Glossary of Racing Terms
abaxial(fracture): See sesamoids.
acey-deucy: Uneven stirrups, popularized by Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Arcaro, who rode with his left (inside) stirrup lower than his right, to achieve better balance on turns.
across-the-board: A bet on a horse to win, place and show. If the horse wins, the player collects three ways; if second, two ways; and if third, one way, losing the win and place bets. Actually three wagers, therefore three times the money. For example, a $2 across-the-board bet costs $6.
action: 1) A horse's manner of moving. 2) A term meaning wagering, for example, "The horse took a lot of action," meaning that many people bet on the horse.
acupressure: Utilizing stimulation on acupuncture points to treat an animal.
acupuncture: An ancient and proven means of treating an animal or human through the use of needles, electrical current or moxibustion (heat and herbs), to stimulate or realign the body's electrical fields.
added money: Money added to the purse of a race by the racing association, or by a breeding or other fund, to the amount paid by owners in nomination, eligibility, entry and starting fees. For example, "the $1 million-added Kentucky Derby."
added weight: A horse carrying more weight than the conditions of the race require, usually because the jockey exceeds the stated limit.
Adequan: Brand name for polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, used in the treatment of certain arthritic conditions.
age: All Thoroughbreds in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate their birthdays on January 1. In the Southern Hemisphere, the birthday is August 1.
agent: A person empowered to transact business for a stable owner or jockey, or authorized to sell or buy horses for an owner or breeder.
airing: Not running at best speed in a race.
all-age race: A race for two-year-olds and up.
all out: When a horse extends her/himself to the utmost.
allowance race: A race for which the racing secretary drafts certain conditions, to determine weights to be carried based on the horses; ages, genders and/or past performances.
allowances: Reductions in weights to be carried, allowed because of the conditions of the race or because an apprentice jockey is on a horse. Also, a weight reduction to which female horses are entitled when racing against males, or that three-year-olds receive against older horses.
also-eligible: A horse officially entered for a race, but not permitted to start unless the field is reduced by scratches below a specified number.
angular limb deformity: A limb that is not conformationally-correct because of developmental problems in the angles of the joints.
anhydrosis: Inability to sweat in response to work output or increases in body temperature. Horses with this condition are known as non-sweaters. Most non-sweaters are athletic, but the condition appears frequently in pastured horses, who aren't ridden. Anhydrosis usually occurs when both the temperature and humidity are high. Horses raised in temperate regions and shipped to hot climates are most prone to develop the condition, but acclimated horses can be at risk, as well. Clinical signs include inability to sweat; increased respiratory rate; elevated body temperature and decreased exercise tolerance. The condition is easily reversed by moving the horse to a more temperate climate.
anterior: Toward the front.
anterior enteritis: Acute inflammation of the small intestine, producing signs of abdominal distress, such as colic and diarrhea.
apical (fracture): See sesamoids.
apprentice: Rider who has not ridden a certain number of winners within a specified period of time. Also known as a bug, from the asterisk (*) next to the rider's name in the program, used to denote the weight allowance such riders receive.
apprentice allowance: Weight concession given to an apprentice rider. Usually 10 pounds until the fifth winner, seven pounds until the 35th winner and five pounds for one calendar year from the 35th winner. (More rarely, a three-pound allowance is allowed to a rider under contract to a specific stable/owner for two years from his/her first win. This rule varies from state to state.) Apprentices do not receive an allowance when riding in a stakes race. Every jockey going from track to track must have a receipt from the Clerk of Scales from their track, verifying the jockey's most recent total number of wins. Also known as a bug race, from the asterisk (*) next to the jockey's name in the program, used to denote the weight allowance.
apron: The (usually) paved area between the grandstand and the racing surface.
arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. An increase in the amount of synovial fluid in the joint is a result of this inflammation. Accumulation of synovial fluid in the fetlock joint is called a wind puff or wind gall.
arthroscope: A tiny tube of lenses used for viewing areas inside a joint, attached to a small video camera.
articular cartilage: Cartilage that covers the ends of bones where they meet in a joint.
artificial breeding: Includes artificial insemination or embryo transfer (transplants). Not approved by The Jockey Club: all Thoroughbreds must be the result of natural breeding, as pedigree and the ability to prove a horse's heritage is absolutely essential. The insistence on live cover also prevents the reckless breeding of horses, as happens in many breeds that allow AI.
arytenoid cartilages: Triangular cartilages in the upper part of the entrance to the larynx. Movements of the arytenoid cartilages control the diameter of the laryngeal opening.
ataxia: Loss or failure of muscular coordination.
atrophy: To waste away, usually used in describing muscles.
auxiliary starting gate: A second starting gate that is used when the amount of horses in a race exceeds the capacity of the main starting gate.
Average-Earnings Index (AEI): A breeding statistic that compares racing earnings of a stallion or mare's foals to those of all other foals racing at that time. An AEI of 1.00 is considered average, 2.00 is twice the average, 0.50 half the average, etc.