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Popular Horse Racing Terms I - P (continued)
Ice cold (exacta, trifecta): Bet it one way only, such as a 6-4 exacta and hit.

Assigned weight.

Infield: Area enclosed by the racing oval.

In for a tag / Running for a tag: Has a price assigned to him/her. Basically means the horse is running in a claiming event.

In Form: A horse is said to be "in form" when he/she is running at their peak level. "In form" is a way of saying that horse has been running well lately. Out of form: is the opposite of "in form", running poorly.

In hand: Under restraint. Had a lot left in the tank and could have won by more if desired.

Inquiry: A review of the race by the stewards for purposes of discovering possible infractions.

In the money: Finishing first, second or third. A Win, Place or Show finish.

Jail: Refers to the requirements for a horse that has been claimed. Commonly, a claimed horse must run for at least a 25 percent higher claiming price for a month following the claim.

Jockey Club: Formed in 1894 and based in New York, the organization that serves as the registry for thoroughbreds in North America.

Jumped a shadow: Horses will sometimes try and jump objects on the racetrack including shadows, puddles, etc. To the horse it looks like something in his / her path. Trainers will sometimes apply a shadow roll to prevent this from happening.

Juvenile: A 2-year-old.

Key horse: A horse used in combinations with two or more other horses in exotic wagers.

Lame: Describes an inability to walk, gallop or run normally because of pain or injury.

Laminitis: An inflammation of the sensitive laminae of the foot, the area of the hoof that contains nerves and blood vessels.

Lasix: Lasix or Furosemide is a diuretic used to treat bleeding in horses. It can be given to horses that suffer exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging (basically that means he's a bleeder). Such horses might slow abruptly when their breathing is inhibited.

Late double: Same as a Daily Double but for later races .

Lead, right or left: The front leg that is left to hit the ground. Ideally, a horse will race on its left lead in the turns and its right on the straights.

Lead pad: A leather pad with pockets for holding lead; positioned beneath the saddle, it's used to make up the difference between the actual weight and the assigned weight.

Lead pony: Pony that leads the parade to the post.

Length: Measurement used to denote distances between horses; approximately equal to the length of a horse.

Light up the toteboard: A saying referring to a longshot payout looming. As in saying "light it up" meaning i'm cashing big time.


Line: The morning line.

Listed stakes: An ungraded stakes race.

Lock: The mythical cinch. A horse that can't lose (unfortunately doesn't exist, kinda like the Easter Bunny)

Long shot: A horse with high odds, one given little chance of winning by the public. Yet these often surprise.

Looks "A Treat": A prize specimen of a horse. Looks outstanding.

Lug in or out: Same as bearing in or out.

Maiden: A horse that has never won a race. A horse with no wins.

Maiden Race: A race strictly for horses that have never won before, usually features young horses.

Mare: Female horse 5 years old or older.

Meters: Races outside North America are often listed in Meters. The equivalent ratings for distances are 1000m (5 furlongs) 1200m (6 furlongs) 1400m (7 furlongs) 1600m (1 mile).

Milkshake: An illegal mixture fed to a horse to make him run faster.

Minus pool: This results when betting is so heavy on a single horse that after taxes and commissions, there's not enough remaining to pay the bettors the mandated minimum. The racetrack is forced to make up the difference.

Missed the break: broke slowly from the starting gate, didn't break with the rest of the horses.

Monster: Term for a horse that looks head and shoulders above the competition, a dominant horse. As in "that horse is a monster"

Morning glory: A horse that trains sharply, with eye-catching times in his workouts, but fails to perform well in races.

Morning line: The starting odds, as set by the track handicapper. It's the oddsmaker's projection of what the final odds will be. Remember the odds are ultimately set by the public, the morning line is more of an estimate of what the final odds will be.

Mount: A horse that a jockey is booked to ride.

MTO (entry): MTO stands for main track only. this means that the horse can draw in only if the race comes off the turf in favor of the main track.

Mudder: A horse that is particularly fond of running on a sloppy or muddy track is known as a mudder.

Mutuel field: Horses grouped together as one betting interest.

Nag: A slang for a racehorse, especially a bad one.

Neck: Measurement for beaten horses , approximately equal to a horse 's neck.

Nod: Lowering the head so that it's fully extended, as in to win by a nod.

