The Language Of Racing

It has come to the attention of DRB that some of the verbiage or horse-racing lingo used here is sometimes hard to grasp when talking about the races and/or wagering on them.  A special shout-out to regular readers of DRB, M. Lawrence & J. Gosney, both of Binghamton, NY for suggesting that perhaps everyone doesn’t know what a trifecta key, or a pick-3 or pick-4 is, or how to play one.  With that in mind, here then are some basic terms in the lexicon of Lexington.

Across The Board:  A bet on a horse to Win, Place, and Show.  If the horse Wins, the player collects on all three positions.  If second, two ways, and third, only the Show bet, losing the Win and Place.

Also-Eligible:  A horse that is officially entered, but not permitted to start unless the field is reduced by scratches and gets below a certain number.

Also-Ran:  A horse who finishes out of the money.

Apprentice:  A novice jockey who has not yet ridden for a full year, or past his 35th winner.  While jockeys serve their apprenticeship, they are accorded a 5-10 pound weight allowance (reduction) from their respective weight assignments in all races except Stakes Races.

Backstretch:  The straight area of the track between the turns.

Bandage:  Strips of cloth wound around the lower parts of a horse’s legs for support or protection against injury.

Bar Shoe:  A horse shoe with a rear bar to protect an injured foot.

Blanket Finish:  One in which a group of horses finish so close together they could be “covered by a blanket.”

Blinkers:  A devise put on a horses head in order to limit its peripheral vision and prevent it from shying away or getting spooked by objects or other horses on either side.

Bug, Bug-Boy:  The slang term for an apprentice rider.  The term comes from the asterisk that usually accompanies an apprentice riders name in the entries, which lets the betting public know of the jockeys stature.

Bullet Workout:  The best time for each distance on the workout line (right below a horses past performance info) for a given day.  The Bullet Workout is designated by a black dot.

Well that’s enough for today.  DRB doesn’t want to overwhelm or bore anyone with too much pony prose.  But there will be more, The Belmont Stakes isn’t until June 9th.  By then you will be doing tri-box keys, pick-3’s and Daily Doubles, and talking the talk.  DRB will keep you updated on The Belmont throughout the next three weeks.

Racing rookies and seasoned rail-birds feel free to drop us a comment, or ask a question, we encourage horse discourse.

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