Horse Racing Glossary

Allowance Race: A type of race where each horse is allowed to carry a certain amount of weight, but no less

Bankroll: A set amount of money used particularly for wagering on horse races.

Box: An exotic wager that uses all of the selected horses in each position.

Claiming Race: A type of race where some or all horses is up for sale for the specified claiming price. This ensures that horses of equal ability face each other.

Class: The caliber of company that a horse races with.

Colors: The jockey’s uniform. These represent different stables logos.

Company Line: The list of top three finishers located in the past performance charts.

Daily Double: A two race parlay where bettors must select the winner in each race.

Dam: The mother of a horse.

Exacta: An exotic wager that involves selecting the correct order of the first two horses to finish a race.

Exotics: Wagers that involve more than one horse at a time.

Flat Betting: A betting method that never varies the amount at risk.

Furlong: 1/8th of a mile.

Hedging: A betting method that reduces risk involved on your main bet by selecting one or more smaller wagers that involve other horses.

Jockey: The rider of the horse.

Kelly Criterion: A mathematical formula that helps bettors and investors know how much to put at risk. The amount to wager is equal to (bp-q)/b, where b = effective odds, p = the true probability, and q = 1 – p.

Lasix: A drug that enhances a thoroughbred’s racing performance.

Maiden Race: A race designed for horses that have never won a race.

Martingale System: Any betting system that involves doubling your bet after each loss so that you may net a small profit. Once a bet is won, the
process resets.

Morning Line: The odds of winning each horse is assigned by track officials prior to wagering.

OTB: Off Track Betting.

Owner: The person or company that owns the horse.

Pari-mutuel: The process of adjusting a horse’s odds based on the percentage of dollars wagered it receives.

Parlay: A type of wager that involves two or more separate races.

Perfecta: An exacta. This term is used at some tracks instead of exacta.

Pick 3, 4, 6: Parlays that involve three, four, or six races.

Post Position: The location of the horse within the starting gate.

Purse: The total amount of prize money that is scheduled for a particular race.

Quinella: A wager that requires you to pick the two horses that will finish first and second in a race, regardless of order.

Routes: Any race one mile or over.

Sire: The father of a horse.

Speed Figure: A number that attempts to quantify a horse’s time.

Sprints: Races under one mile.

Stakes Race: Races for the top echelon of race horses.

Superfecta: A wager that attempts to predict the precise order of the first four finishers of a race.

Track Bias: Any track condition that alters the way a race is run.

Trainer: The person responsible for coaching the horse.

Trifecta: A wager that attempts to predict the precise order of the first three finishers of a race.

Turf: Grass surfaces.

Wheel: An exotic bet involving one horse for a certain position, plus the whole field for the next. Part-wheels also exist where you can limit which horses in the field you include.

Workouts: A horse’s training runs. These range anywhere from three furlongs on up.

WPS: Win, place, show.