Glossary of Racing Terms
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
daily double: Type of wager calling for the selection of winners of two consecutive races, usually the first and second. See late double.
Daily Racing Form: A daily newspaper containing news, past performance data and handicapping information. (Note: According to DRF itself, do not use the definite article, "the" when describing. For example, "According to Daily Racing Form...")
daily triple: A wager in which the bettor must select the winner of three consecutive races. (Specific races, determined by the race track and indicated on the program: not just three random races.) Not to be confused with triple, which means trifecta in some regions.
dam: The female parent of a foal: the foal's Mother.
dam's sire (broodmare sire): The sire of a broodmare. Used in reference to the maternal grandsire of a foal.
dark bay or brown: A horse color that ranges from brown with areas of tan on the shoulders, head and flanks, to a dark brown, with tan areas seen only in the flanks and/or muzzle. The mane, tail and lower portions of the legs are always black unless white markings are present.
dead heat: Two or more horses finishing a race in a tie.
dead track: Racing surface lacking resiliency.
declared: In the United States, a horse withdrawn from a stakes race in advance of scratch time. In Europe, a horse confirmed to start in a race.
deep flexor tendon: Present in all four legs, but injuries most commonly affect the front legs. Located on the back (posterior) of the front leg between the knee and the foot and between the hock and the foot on the rear leg. The function is to flex the digit (pastern) and knee (carpus) and to extend the elbow on the front leg and extend the hock on the rear leg. Functions in tandem with the superficial flexor tendon.
deep stretch: A position very close to the finish line in race.
degenerative joint disease (DJD): Any joint problem that has progressive degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying (subchondral) bone. Occurs most frequently in the joints below the radius in the foreleg and femur in the hind leg. Some of the more common causes include repeated trauma, conformation faults, blood disease, traumatic joint injury, subchondral bone defects (OCD lesions) and excessive intra-articular corticosteroid injections. Also known as osteoarthritis.
Derby: A stakes event for three-year-olds.
desmitis: Inflammation of a ligament. Often the result of tearing of any number of ligament fibrils.
deworming: The use of drugs (anthelmintics) to kill internal parasites, often performed by oral paste or by passing a nasogastric tube into the horse's stomach.
dh: Abbreviation for dead heat.
digestible energy: The amount of energy a horse is able to digest from a feedstuff.
digital: The part of the limb below the ankle (fetlock) joint. Includes the long and short pastern bones and the coffin bone.
digital cushion: The area beneath the coffin bone in the back of the foot that separates it from the frog. The digital cushion serves as a shock absorber for the foot.
diploma (earning a): See break maiden.
disqualification: Change in order of finish by officials for an infraction of the rules.
distaff: A female horse.
distaff race: A race for female horses.
distal: Away from a reference point. Usually refers to the limbs The injury was distal (below) to the hock.
distal sesamoidean ligaments: Attaches to the bottom of the sesamoid bones, passing down and attaching to the long and short pastern bones.
distanced: Horse so far behind the rest of the field of runners that it is out of contact and unable to regain a position of contention.
DMSO: Dimethyl sulfoxide, a topical anti-inflammatory.
dogs: Rubber traffic cones (or a wooden barrier) placed at certain distances out from the inner rail, when the track is wet, muddy, soft, yielding or heavy, to prevent horses during the workout period from churning the footing along the rail. Used in the phrase, "The dogs are up," or simply, "dogs up."
dope: 1) Slang term for past performances. Readers of past performances are said to dope out a race. 2) Any illegal drug.
dorsal: Up: toward the back or spine. Also used to describe the front of the lower limb below the knee (front) or hock (rear).
dorsal displacement of the soft palate: A condition in which the soft palate, located on the floor of the airway near the larynx, moves up into the airway. A minor displacement causes a gurgling sound during exercise while in more serious cases the palate can block the airway. This is sometimes known as choking down, but the tongue does not actually block the airway. The base of the tongue is connected to the larynx, of which the epiglottis is a part. When the epiglottis is retracted, the soft palate can move up into the airway (dorsal displacement.) This condition can sometimes be managed with equipment such as a figure eight noseband or a tongue tie. In more extreme cases, surgery might be required, most commonly a myectomy.
Dosage: Although there are actually many Dosage theories, the one most commonly thought of as Dosage is the one as interpreted by Dr. Steven Roman. A variation of Dr. Franco Varola's work on pedigree analysis, the system identifies patterns of ability in horses based on a list of prepotent sires, each of whom is a chef-de-race. The Dosage system puts these sires into one of five categories brilliant, intermediate, classic, solid and professional, which quantify speed and stamina. Sires can be listed in up to two chef-de-race categories. Each generation of sires is worth 16 points, divided up by the amount of sires, i.e., the immediate sire is worth 16 points while the four sires four generations back are worth four points apiece.
Dosage index (DI): A mathematical reduction of the Dosage profile to a number reflecting a horse's potential for speed or stamina. The higher the number, the more likely the horse is suited to be a sprinter. The average Dosage index of all horses is about 4.0.
Dosage profile: A listing of Dosage points by category. Used to develop the Dosage index (DI).
dq: Abbreviation for disqualified.
drench: Liquid administered through mouth.
driving: A horse who is all out to win and under strong urging from its jockey.
drop(-ped) down: A horse meeting a lower class of rivals than s/he had run against in the past.
dropped: See foaled.
D.V.M.: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
dwelt: Extremely late in breaking from the gate.