designating the distance from the finish. The quarter pole, for instance, is a quarter of a mile from the finish, not from the start.

Pony – GBP£ 25.

Pool (Mutuel Pool) – The total sum bet on a race or a particular bet.

Post – 1) Starting point for a race. 2) An abbreviated version of post position. For example, “He drew post four”. 3) As a verb, to record a win. For example, “He’s posted 10 wins in 14 starts”.

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 for a race to start.

Post – Starting point or position in starting gate.

Prep (or Prep Race) -Aa workout or a race to prepare a horse for a future engagement.

Price – The odds.

Protest – When a jockey, owner, trainer or steward alleges interference by one party against another during a race that may have affected the outcome of a race. If a protest is upheld by officials, the runner that caused the interference is placed directly after the horse interfered with. If a protest is dismissed by officials, the original result of the race stands.

Pull Up – To stop or slow a horse during or after a race or workout.

Punt – Another term for bet or wager.

Punter – Bettor or investor.

Purse – Prize money.

Back to Top


Quadrella – Selecting the winner of four specifically nominated races.

Quarter – One-quarter of a mile; 440 yards; 1,320 feet.

Quarter Crack – Crack in wall of hoof.

Quarter Pole – Marker one-quarter mile from the finish.

Quiniela (Quinella) – Wager in which the first two finishers must be picked in either order. Payoff is made no matter which of the two wins and which runs second. (‘Reverse Forecast’ in the UK. See Wagers for Quiniela variants.)

Back to Top


Rabbit – A horse that is considered to have little chance of winning a race but is entered purely to ensure a fast pace, softening up the competition for the benefit of the entry mate.

Race Caller – The person who describes the race at a racecourse.

Racecard – A programme for the day’s racing.

Racing Secretary – The official who writes the conditions of races and assigns weights for handicap races.

Rail Runner – Horse that prefers to run next to the inside rail.

Ratings – Tipsters may determine a set of ratings which reflect, in their opinion, each runner’s chance of winning a particular race taking a number of factors into account when preparing them.

Reserved – Held off the pace.

Restricted Races – Races which only certain horses are eligible.

Return – The dividend you receive on a particular bet.

Reverse Forecast (UK) – See ‘Quinella’ above.

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

Ridgling – A horse with one testicle.

Ringer – A horse (or greyhound) entered in a race under another’s name – usually a good runner replacing a poorer one.

Romp – Running (or winning) with utmost ease.

Roughie – A horse which is considered to have a ‘rough’ chance of winning a race.

Round Robin – A bet consisting of 10 bets (3 pairs of ‘Single Stakes About’ bets plus 3 doubles and 1 treble) involving three selections in different events. (US, A series of three or more teams into two-team wagers).

Roundabout – A bet consisting of 3 bets involving three selections in different events (i.e. 1 single any to come and double stake double on remaining two selections, 3 times).

Rounder – A bet consisting of 3 bets involving three selections in different events (i.e. 1 single any to come a single stake double on remaining two selections, 3 times).

Route – Broadly, a race distance of longer than 1-1/8 miles.

Route Race – A race run at a mile or longer, generally around two turns.

Router – Horse that performs well at longer distances.

Run Free – A horse going too fast.

Rundown Bandages – Bandages on the hind legs, usually with a pad inside, to keep a horse from scraping his heels when he runs.

Rung – a class level on condition ladder.

Runner – A participant in a race. In US, a sportsbook’s employee who gathers information on the progress of betting elsewhere on the course. Also, a messenger ‘running’ to and from pari-mutuel windows for occupants of clubhouse boxes.

Back to Top


Saddle Cloth – Cloth under the saddle on which number denoting post position is displayed.

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

Scalper – One who attempts to profit from the differences in odds from book to book by betting both sides of the same game at different prices.

Schooled – A horse trained for jumping.

Scope – The potential in a horse.

Score – GBP£ 20. In US, to win a race or a bet. Also, a victory.

Scratch – To be taken out of a race before it starts. Trainers usually scratch horses due to adverse track conditions or a horse’s adverse health. A veterinarian can scratch a horse at any time.

Scratch Sheet – Daily publication that includes graded handicaps, tips and scratches.

Second Call – A secondary mount of a jockey in a race in the event his primary mount is scratched.

Selections – The horses selected by a knowledgeable person (Tipster) to have the most likely chance of finishing in first, second and third place. This may also refer to a person’s own selections – the horses they have chosen to back.

