Racing Terms

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    Term Definition

    The area at the racetrack where the horses are saddled and viewed prior to a race. Also a fenced-off field on a farm.


    A form of wagering originated in 1865 by Frenchman Pierre Oller. All the money bet is pooled and divided up among those who have winning tickets, minus taxes, takeout and other deductions.

    Past performances

    A horse's race record, earnings, bloodlines and various other data, presented in composite form.


    Buying a young horse with the intention of reselling it at a profit. A pinhooker is one who engages in this practice.


    To finish second in a race is to place.

    Place bet

    A wager on a horse to finish second or better.


    The starting point for a race.

    Post parade

    Occurs before a race when horses leave the paddock and pass the stands on their way to the starting gate.

    Post position

    A horse's position in the starting gate from the inner rail outward. Is decided by a drawing at the close of entries prior to the race.

    Post time

    Designated time for a race to start.

    Public trainer

    One who trains for more than one owner, usually on a per-diem basis.


    Technically, a race to which the owners do not contribute to the prize. There was a time when the prize money was contained in a purse and hung on a wire which crossed the finish line. The terms "taking down a purse" and "going under the wire" thus once had literal meanings.



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