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Racing Terms

 

Allowance Race
A race in which a horse is entered according to eligibility conditions, usually the number of races it has won or money it has earned. Allowance races are a level above claiming races but a level below stakes races.
Blacksmith
A person who trims and shoes thoroughbred’s hoofs (also known as a farrier).
Broodmare
A female horse in foal or previously used for breeding.
Claiming Race
A race in which each thoroughbred carries a price tag indicating the amount for which another owner can buy the thoroughbred out of the race.
Class
The level of quality and difficulty of a race, or in reference to a thoroughbred, its ability to be competitive with quality horses.
Closer
A thoroughbred race horse that prefers racing with a rallying trip, coming from behind late in a race.
Colt
A male thoroughbred under 5 years old.
Conformation
The structure of a thoroughbred’s body, as determined by the arrangement and harmony of its parts.
Dam
The female parent of a thoroughbred.
Fast
The condition of a dirt track when it is dry and firm.
Filly
A female thoroughbred under 5 years of age.
Firm
The condition of a turf track when it is dry and relatively hard.
Foal
The young offspring of a thoroughbred.
Fractions
A race’s internal time splits, measured at regular intervals such as a furlong.
Furlong
One-eighth of a mile, the basic unit of distance in thoroughbred horse racing.
Gelding
A castrated male thoroughbred.
Good
The condition of a dirt or turf track when it has absorbed some rain but maintains a relatively even, firm surface.
Horse
A male thoroughbred 5 years old or older that has not been castrated.
In foal
A pregnant broodmare.
Length
A distance equal to the size of a thoroughbred’s body.
Maiden
A thoroughbred race horse who has never won a race.
Mare
A female thoroughbred 5 years old or older.
Muddy
The condition of a dirt track when it has absorbed enough rain that the surface is saturated.
Optional Claimer
A race in which a thoroughbred may enter either under the Allowance conditions stated or for the designated claiming price.
Place
When a thoroughbred race horse finishes second.
Purse
The amount of money allotted to a race with a typical payout of 60% to the winner, 20% to 2nd place, 10% to 3rd place, 5% to 4th place, 3% to fifth place and 2% to 6th place.
Route
A race of a mile or longer.
Show
When a thoroughbred finishes third.
Sire
A stallion that has produced a foal.
Sloppy
The condition of a dirt track when it has absorbed enough rain that the surface is soft and uneven.
Soft
The condition of a turf track when it has absorbed enough rain that the surface is saturated.
Soundness
The physical condition of a thoroughbred.
Speed Horse
A thoroughbred race horse that prefers racing in front of other runners at a rapid early pace.
Sprint
A race less than a mile long.
Stakes Race
The most prestigious race level run for a high purse and frequently requiring nomination, entry and starting fees.
Stallion
A male thoroughbred used for breeding.
Stalker
A thoroughbred that prefers racing a bit behind the speed horses, then surging at a critical stage in a race.
Starter Allowance
An allowance race in which a thoroughbred may enter only if it has run in a recent claiming race at or below a designated claiming price.
Trip
The course of action a thoroughbred encounters during a race.
Turf Race
A race run on grass, as opposed to the majority of (North American) races, which are run on dirt.
Variant
The difference from average time for races of the same distance by the same class horses at the same track on different days, due to weather and track condition.
Weanling
A foal that is less than 1 year old.
Yearling
A 1 year old thoroughbred.
Yielding
The condition of a turf track when it has absorbed enough rain that the surface is soft and uneven.