Glossary of Racing Terms
tack: 1) Noun, A rider's racing equipment. Also applied to stable gear. 2) Verb, A jockey, including her/his equipment. ("She tacks 112 pounds.")
Tagamet: Trade name for the drug cimetidine, a medication used to treat ulcers.
take (takeout): Commission deducted from mutuel pools which is shared by the track, horsemen (in the form of purses) and local and state governing bodies in the form of tax.
taken up: A horse pulled up sharply by its rider because of being in close quarters.
tape: See barrier.
tattoo: A permanent, indelible mark on the inside of the upper lip used to identify the horse.
teaser: A male horse used at breeding farms to determine whether a mare is ready to receive a stallion.
teletheater: Special facility for showing simulcast races.
tendon: Cords of strong, white (collagen) elastic fibers that connect a muscle to a bone or other structure and transmit the forces generated by muscular contraction to the bones.
thermography: Diagnostic technique utilizing instrumentation that measures temperature differences. Records the surface temperature of a horse. Unusually hot or cold areas may be indicative of some underlying pathology (deviation from the normal).
third phalanx: See coffin bone.
Thoroughbred: A Thoroughbred is a horse whose parentage must trace back to any of the three founding sires, the Darley Arabian, the Byerly Turk and Godolphin Arabian on both dam and sire sides. Said horse also must satisfy the rules and requirements of The Jockey Club and is registered in The American Stud Book or in a foreign stud book recognized by The Jockey Club and the International Stud Book Committee. Any other horse, no matter what its parentage, is not considered a Thoroughbred for racing and/or breeding purposes.
Thoroughbred Racing Associations (TRA): An industry group comprised of many of the racetracks in North America.
thoroughpin: Swelling of the synovial sheath of the deep flexor tendon above the hock.
thumps: See synchronous diaphragmatic flutter.
tie-back surgery: A procedure (laryngoplasty) used to suture the arytenoid cartilage out of the airway. See roaring.
tight: Ready to race.
tightener: 1) A race used to give a horse a level of fitness that cannot be obtained through morning exercises alone. 2) A leg brace.
timber topper: Jumper or steeplechase horse. More properly, horses jumping over timber fences.
toe crack: A crack near the front of the hoof.
toe-in: A conformation flaw in which the front of the foot faces in and looks pigeon-toed, often causing the leg to swing outward during locomotion (paddling).
toe-out: A conformation flaw in which the front of the foot faces out, often causing the leg to swing inward during locomotion (winging). Not necessarily
indicative of ill fortune on the track: Seattle Slew, the only undefeated Triple Crown winner, toed out with his right-front hoof. When he walked, he toed out. When he ran, he ran straight as a string.
tongue tie: Strip of cloth-type material used to stabilize a horse's tongue to prevent it from choking down in a race or workout or to keep the tongue from sliding up over the bit, rendering the horse uncontrollable. Also known as a tongue strap.
top line: 1) A Thoroughbred's breeding on its sire's side. 2) The visual line presented by the horse's back.
top weight: See high weight.
torsion: A twist in the intestine.
totalizator (Tote): An automated parimutuel system that dispenses and records betting tickets, calculates and displays odds and payoffs and provides the mechanism for cashing winning tickets.
tote board: The (usually) electronic totalizator display in the infield which reflects up-to-the-minute odds. It may also show the amounts wagered in each mutuel pool, as well as information such as jockey and equipment changes, etc. Also known as the board.
tout: Person who professes to have, and sells, advance information on a race. Also used as a verb meaning to sell or advertise. ("He's touting the four horse.")
toxemia: A poisoning sometimes due the absorption of bacterial products (endotoxins) formed at a local source of infection.
track bias: A racing surface that favors a particular running style or position. A track bias can favor front-runners, closers or horses running on the inside or outside.
track condition: Condition of the racetrack surface. See fast; good; muddy; sloppy; frozen; hard; firm; soft; yielding; heavy.
trail off: Used to describe a fit horse losing its competitive edge.
trapped epiglottis: See entrapped epiglottis.
trial: In Thoroughbred racing, a preparatory race created in tandem with a subsequent, more important stakes race to be run a few days or weeks hence. e.g., The Derby Trial.
trifecta: A wager picking the first three finishers in exact order. C alled a triactor in Canada and a triple in some parts of the U.S.
trifecta box: A trifecta wager in which all possible combinations using a given number of horses are bet upon. The total number of combinations can be calculated according to the formula x3-3x2+2x, where x equals the amount of horses in the box. The sum of the formula is then multiplied by the amount wagered on each combination.
trip: An individual horse's race, with specific reference to the difficulty (or lack of difficulty) the horse had during competition, e.g., whether the horse was repeatedly blocked or had an unobstructed run.
triple: See trifecta.
Triple Crown: Used generically to denote a series of three important races, but is always capitalized when referring to historical races for three-year-olds. In the United States, the Triple Crown is comprised of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. In England the 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St. Leger Stakes. In Canada, the Queen's Plate, Prince of Wales Stakes and Breeders' Stakes.
tubing: Inserting a nasogastric tube through a horse's nostril into her/his stomach for the purpose of providing oral medication.
turn down(s): Rear shoe that is turned down 3/4-inch to one inch at the ends to provide better traction on an off-track. Illegal in many jurisdictions.
twitch: A restraining device usually consisting of a stick with a loop of rope or chain at one end, which is placed around a horse's upper lip and twisted, releasing endorphins that relax a horse and curb her/his fractiousness while s/he being handled. Dubious actual benefits, in spite of frequent use.
tying up (acute rhabdomyolysis): A form of muscle cramps that ranges in severity from mild stiffness to a life-threatening disease. A generalized condition of muscle fiber breakdown usually associated with exercise. The cause of the muscle fiber breakdown is uncertain. Signs include sweating, reluctance to move, stiffness and general distress.