Old And Sold Antiques Auction & Marketplace

Antiques Digest Browse Auctions Appraisal Home

Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

Horse Racing Wagering System:
The Red Badge Of Courage
Big League Of Horse Racing
Weight Will Stop A Locomotive Or A Good Horse
Gelding Repeaters Beat Lovers At The Racetrack
Supplementary Claiming Horses
Final Summary Of Racing Systems
Glossary Of Racing Terms
More Horse Racing Tips

Glossary Of Horse Racing Terms

( Originally Published mid 1950's )

ADDED MONEY RACE An event in which all starting fees received are added to the purse.

ALLOWANCE RACE A nonclaiming race where the weight assigned to a horse depends upon the time that has elapsed since its last win; also the amount of money received for previous winnings.

APPRENTICE ALLOWANCE A weight allowance given, except in handicap races, to a jockey who has been riding less than one year.

BAT Jockey's whip

Bear Out Go wide on the turns.

BLINKERS Eye shades placed at the sides of a horse's eyes so that he can see only straight ahead.

BOWED TENDON A strained ligament in a horse's leg or ankle.


CALLS Position of a horse at various stages of a race. The first call, in a horse's past performance record in the racing paper, is given in the second column to the right of the "class" column. In a race under 7 furlongs, it shows the position in which the horse left the starting gate, or "broke." Another important call, given just before the finish, is the stretch call, giving the horse's position at the stretch after he rounded the last turn for the final run to the finish.

In races at 7 furlongs or more, the position at the start is eliminated and the horse's position at the quarter-mile is substituted for the start call. This is followed by his position at the halfmile, pre-stretch, stretch and finish.

CAULKS Shoes that a horse wears when the track is muddy.

CHALK PLAYER A race fan who bets only on favorites or "figure horses." This chalk eater type also sometimes is called a "bridge jumper."

CLAIMING RACE A claiming race or "claimer" is a race in which any horse that competes may be claimed, or bought, by another owner even before the race starts. Years ago when there were no claiming (or "selling") races, a rich owner could enter a very fast horse in a race against horses owned by poorer men who could not afford to buy really highclass thoroughbreds. As a result, the rich owners won practically all the races. But after the claiming races were inaugurated, the rich man didn't dare enter his fast thoroughbred in these races because some other owner would buy him.

Whenever a diamond symbol appears in the past performance record just before the claiming price of a horse, it denotes that the horse was claimed in that race.

A horse that has just been claimed may improve suddenly in the hands of a better trainer but on the other hand he may be uneasy in his new, strange barn or may be upset by the absence of a "pal" such as a pony, dog, goat or other former stable pet.

CLOCKER A man who times horses during workouts, usually shortly after daybreak and occasionally between races in the afternoon.

CLOSED FAST A horse which finished fast in the stretch run in his last race, or in most of his races, is called a "fast closer."

COLOR The letter "b," given just before a steed's sex and age in its past performance record, means "bay." "Blk" indicates black; "br," brown; "ch," chestnut; "gr," gray; "ro," roan. "Lt" indicates light, "dk" dark.

COLT A colt (c) is an entire male animal under the age of 5 years.

COMBINATION TICKET A ticket for an investment that your horse will run either first, second or third (win, place or show in the parlance of the track).

If the horse wins, you collect three times on the same ticket, although the odds for place and show generally are much smaller than the odds to win.

A combination ticket generally is known as betting "across the board."

CONDITION BOOK The track secretary's schedule of races for a race meeting and specifications for each race coming up.

CONDITIONS OF RACE The "conditions" of a race are given at the top of the entries for each race in the Morning Telegraph. This vital information gives the distance of the race (and the track record for that distance, which followers of this book's methods do not need), the type of the race, the age of the horses entered, and the type of race course (turf course, steeplechase or hurdles course, or on the main, standard or "flat" track) on which the race is run. If the race is for "maidens," it is for horses which never have won a race.

Last and most important, the "conditions" give the correct claiming price of the race if the event is of that type.

If the trainer, to get weight off his horse, enters his steed at lower than the tap price, it will be shown in the figure at the right of the horse's name. The correct or top price of the race, as stated in the conditions, should be substituted immediately for this lower price.

CUPPY TRACK Topsoil that breaks out under a horse's hoofs.

DAM A mare which has foaled an offspring.

EARNINGS The important earnings statistics, printed in the boxed figures in the upper right-hand corner of a horse's past performance record, give his racing record for the current and preceding year. They also afford an idea of the class of races in which the horse has been competing and show whether his earning capacity-his ability to finish in the money-has increased or diminished since last season.

By dividing a horse's number of races in any one year into his total earnings for that year, you can obtain his money-winning average per race, an excellent yardstick which covers both his consistency and also the type of horses against which he has been competing.

ENTIRE HORSE A male, aged five or older, that has not been gelded in any manner.

EQUIPMENT Equipment abbreviations: "w" denotes whip; "s" spurs; "b" blinkers. This information is given just at the right of the jockey's name in a horse's past performance record.