Selling Race – A race where the winner is sold by auction immediately afterwards.

Set Down – A suspension. Also, put to a drive, or asked to run by the jockey.

Settler – A bookmaker’s expert who calculates payouts.

Seven Furlongs – Seven-eighths of a mile; 1,540 yards; 4,620 feet.

Sex Allowance – Fillies and mares, according to their age and time of year, are allowed to carry less weight 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.

Short Price – Low odds, meaning a punter will get little return for their initial outlay.

Short Runner – A horse who barely stays, or doesn’t stay, the full distance of a race.

Shorten (Shortening the Odds) – When the odds of a horse decrease, usually because a lot of money has been wagered on that horse.

Show – Third position at the finish.

Show Bet – Wager on a horse to finish in the money; third or better.

Shut Out (US) – What happens to a bettor who gets on the betting line to late and is still waiting in line when the window closes. Also, in sports betting, when the losing team do not score.

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

Simulcast – A simultaneous live television transmission of a race to other tracks, off-track betting offices or other outlets for the purpose of wagering.

Single – A Straight bet on one selection to win one race or event, also known as a straight-up bet.

Single Stakes About (or SSA) – A bet consisting of 2 bets on two selections (1 single on each selection any to come 1 single on the other selection reversed).

Sire – Father of a horse.

Six Furlongs – Three-quarters of a mile; 1,320 yards; 3,960 feet.

Six-Dollar Combine (US) – An across-the-board bet in racing.

Sixteenth – One-sixteenth of a mile; 110 yards, 330 feet.

Sloppy (track) – A track that is wet on surface, with standing water visible, with firm bottom.

Slow (track) – A racing strip that is wet on both the surface and base. Between good and heavy.

Smart Money – Insiders’ bets or the insiders themselves.

Soft (track) – Condition of a turf course with a large amount of moisture. Horses sink very deeply into it.

Solid Horse – Contender.

Sophomore – Three-year-old horse.

Spell – The resting period between preparations or racing.

Sportsbook – The person, shop or website who accepts bets.

Spot Play (US) – Type of play in which bettor risks money only on types of races and horses which seem relatively worthwhile risks.

Sprint – Short race, less than one mile.

Sprint Race – A race run at less than a mile, generally with only one turn.

Stake – A race for which an owner must pay an entry fee to run his horse. The fees can be for nominating, maintaining eligibility, entering and starting, and are generally added to the amount put up by the track to make up the total purse.

Stakes – The sums of money deposited or guaranteed by the parties to a bet.

Stakes Horse – A horse whose level of competition includes mostly stakes races.

Stakes-Placed – Finished second or third in a stakes race.

Stallion – A male horse used for breeding.

Standing Start – In harness racing, starters start from a standing position, once the barrier across the track is released.

Starter – The person responsible for starting a race.

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

Starting Gate – Partitioned mechanical device having stalls in which the horses are confined until the starter releases the doors in front to begin the race.

Starting Price (or SP) – An estimation of odds available when the race starts.

Starting Stalls – Mechanical gates that ensure all horses start in unison.

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

Stayer (or Slayer) – A horse that can race long distances.

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

Steam – When a betting selection starts to move quite rapidly, usually caused by many bettors betting on it.

Steeplechase – A race in which horses are required to jump over a series of obstacles on the course. Also known as a ‘Chase’.

Steps Up – A horse moving up in class.

Stewards – The group of people who control the day’s racing by ensuring that every runner competes on its merits and imposing penalties for any breach of the rules of racing.

Stewards Enquiry – An enquiry by the stewards into a race.

Stick (Bat) – A jockey’s whip.

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

Stiff – A ride in which the jockey deliberately strangles his mount, particularly for the purposes of darkening its form.

Stipes – Another term for the Stewards. (Or Stipendiary Stewards)

Stooper (US) – Those who make a living picking up discarded mutuel tickets at racetracks and cashing those that have been thrown away by mistake.

Store (US) – A sportsbook or a bookie.

Straight – Betting to win only.

Straight Forecast (UK) – A tote bet operating in races of 3 or more declared runners in which the punter has to pick the first and second to finish in the correct order. See ‘Exacta’.

Straight Six – A wager to correctly select the winner of each of six consecutive nominated races.

Strapper – Also known as an attendant. A person who assists the trainer, cares for the horse or helps to put on its equipment.

