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Horse Wager Dictionary

Across the board - a bet made on one horse to win, place or show

Age - all race horses in the northern hemisphere arbitrarily celebrate their birthday on January 1

Backstretch - the straightaway of the track away from the grandstand

Colors - color designations in horses:

  • Bay - brownish body coat with black points
  • Black - black with no brown or tan patches
  • Dark bay or brown - brown coat with areas of tan
  • Chestnut - a reddish brown color varying from a dark liver color to coppery-gold
  • Gray or roan - a combination of white hairs with any one or several of the above-noted colors

Colt - a male horse (four years old or younger)

Dark day - day at a racetrack when there is no racing

Derby - stakes race for three-year-olds

Distaff - a race for female horses

Fast - the preferred rating for the racing surface; at its best, it is dry, firm and even

Filly - a female horse (four years-old or younger)

Furlong - a distance measuring one-eighth of a mile

Gelding - a male horse of any age that has had both testicles removed

Good - a track surface that is still drying out, but is almost "fast"

Handle - the sum of all wagers bet on a race or a card or during some period of time

Horse - in racing, a horse is narrowly defined as any male five years or older with genitalia intact

Inquiry - is a claim of foul lodged by a racing official

Juvenile - two-year-old horses

Length - measure of distance based on average length of a horse

Mare - a female horse (five-years or older)

Maiden - a horse which has not won a race

Muddy - a wet, sticky racing surface

Objection - is a claim of foul lodged by a jockey or trainer

Parimutuels - a betting system whereby bettors collect on the total money wagered after deduction of the house percentage

Route - in Thoroughbred racing, any distance greater than one mile

Ridgling - a male horse of any age with either one or two undescended testicles

Scratch - a horse that has been withdrawn from a race

Sloppy - a track so saturated with rain that it has water lying on the surface

Slow - a slow track is a muddy surface which is beginning to dry out

Sprint - in Thoroughbred racing, any distance less than one mile