Glossary of Terms
Age: All throughbreds celebrate their birthday January 1.
Backstretch: Straight portion of the far side of the racing surface between the turns.
Board: Short for "tote board" on which the odds, betting pools, and other information are displayed.
Box: A wagering term denoting a combination bet whereby all possible numeric combinations are covered.
Colt: An ungelded (entire) male horse 4 years old or younger.
Coupled (entry): Two or more horses running as an entry on a single betting unit.
Dam: The female parent of a foal.
Derby: A stakes event for 3-year-olds.
Distaff: A female horse.
Exacta (perfecta): A wager in which the first two finishers in a race must be picked in the exact order.
Exotic (wager): Any wager other than win, place, or show.
Field: The horses in a race.
Filly: Female horse 4 years old or younger.
Foal: A horse of either sex in the first year of its life.
Furlong: One-eighth of a mile.
Gelding: A male horse of any age that has been neutered.
Handicap: Race for which the handicapper assigns the weights to be carried or makes selections on the basis of past performances.
Maiden: A horse or rider that has not won a race; also a female that has never been bred.
Mare: Female horse 5 years old or older.
Morning line: Probable odds on each horse in a race, as determined by a mathematical formula used by the track handicapper who tries to gauge the ability of the horse and the likely final odds as determined by the bettors.
On the Board: Finishing among the first three.
Out of the Money: A horse that finishes worse than third.
Place: Second position at finish.
Quinella: Wager in which the first two finishers must be picked in order.
Scratch: To be taken out of a race before it starts.
Show: Third position at finish.
Silks: Jacket and cap worn by riders to designate owner of horse.
Simulcast: A simultaneous live television transmission of a race to other tracks, off-track betting offices, or other outlets for the purpose of wagering.
Sire: The male parent; also to beget foals.
Stretch: Final straight; portion of the racetrack to the finish.
Trifecta: A wager picking the first three finishers in exact order.
Yearling: A horse in its second calendar year of life, beginning January 1 of the year following its birth.