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May 17, 2020
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Horse Racing Betting Terms

May 17, 2020

Horse Racing Betting Terms

In US horse racing and other horse racing industries around the world, there are many horse betting terms, acronyms and sayings that sportsbooks, horse trainers and punters use to describe the racing or the types of bets available to place on each race.

Why it’s important to understand horse betting terms

The last thing you want is the embarrassment of placing a horse racing bet that you don’t understand or having to wager more money than you envisaged because of the requirements of your chosen bet type.

Before you get started with your bet slips, let’s take a look at some of the most common horse betting terms in the industry to help you keep up with the lingo and prime you for a day at the racetrack.

Horse Betting Terms Glossary
Term Definition
Allowance Race A race whereby the racing secretary drafts predetermined conditions for weights.
Allowances Reductions in weights for various reasons i.e. female jockey Vs male jockeys or younger horse against older horses.
Apprentice A trainee jockey.
Baby Race A horse race involving only two-year-old horses.
Backed-In A horse whose price has fallen considerably due to heavy betting from punters.
Bar Price The odds of runners not quoted with a price during early betting shows.
Blinkers The device used to limit a horse’s peripheral vision, so that they focus on what’s in front of them.
Breakage Money left over from pari-mutuel payoffs.
Breeders’ Cup The biggest day of US horse racing, with eight races and the biggest prize purse.
Canadian A combination bet, also known as a Super Yankee (26 bets – 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five 4-folds and one 5-fold).
Card A term used to describe the whole day of races at a racetrack.
Chase A shortened term for a steeplechase (jump) race.
Colors The racing silks worn by the jockey, often specific to the owner.
Colt A male horse aged four or younger.
Daily Double A wager requiring punters to correctly predict the winners of the first two races of a card.
Daily Triple A wager requiring punters to correctly predict the winners of the first three races of a card.
Derby A stakes races for three-year-old horses.
Draw A horse’s place in the starting stalls, drawn at random pre-race.
Drift Occurs when a horse’s pre-race odds increase or lengthen.
Each Way A British term used to describe a ‘Place’ bet.
Enclosure The area where horses gather for viewing after the race.
Exotic Wager Any pre-race wager other than a standard win, place or show bet.
Exposure The amount of money a punter or sportsbook stands to lose on a horse or race.
False Favorite A pre-race favorite that is easily beaten in the race.
Feature Races The best races featuring the top-graded horses
Filly A female horse aged four-years-old or younger.
Flat Race A horse race without any fences or jumps.
Forecast A wager requiring bettors to correctly predict the horses finishing first and second in a race.
Front Runner A horse who prefers to lead from the front.
Going The condition of the racetrack e.g. soft, firm, heavy.
Graded Race A term used to denote high-calibre stakes racing in North America.
Group Race See Graded Race.
Handicap A race whereby the racetrack handicapper applies weights to the better horses to ensure a more even race.
Heinz A multiple bet comprising 57 bets on six different races (15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 4-folds, six 5-folds and one 6-fold).
Judge The official which determines the final placings for each race.
Juvenile A ‘green’ two-year-old horse.
Length The traditional measurement used to denote the distance between horses in a race (a length is the distance from a horse’s nose to tail).
Listed Race A stakes race involving horses not deemed good enough for group or graded racing.
Maiden A race involving horses that are yet to win a race.
Meeting As ‘Card’ – describes a collection of races staged at a racetrack on the same day.
Morning Line The approximate betting odds quoted for horses before the betting markets open.
Nap The horses nominated by prominent tipsters or racing pundits as their strongest tip of the day.
Nursery A handicap race staged exclusively for two-year-old horses.
Odds Against Odds for a horse above evens (+100).
Odds On Odds for a horse below evens (+100).
Off-Track Betting Outlets that accept legalized horse racing wagers away from the racetracks.
Outsider A horse entered into a race that’s not expected to win.
Paddock The area at the racetrack where horses are saddled and prepared prior to post time.
Parlay Also known as an accumulator, these are bets on multiple races that must all win to win the parlay.
Penalty A horse running under a penalty is given additional weight in a handicap race.
Place A horse will ‘place’ in a race if it finishes in the top two, three, four or five, depending on the number of runners.
Racecard The official programme of the day’s racing at a racetrack.
Ringer A replacement horse entered under another horse’s name, often replacing a poorer one.
Roughie A horse considered to have a ‘rough’ probability of winning its race.
Selling Race A race involving horses that will be sold at auction immediately after the race.
Show Bet A bet placed on a horse to finish in the money.
Simulcast A live broadcast of a race to other racetracks, outlets and off-track betting stores.
Superfecta A wager placed on four horses to finish in the exact order (first, second, third and fourth).
Super Yankee Also known as a Canadian bet, the Super Yankee comprises bets on five selections rather than four (Yankee).
The Jockey Club Founded in 1894, The Jockey Club governs the North American thoroughbred horse racing industry.
Thoroughbred Racing Associations The TRA is another highly influential industry organization, overseeing many of the racetracks in North America.
Trainer The trainer is the individual responsible for preparing a horse for its races. All trainers must hold licenses or permits to train thoroughbreds.
Triple Crown The term used to describe the three biggest races in the US racing calendar (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes).
Value A term attributed to punters that get the best available odds on a horse.
Yankee A multiple bet based on selections in four separate horse races (six doubles, four trebles and one 4-fold).
Yielding A term used to describe a turf racetrack with considerable moisture due to overnight rain (energy-sapping conditions for horses unprepared for heavier ground).

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