Horse Race Book Glossary

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This year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held on Oct. 26-27 at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. This will be the first Breeders’ Cup to be conducted links two days. Friday’s program will debut three new $1 million Breeders’ Cup races. The Championships will conclude on Saturday with eight Breeders Cup races.

Horse Race Book Glossary

Term Definition
All Out A horse who is trying to the best of his ability.
Also-Eligible: A horse entered in the race but who cannot start unless another horse is scratched.
Also-Ran: A horse that finishes out of the money.
Backstretch The straight way on the far side of the track.
Bad Beat A losing wager owing more to misfortune, unfortunate circumstances or sheer terrible luck than poor handicapping or analysis.
Beat the Chalk To wager against the favorite in a race.
Blanket Finish When the horses finish so close for the win you could theoretically put a single blanket across them.
Blinkers Equipment worn on the bridle to restrict a horse's vision on the sides to help maintain attention and avoid distractions.
Blowout A short fast workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to sharpen a horse's speed.
Board The tote board on which odds, betting pools and other race information is 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.
Breakage In pari-mutuel payoffs which are rounded out to a nickel or dime, those pennies that are left links.
Breeze: Working a horse at a moderate speed; less effort than handily.
Bridge Jumper A gambler who bets an exorbitant amount of money to show in order to capitalize on the minimum five percent pay out.
Bug The five-, seven-, or ten-pound weight allowance for an apprentice jockey.
Bug Boy An apprentice rider.
Bullet Work The best workout time for the distance on a given day at a track.
Bull Ring Small racetrack less than one mile around.
Bute Phenylbutazone a commonly used analgesic for horses.
Caulk Projection on the bottom of a shoe to give the horse better traction, especially on a wet track.
Chalk A very low-odds betting favorite.
Chalky Characterized by a preponderance of winning favorites.
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.
Closer A horse that runs best in the latter part of the race, coming from off the pace.
Club House Turn Generally the turn immediately after the finish line and closest to the clubhouse.
Colors: Racing silks, the jacket and cap worn by jockeys. Silks can be generic and provided by the track or specific to one owner.
Coupled Two or more horses running as an entry in a single betting unit.
Cuppy A track surface, which breaks away under a horse's hoof.
Dead-Heat Two or more horses finishing in an exact tie at the finish.
Dead Rail a track bias against horses that travel near the rail.
Dead Track Racing surface lacking resiliency.
Distanced Well beaten, finishing a long distance behind the winner.
Eased The jockey stops the horse during the race so he can't finish, usually due to an injury or equipment problem.
Easily Running or winning without being pressed by the jockey or opposition.
Entry Two or more horses owned by the same stable or (in some cases) trained by the same trainer and running as a single betting unit.
Evenly Neither gaining nor losing position or distance during a race.
Extended Forced to run at top speed.

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