Glossary of Racing Terms
rabbit: A speed horse running as an entry with another, usually come-from-behind horse. The rabbit is expected to set a fast pace to help the chances of her/his stablemate.
racing secretary: Official who drafts conditions of races and assigns weights for handicap events.
radiograph: The picture or image on film generated by x-rays.
rail: The barrier on either side of the racing strip. During a race, the rail to which is referred is only that which is closest to the #1 position in the gate. Sometimes referred to as the fence.
rail runner: Horse that prefers to run next to the inside rail. The term might also refer to jockeys who love the rail, such as the great Calvin Borel, who's earned the nickname,"Bo-RAIL."
rank A horse who refuses to settle under a jockey's handling in a race, running in a headstrong manner without respect to pace.
rattle : Refers to a horse who likes a firm turf surface. ("He likes to hear his feet rattle.")
receiving barn: Structure used by horses shipping in for a race who do not have a stall at the new racetrack.
redboard: 1) Victorian method of declaring a race official, by posting a red flag or board on the tote board. 2) A mildly derogatory phrase used to describe someone who claims to have selected the winner, but always after the race.
re-entered: The reason that the horse was scratched out of the race was that s/he was either a) entered in another race on that day, either at the same track or another track and opted to race in the other race OR b) was scratched out of this race to run in another race in the next few days.
refuse: 1) When a horse will not break from the gate. 2) In jumping races, balking at a jump.
reins: Long straps, usually made of leather, that are connected to the bit and used by the jockey to control the horse.
reserve: A minimum price, set by the consignor, for a horse in a public auction. For example, "The horse did not reach his reserve."
reserved: 1) Held for a particular engagement or race. 2) Held off the pace.
respiratory system: Organ system responsible for gas exchange from nostrils to lungs.
ridden out : A horse who finishes a race under mild urging, not as severe as driving.
ride short: Using short stirrups.
ridgling ("ridge"): A term describing either a cryptorchid or monorchid. Also spelled ridgeling.
ring bone: Osteoarthritis of joints between the pastern bones ("high ring bone") or just above the coronet ("low ring bone").
RNA: Reserve Not Achieved. See reserve.
roan: A horse color in which the majority of the coat of the horse is a mixture of red and white hairs or brown and white hairs. The mane, tail and legs may be black, chestnut or roan unless white markings are present. Starting with foals of 1993, the color classifications gray and roan were combined as "roan or gray." See gray.
roaring (laryngeal hemiplegia): A whistling sound made by a horse during inhalation while exercising. It is caused by a partial or total paralysis of the nerves controlling the muscles which elevate the arytenoid cartilages which thereby open the larynx. In severe cases, a surgical procedure known as tie-back surgery (laryngoplasty) is performed, in which a suture is inserted through the cartilage to hold it out of the airway permanently. Paralysis almost exclusively occurs on the left side, most frequently in horses over 16 hands high.
rogue: An ill-tempered horse.
rogue's badge: Blinkers.
route: Broadly, a race distance of longer than 1-1/8 miles.
router: Horse who performs well at longer distances.
ruled off See suspend.
run down: Abrasions of the heel.
rundown bandages: See bandages.
run-out bit: A special type of bit to prevent a horse from bearing out (or in).