Nom de Course: Name of a stable or owner or group of owners for racing purposes.Nose: Measurement for beaten horses ; narrowest margin of victory.

Oaks: Some significant stakes races for 3-year-old fillies are so designated, such as the Kentucky Oaks.

Objection: A claim of foul after the running of a race, usually made by a jockey but sometimes by a trainer. Most objections that do not involve a judges inquiry first have little chance of success.

Odds-on: Odds less than even money.

Off the board: Not finishing among the top three.

Off The Turf: Means the race has been taken off the turf and will now be run on the main track, usually because it is raining.

Off track: A racing surface that is not officially fast.

Off-track betting (OTB): Legalized betting at locations other than the racetrack.

On the bit, or in the bridle: Eager to run.

On the board: Finishing among the top three.

On the muscle: Fit and eager.

On the nose: Betting to win.

Open knee: An immature knee.

Open race: A race that does not restrict eligibility.

Out of the money finish: Finishing worse than third.

Outrider: Rider who accompanies the horses to the gate and catches loose horses.

Overlay: An overlay situation exists when the potential return exceeds the risk. A horse 's going off at higher odds than it should, based on its ability and chances. What an experienced bettor looks for.

Overnight: A sheet listing the entries for an upcoming race day.

Overnight race: A race other than a stakes race.

Overweight: Additional weight carried by a horse because the jockey cannot make the assigned weight.

Pacesetter: The early leader of a race, the horse that sets the pace.

Paddock: 1) The enclosure where horses are saddled before a race.
2) An enclosure near a stable where horses can be exercised or allowed to run freely.

Paddock judge: Racing official in charge of the paddock area.

Patrol judges:
Officials who observe the race from various vantage points.

Patrol cameras: Cameras that view and film the race from various vantage points.

Parlay: A wager whereby the payoff is parlayed, or bet again, on another horse in a subsequent race, as in a three-horse parlay.
Called an accumulator in England.

Parimutuel: Form of wagering at the racetrack.
Under the parimutuel system, which was originated by Pierre Oller in 1865, all the money wagered is returned to the bettors after a set takeout, which means the bettors are competing among themselves and not against the racetrack.

Past performances: A horse's record which includes how he/she finished in each prior race with the particulars included. Most often supplied by Equibase, Daily Racing Form or BRISnet. Necessary information to try and predict the outcome of horse races.

Pastern: Area between the fetlock (ankle) and the hoof (foot).

Path: You may have heard it said "he raced in the 2 path" or "he raced in the 4 path, well off the rail" around the track. A path is approximately equal to a horses width, so a 2 path trip would leave 1 horse width between him and the rail. Sometimes jockeys find a winning path around the track, especially on a sloppy track. Sometimes a wider path around the track may be playing better that the inside, however this is rare.

Phenylbutazone: See bute.

Photo finish: A finish that is so close that a photograph is necessary to determine the precise outcome.

Pick 6: Wager in which you must select the winning horses of 6 consecutive races. Offers some of the largest payouts in racing.

Pinhooker: A person who buys young horses for the purpose of reselling them at a profit. Most often buying yearlings to be resold as 2yo or 3yo's.

Place Bet: A bet in which your horse has to run first or second to collect. A horse that finishes 2nd in a race is said to "Place".

Placing judges: Judges who determine the official order of finish.

Plater: A claiming horse. A cheap horse.

Plodder: A horse that keeps the same pace all the way. A slow, methodical gainer.

Points of call: Places during a race where the running positions are indicated in a chart.
The final point of call is always the finish, and the penultimate point of call the eighth pole.

Pony: Any horse that leads the post parade or accompanies the racehorses to the gate.

Pool: Sum of the money wagered in a particular way; e.g., the place pool is all the money bet to place.

Post parade: The horses' procession in front of the grandstand before a race.

Post position: A horse's stall in the starting gate; e.g., a horse might break from post position 5.

Post time: Time for a race to start.

Public trainer: A trainer who works for several different owners; e.g., D. Wayne Lukas.

Pull up: To slow and then stop a horse after a race or workout.

Punter: A horseplayer, a gambler. More commonly used in Europe than United States.

Purse: Prize money offered in a race.

Pushbutton: If a jockey says that his horse is pushbutton, that means he runs like a sports car. Ready to go fast in a moments notice.
Popular Horse Racing Terms Q - Z