Racing Terms

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    Term Definition

    A straightaway extension of either the homestretch or the backstretch used for distances that would otherwise necessitate starting on a turn.

    Claiming race

    Any horse entered in a claiming race is subject to be purchased for a set price. Claims must be made before the race and only by licensed owners or their agents.

    Clubhouse turn

    The turn to the right of the grandstand, so called because the Clubhouse is usually to the right of the general stands.


    The jockey's silk or nylon jacket and cap provided by the owner. Distinctive colors are registered by the owner with The Jockey Club and with the state racing authority. The practice of using individually registered colors was introduced at Newmarket, England in 1762.

    Condition book

    A series of booklets issued by a racing secretary that establish conditions for the races to be run at a particular racetrack. These books are published well in advance to help trainers plan training schedules.


    The shape or proportionate dimensions of a horse; the physical makeup.


    Two or more horses belonging to the same owner or trained by the same person are said to be "coupled" and they run as an "entry" comprising a single betting unit. Their program number regardless of post position would be "1" and "1A." A second "entry" in the race would be listed in the program as "2" and "2B." A bet on one horse of an entry is a bet on both.


    The loose, top surface of the racetrack.



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