Stretch (Home-Stretch) – Final straight portion of the racetrack to the finish.

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

Stretch Runner – Horse that runs its fastest nearing the finish of a race.

Stretch Turn – Bend of track into homestretch.

Stride – Manner of going. Also distance covered after each foot has touched the ground once.

Stud – 1) Male horse used for breeding. 2) A breeding farm.

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

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

Super Yankee – Alternative name for a multiple bet known as Canadian, a Super Yankee is a Yankee type bet with five selections instead of four.

Superfecta – A bet placed on four horses to cross the finish line in exact chosen order.

Sure Thing – A horse which a punter or tipster believes is unbeatable in a race.

Suspend (or Suspension) – A punishment for infraction of rules.

Sweepstakes – Type of betting whereby each horse in a race is drawn out of a hat by a particular person (who pays a set amount of money for the privilege of buying a horse). The people which chose the winner and placegetters will receive a percentage of the total money pool.

System – A method of betting, usually mathematically based, used by a punter or bettor to try to get an advantage.

Back to Top


TAB – Totalisator Agency Board. The body appointed to regulate off-course betting (bets made by people who are not present at the race track).

Tack – Riders’ racing equipment.

Take (Takeout) – Commission deducted from mutual pools which is shared by the track, horsemen (in the form of purses) 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.

Teller – See mutual clerk.

The Jockey Club – An organization dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing. Incorporated Feb. 10, 1894 in New York City, The Jockey Club serves as North America’s Thoroughbred registry, responsible for the maintenance of ‘The American Stud Book’, a register of all Thoroughbreds foaled in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada; and of all Thoroughbreds imported into those countries from jurisdictions that have a registry recognized by The Jockey Club and the International Stud Book Committee.

Thick’un – A big bet.

Thoroughbred – A Thoroughbred is a horse whose parentage traces back to any of the three ‘Founding Sires’ the Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk and Godolphin Barb, and who has satisfied the rules and requirements of The Jockey Club and is registered in ‘The American Stud Book’ or in a foreign stud book recognized by The Jockey Club and the International Stud Book Committee. Any other horse, no matter what its parentage, is not considered a Thoroughbred for racing and/or breeding purposes.

Thoroughbred Racing Associations (TRA) – An industry group comprised of many of the racetracks in North America.

Ticket – The betting slip or ticket which is received by the bettor from the bookmaker or totalisator, as proof of his or her wager. The ticket is necessary to collect the dividends.

Ticketer (US) – A forger of bookmakers’ tickets.

Tic-Tac – The secret and complex sign language used by bookmakers at racecourses to indicate movements in the price of a horse. See BBC’s Tic-Tac guide.

Tierce – A French combination bet in which the bettor predicts the horses that will finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Tips – The selections chosen by an expert to bet on (also known as Picks). See ‘Selections’.

Tipster – A person who makes selections for a race, providing tips on which horses they believe will win the first three places.

Tongue Strap (Tie) – Cloth or rubber strap used to tie down a horse’s tongue to prevent it from choking in a race or workout.

Top Weight – Highest weight assigned or carried in a race.

Totalizator (Totalisator) – The system of betting on races (an automated system that dispenses and records betting tickets, calculates and displays odds and payoffs and provides the mechanism for cashing winning tickets) in which the winning bettors share the total amount bet, minus a percentage for the operators of the system, taxes etc. Synonyms – Tote, Parimutuel.

Tote – Totalizator. The organisation appointed to receive bets and supply dividends in proportion to the amount of the investment. A body in the UK set up to operate pool-betting on all racecourses.

Tote Board – The (usually) electronic totalizator display in the infield which reflects up-to-the-minute odds. It may also show the amounts wagered in each mutuel pool as well as information such as jockey and equipment changes, etc. Also known as the ‘Board’.

Tote Returns – Returns from a tote pool (also known as a Dividend), calculated by taking the total stake in each pool (after the take out) and dividing it by the number of winning tickets. A dividend is declared to a fixed stake, for various win, place and forecast pools.

Tout – Person who professes to have, and sells, advance information on a race. Also used as a verb meaning to sell or advertise.

Track Bias – A racing surface that favors a particular running style or post position.

Track Condition – Condition of the racetrack surface. Slow; Fast; good; muddy; sloppy; frozen; hard; firm; soft; yielding; heavy.

Track Record – Fastest time for a distance at a particular track.

