The jargon used in or around the horse track can seem like a foreign language to those new to the game or the atmosphere that surrounds it. But given some time, and due diligence you too can some day talk the talk. You will overhear someone say; “I like his chances. He had a bullet workout here last week, and he’s got the bug-boy riding him today.” You can smile, and nod, as you actually know what that means. So let’s carry on with track talk, picking up where we alphabetically left off.
Handicapper: First of two is a track official who assigns weights for a handicap race. Second, is one who makes race selections based on past performances.
Handle: The total amount of money wagered into wagering pools.
Head Of The Stretch: Beginning of the stretch run home.
Horse: An ungelded male horse 5 years of age or older.
In The Money: A horse finishing first, second or third.
Inquiry: A review of a race to check into a possible infraction of the rules.
Lasix: Term for a diuretic medication used in the treatment of (internal) bleeders. A nice betting angle is to look for horses on lasix for the first or second time out.
Lock: A slang term for a “sure thing” winner. Be very skeptical of any loud mouth, track-side tout claiming any horse is a lock.
Maiden: A horse who has not won a race. Also applied to a non-winning rider.
Mare: A female horse five years of age or older. Also, a female of any age who has been bred.
Morning Line: A line-maker’s estimate of what the final odds will be in a race, established before the betting begins.
Mudder: A horse which races well on a muddy track.
Knowing all the words and phrases we present here will not make you a better horse player. Past performances within the racing form must still be perused, dissected, and discerned. Or you can resort to betting your favorite numbers, colors or names. Either way, learning a new language is fun, and this one is easy to learn.