• Basic Terms
  • Horse Terms
  • Handicapping Terms
  • Wagering Terms
  • Backside

    Slang for the stable area, typically located on the ‘back’ portion of the track.

  • Backstretch

    The straight part of the track opposite of the finish line.

  • Field

    Term for all the horses in the race.

  • Inquiry

    An official review by the racing stewards to determine if there was a foul in the race.

  • Length

    A term used to describe the distance between horses in a race. One length is about 8’ feet (or the length of a horse from nose to tail).

  • MTP / Minutes to Post

    Minutes to Post is simply the number of minutes until the next race. You can find this on the toteboard or bigscreen list as MTP.

  • Morning Line

    Odds set before wagering opens as an approximation of where the odds will ultimately end up.

  • Mutuel Teller

    Racing term for a bet taker.

  • Objection

    A claim of foul lodged by a jockey, trainer or owner alleging another horse of wrong-doing in the race.

  • Paddock

    Location where the horses get saddled and ready for the race.

  • Pool

    The total money bet into a single wagering opportunity, i.e. the Win Pool

  • Post Position

    The position of the stall in the starting gate from which a horse starts.

  • Post Parade

    The term used to describe the horses walking from the paddock to the track and in front of the grandstand crowd.

  • Photo Finish

    A result that is close enough to require a review using a finish line camera.

  • Purse

    The prize money the horses, owners, trainers and jockeys are racing for.

  • Saddle Towel

    The cloth under the saddle that indicates the number of the horse.

  • Sam Machine

    A Self Service wagering machine.

  • Scratch

    A horse eliminated from a race prior to the race being run.

  • Silks

    The jacket and cap worn by jockeys which designate the owner of the horse.

  • Stretch / Stretch Run

    The final straight away on the racetrack.

  • Tote Board

    The toteboard is the infield digital board where the odds are displayed for the next race along with payouts from the previous race.

  • Turf Course

    A grass covered course.

  • Wire

    Slang for the Finish Line.

  • Apprentice Jockey

    A student jockey that will receive a weight allowance of varying degrees depending on his or her experience.

  • Break Maiden

    When a horse wins for the first time.

  • Claiming Race

    A race where each horse in the field has a price and can be purchased by any person that makes a valid claim prior to the running of the race.

  • Filly

    A female horse up to and including the age of 4.

  • Furlongs

    A measure of distance in horse racing. Every Furlong is 1/8 of a mile.

  • Sire

    Father of a horse.

  • Stewards

    Three person panel that determines whether or not any rule violations occurred during the race.

  • Blinkers

    A piece of eye equipment horses may where to prevent them from getting distracted in a race.

  • Bullet

    Used in reference to workout times, meaning it was the fastest workout at a particular distance that day.

  • Chalk

    The ‘Chalk’ is what insiders call the betting favorite in the race. Sometimes you’ll hear people say “I Bet the Chalk” meaning they bet the favorite. Or ‘That race was chalky’ meaning mostly favorites hit the board.

  • Closer/Stalker

    A handicapping term for a horse that likes to go slower early and make a late charge.

  • Conditions

    The circumstances under which a race will be run, such as: surface, distance, purse, and eligibility.

  • Early Speed

    A handicapping term for a horse that likes to run fast early and try to get to the lead.

  • Entry or Coupled Entry

    Two or more horses owned by the same owner that are running as a single betting unit. Often listed as 1 and 1A. Meaning if you bet the 1, you get two horses for the price of 1!

  • Fractions

    Clocking at quarter-mile increments in either a race or a workout.

  • Fast Track

    Rating of a dirt track that is dry and hard.

  • Hit the Board

    Slang for saying a horse finished in top three.

  • In the Money

    To finish in the top four; this generally entitles the owner to a share of the purse. In betting terms "in the money" means to finish in the top three.

  • Odds

    The chances of a horse to win a particular race based on the pari-mutuel wagering of the general public.

  • Sprint

    A short race, seven furlongs or less.

  • Across the Board

    A bet on one horse to win, place, and show

  • Carryover

    Refers to money in the parimutuel pool for a Pick Five wager that is left over after a sequence fails to have any player select all of the winners. For example, if there are no winning tickets for a Pick Five on a Friday at a track, the money left in the pool (minus the track take) is a considered a carryover and will be added to the pool for Saturday's Pick Five.

  • Dead-Heat

    Term for two or more horses finishing in an exact tie.

  • Handle

    Total sum bet on a race or during an entire day.

  • Additional Wagering Terms

    Can be found under "How to Bet"