Racing Terms

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    Term Definition

    The straightway on the far side of the racetrack. Also used as a reference to the stable area.


    Bandages or cloth wrappings on a horse's legs. They do not necessarily denote lameness or infirmity.


    A term that describes a broodmare that was bred in the last breeding season but did not conceive.

    Black type

    Horses finishing first, second and third in a black-type stakes will qualify for bold (black) type in a pedigree. Many sales catalogs have eliminated the use of black type for stakes below a certain monetary value. If a horse's name appears in boldface type and in all capital letters, the horse has won at least one black-type event. If it appears in boldface type and upper- and lowercase letters, it ran second or third in at least one black-type event.


    Once called the "Rogue's Badge," blinkers are a common piece of racing equipment today. The eye cups on the blinkers, depending on modifications, block side and rear vision in either or both eyes. The use or disuse of blinkers must be approved by the stewards and the change reported on the official program.

    Blow out

    A brief last workout (usually three furlongs or a half mile) given a day or two prior to a race and designed to sharpen or maintain a horse's condition.

    Break maiden

    This term describes a horse or rider who has won the first race of his career.


    The calculation of the return on a $2.00 wager is made to the nearest .10 in most states. For example, if the actual division of the pool comes out to $8.64, the official payoff is $8.60.


    A breeze is working a horse at a moderate speed and involves less effort than a workout that is denoted handily.


    A female horse that has been bred and is used to produce foals.


    Or "bug boy;" an apprentice jockey so-called because of the "bug" or asterisk in the official program to denote that the weight carried includes the apprentice allowance.


    A bullet work is the best workout time for a particular distance on a given day at a racetrack or training track.


    When a horse goes through a public auction and does not reach a minimum (reserve) price set by the consignor, it is a buy-back and is retained. The consignor must pay a fee to buy back the horse.



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