Trail – Racing immediately behind another horse. A trail is also known as a sit.

Trainer – The person responsible for looking after a horse and preparing it to race. A trainer must hold a license or permit to be entitled to train.

Treble – A bet consisting of 3 selections, all of which must win for the wager to be successful.

Trial – Workout.

Tricast (UK) – See ‘Trifecta’ below.

Trifecta – A wager picking the first three finishers in exact order. Called a ‘Triactor’ in Canada and a ‘Triple’ in some parts of the U.S. (‘Tricast’ in the UK.)

Trifecta Box – A trifecta wager in which all possible combinations using a given number of horses are bet upon. The total number of combinations can be calculated according to the formula (x3)-(3×2)+(2x), where x equals the amount of horses in the box. The sum of the formula is then multiplied by the amount wagered on each combination.

Triple – (Also ‘Treble’) See ‘Trifecta’ above.

Triple Crown – Used generically to denote a series of three important races, but is always capitalized when referring to historical races for three-year-olds. In the United States, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. In England the 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St. Leger Stakes. In Canada, the Queen’s Plate, Prince of Wales Stakes and Breeders’ Stakes.

Trixie – A Trixie consists of 4 bets involving 3 selections in different events, i.e. 3 doubles plus 1 treble.

Trotting – A term for harness racing in general. It also describes the specific gait of a trotter.

True Odds – The real odds of something happening as opposed to what the bookies offer. Actual odds taking into account the bookmaker’s/sportsbook’s edge. The ratio of the number of times one event will occur to the number of times that it will not.

Turf Accountant – The UK euphemism for a bookmaker.

Turf Course – Grass course.

Back to Top


Unbackable – A horse which is quoted at short odds that punters decide is too short to return any reasonable amount for the money they outlay.

Under Starters Orders (or Under Orders) – The starting of a race.

Under Wraps – Horse under stout restraint in a race or workout.

Underlay – A horse racing at shorter odds than seems warranted by its past performances.

Union Jack – A bet consisting of 8 trebles on 9 selections A to I – ABC, DEF, GHI, ADG, BEH, CFI, AEI, and CEG.

Untried – Not raced.

Back to Top


Valet – The person who takes care of a jockey’s tack and silks and helps him change for the next race.

Value – Getting the best odds on a wager.

Back to Top


Wager – Another term for bet.

Walkover – A race which scratches down to only one starter who merely gallops the required distance.

Warming Up – Galloping horse on way to post.

Washy – Horse breaking out in nervous sweat before race, sometimes to the point it will be dripping from his belly.

Water Skiing – Occurs when a jockey leans well back in the saddle forcing his feet in front of him in order to hold the horse back.

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

Weigh In (Out) – The certification, by the clerk of scales, of a rider’s weight before (after) a race. A jockey weighs in fully dressed with all equipment except for his/her helmet, whip and (in many jurisdictions) flak jacket.

Weight-For-Age – The purpose of weight-for-age is to allow horses of different age and sex to compete on equal terms. The weight a horse carried is allocated on a set scale according to its sex and age.

Welsh (Welch) – To fail to pay a gambling bet.

Wheel – Betting all possible combinations in an exotic wager using at least one horse as the key. See ‘Part Wheel’.

Wheeling – A racing system devised for the daily double bet in which the bettor backs one horse in the first race and every horse in the second (also known as Baseball or Locking).

Whip – Instrument or a stick, usually of leather, with which rider strikes horse to increase his speed.

Win – The term used to describe a 1st place finish.

Win Bet – Wager on a horse to finish first.

Winded – Breathing with difficulty after workout or race.

Winner-Takes-All – A winner receiving all the purse or stakes.

Winning Post – The finishing line of a race. (Also, The Post.)

Wire – The finish line of a race.

Wise Guy – A knowledgeable handicapper or bettor.

With the Field – Having one horse linked with all the other horses in an event. It can apply to forecasts or in doubles.

Work – To exercise a horse.

Back to Top


Yankee – A multiple bet consisting of 11 bets (6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 4-fold) on 4 selections in different events.

Yap – Yankee Patent. The same 11 bets as a Yankee, but with singles on each of the 4 selections as well, making 15 bets in all (also known as a ‘Lucky 15′).

Yearling – A horse in its second calendar year of life, beginning January 1 of the year following its birth.

Yielding – Condition of a turf course with a great deal of moisture. Horses sink into it noticeably.

Back to Top

Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.