FAVORITE The horse or entry quoted at the lowest odds at post time.

FILLY Female animal under the age of five.

FINISH The position of a horse at the finish of his last race is denoted by the larger number at the extreme upper righthand corner of the bunched figures in the center of his past performance record. It is given just in front of the name of the jockey who rode him.

The smaller number just adjacent and to the right of the finishing position number denotes the horse's relative position at the finish in the matter of lengths. If the horse won the race, the smaller figure will denote how many lengths he was in front of the second horse at the finish. If the horse did not win the race, the smaller figure will show how many lengths he was behind the leader at the finish.

If the smaller figure is replaced by a letter, a distance of less than one length is indicated. "Nk" signifies neck, "hd" stands for head, and "no" means nose.

The large figure just to the left of the finishing column denotes the horse's position at the "stretch" call. And once again, the smaller figure or letter adjacent to the figure giving his position at the stretch call will refer to beaten lengths, or to some portion of one length.

The top row of these bunched figures refers to a horse's last race. Each line, as you read down, refers to an earlier race.

A "Garrison finish" means that a horse finished very fast after trailing most of the way. The name comes from Snapper Garrison, a famous, former jockey who rode in that manner.

A "blanket" finish occurs when several horses pass the finish line almost together. A "photo finish" is where two or more of them are so near a toss-up that a photograph is taken and developed quickly to ascertain the margin between or among them. If there is no margin, a "dead heat" is declared, and some portion of the purse money divided among the owners of the horses involved.

FRACTIONAL TIMES The three columns preceding the "class" column in the racing paper are devoted to fractional and finish times, which are not used by this book's methods.

In races under one mile, fractional time is given for the quarter and half, in addition to the finish time (time for the complete race). In races of one mile and over, fractional time is given for the half, three-quarters and finish. Final time only is given for all races run over the straightaway courses, except for 2-year-old dashes over circular courses.

FURLONG 220 yards, or one-eighth of a mile.

GELDING Unsexed (castrated) male horse.

HANDICAP In a handicap, the weight assigned to a horse depends upon its record. The better, a horse is, the more weight it must carry.

HAND RIDE When a jockey does not use his whip, it is a hand ride.

IN THE MONEY A horse that finishes first, second or third.

IRONS Stirrups.

JUVENILE A two-year-old horse.

LONGSHOT A horse quoted at big odds.

MAIDEN Any kind of a horse that never has won a race.

MARE A female aged five or older.

MORNING GLORY A horse that works out brilliantly in the morning, but performs poorly in a race in the afternoon.

ON THE NOSE This expression means betting to win only. As far as this book's methods are concerned, it has been demonstrated pretty generally over a long period of time that investments to win only will show a considerably greater profit than wagers to place or show. Just try to keep in mind that if you took the two dollars which you invested to place, and the two dollars which you wagered to show, and placed the total of four dollars on your horse to win, your profit in the long run would be considerably greater.

This is because generally there is too much spread between the win and the place odds. Just take another look at any of the table of results given in this book, including hypothetical losers, and you will see why it is advisable to invest "on the nose" only, even though your winning percentage should drop to only 20 percent.

ODDS There are two kinds of odds. First there is the "morning line"-early odds made up by the track handicapper before the first race. After the betting on a race starts, the fluctuations in the actual odds are shown on the "tote" board.

ODDS-ON A horse that is less than even money.

OFF TRACK A track made slow by rain.

PADDOCK The enclosure where horses are saddled thirty minutes before post time.

PLACE A horse that finishes second.

PLATER A horse that generally competes in cheap races.

REPEATER Horse that won its last race.

RIDELING OR RIGLING Rigling Half-castrated male horse.

SHOW A horse that finishes third.

SILKS Racing togs and colors worn by jockeys.

SIRE The male parent of a horse. If he ran exceptionally well on a muddy track and his offspring followed suit, he could be called a "mud sire."

STAKE High class race where each horse's owner puts up money as nomination fees in addition to the purse put up by the track.

TACK Racing equipment.

WEIGHT-FOR-AGE The scale of weights in a race of this Race type is based upon the horse's age, the time of the year, and the distance of the race.

WIRE The finish line.

WORKOUTS Time trials, usually held shortly after daybreak and occasionally between races in the afternoon.

At the bottom of each horse's past performance record, the racing paper may list as many as four of his most recent trials.

For instance, "2-26 Hia-3f .35 3-5 h. fast g." informs the reader that the horse worked on February 26 at Hialeah Park. The distance of the trial was three furlongs. The time was .35 3-5 seconds, handily from the gate, the track fast. "h" means handily; "b" breezing; "d" driving; "e" easily; "g" worked from gate; "u" eased up.

The abbreviations tr.t., m.t. or w.e. preceding the distance of the workout indicate the course over which the work was recorded-tr.t. meaning training track, m.t., main track, and w.c., Widener Course (at Belmont Park).

YEARLING A youngster under two years old.

Bookmark and Share