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Racing Dictionary
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RACING DICTIONARY

All weather track
An all weather track is a track using an artificial surface. The surface is a mix of sand, rubber, fiber and oil-based wax. A base of gravel and porous asphalt helps drain excess water from the cushion. This type of surface is safer for horses, more easily drained of water and requires less maintenance. The all weather track has a cushioning effect that is kind to horse and rider, has more secure footing enabling horse and jockey to perform to the best of their ability, is highly adaptable, geared to fast or slow work, and has excellent climatic tolerance. It also cuts down on "kickback": the dirt thrown in horses' faces. There are a number of different synthetic surfaces available, which allow good performance, and are safe and durable. Other surfaces are plastics free, based on polyester fibres and have high quality silica sands.

Anglo-Arab
Small, light, Arabian breed of horse whose qualities of endurance and agility have been introduced into European stock by selective breeding. Thoroughbred racehorses are descended from Arab stallions.

Antepost
Form of fixed-odds betting whereby the odds are offered at a time well ahead of the race. The time can vary from months in advance until the day before the race.

Betting
Gambling - is any behavior involving the risk of money or valuables on the outcome of a game, contest or other event in which the outcome of that activity is partially or totally dependent upon chance.

Betting Exchange
An internet-based betting service that allows punters to bet against other punters. A user of a betting exchange can choose to offer odds on an event for others to bet on ("to lay"), or to place bets on an event where others have offered the odds ("to back"). The betting exchange website will charge a certain percentage of winnings as a commission.

Bookmaker
A Turf Accountant. A professional bettor. One who analyzes, determines, or simply posts the betting odds in games, especially horse racing and team sports, receives and records wagers from a number of people on a regular basis, collects from losers, and pays off winners.

Breeder
The owner of the dam at the time of foaling. In the event that the dam was under a lease or foal-sharing agreement at the time of the foaling, the person(s) specified by the terms of the agreement is (are) the breeder(s) of the foal.

Classification
A rating of a horse's performance. This form of rating is used by racing officials (i.e., racing secretaries or handicappers) in most foreign countries to qualify a horse for eligibility in certain races. This form of classification is not used in the United States. Claiming races are used to rate ("classify") most of the racing stock in the United States.

Colt
Male horse aged up to 4 years old.

Dirt track
A racetrack that is not paved nor is it grass (turf). For instance a dirt track may consist of 3 ½ inch/9 cm sandy loam cushion, loose; 3 inch/7 cm sandy loam cushion, compacted; 6 inch/14 cm limestone screening; 3inch/7 cm B gravel drainage; 6 inch/14 cm limestone screening, native clay.

Exotic bets
Any bet other than "win", "place" or "show"; usually a form of betting where a number of outcomes are predicted in one bet (first three horses in specific order, first five horses in random order, the winning horses for three races, etc.). This type of betting is only offered in pari-mutual based systems. They have different names in different jurisdictions (Tiercé, Quité, Exacta, …).

Filly
An unbred female less than 5 years old.

Foal
A young horse of either sex in its first calendar year of life (prior to being weaned).

Furlong
1/8 of a mile, equal to 220 yards or 200 meters.

Gelding
A male horse that has been neutered.

Group races
An elite group of races. Established in 1971 by racing organizations in Britain, France, Germany and Italy to classify select stakes races outside North America. Collectively called "pattern races" they are equivalent to North American graded races. Can be denoted with Arabic numerals I, II, III or Gr.1, Gr.2, Gr.3. Capitalized when used in race title (the Group I Epsom Derby). The idea behind the Group races was to give a balanced structure to the season. It aims to offer an even distribution of different types of races at all distances across the season and across Europe.

Group I
Classics and other races of major international importance. Group 1 races are run with no penalties or allowances other than a sex allowance, and a weight-for-age allowance where applicable. Geldings may be eligible for all Pattern races except those Group 1 races confined to 2yo's or 3yo's. The average handicap rating of either the first four finishes or the highest four starters must exceed 115.

Group II
Races of an international importance but at a slightly lower level than Group One races. The average handicap rating of either the first four finishes or the highest four starters must exceed 110.

Group III
Races of an international importance, which serve as preparatory races for higher group events, such as Classic trials. The average handicap rating of either the first four finishes or the highest four starters must exceed 105.

Handicap
A race for which the track handicapper assigns the weights to be carried.

Handicapper
An individual who makes betting selections on the basis of past performances. A study of factors within the past performances, which suggest the relative qualities and abilities of horses in a race.

Handle
Amount of money wagered in the pari-mutuels on a race, a program, during a meet or for a year.

Hippodrome
A stadium for horse races or horse shows. The word hippodrome comes from the Greek hippos, horse, and dromos, path or way.

Jockey
One who rides a horse esp. as a professional in a race. Racehorse rider.

Jockey Club
Jockey Club - Generally, a regulatory body in charge of the rules and regulations of racing, but responsibilities vary with respective Jockey Clubs throughout the world.

Judge
Official who declares the winner and placed horse in a race.

Late-odds
The odds calculated on a race after all wagers from off-track betting and simulcast sites have been calculated.

Laying-off
Cessation of training due to injury or other circumstance. "Laying off the pace" - to remain behind the leading horse and strike when the time is right.

Mare
Female horse aged 5 years or over.

Odds
Also known as the price. Chance a bookmaker offers for a selection to win. Ratio of probabilities

Owner
Someone who owns (is legal possessor of). One who has the legal or rightful title, whether he is the possessor or not of the horse.

Pari-mutuel
A form of wagering originated in 1865 by Frenchman Pierre Oller in which all money bet is divided up among those who have winning tickets, after taxes, takeout and other deductions are made. Oller called his system "parier mutuel" meaning "mutual stake" or "betting among ourselves". As this wagering method was adopted in England it became known as "Paris mutuels," and soon after "pari-mutuels."

Payoff
Yield a profit or result from a bet.

Place
Second position at the finish. Pool / Mutuel Pool - Short of "pari-mutuel pool." Sum of the wagers on a race or event, such as the win pool, daily double pool, exacta pool, etc.

Punter
Bettor, someone who bets on horseraces.

Purse
The total monetary amount distributed after the running of a race to the owners of the entrants.

Rating
A system developed to asses all eligible horses for inclusion into the International Classification, by taking into account finish position, lengths beaten by, distance, age, sex, etc.

Rebate
With the introduction of Internet gambling has come "rebate shops". These offshore betting shops in fact return some percentage of every bet made to the bettor. They are in effect reducing their take from 15-18% to as little as 1 or 2%, still ensuring a profit as they operate with minimal overhead. Rebate shops allow skilled horseplayers to make a steady income.

Simulcast
A simultaneous live television transmission of a race to other tracks, off-track betting offices or other outlets for the purpose of wagering.

Show
Third position at the finish.

Steeplechase
A horse race over an obstructed course. A long race in which horses jump over fences, hurdles, bushes, or other obstacles, either across countryside, or more usually, on a track.

Steward
A racing official of the race meeting responsible for enforcing the rules of racing.

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.

Thoroughbred
A horse which has satisfied the rules and requirements set forth in The Principal Rules and Requirements of The American Stud Book 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.

Tote / Totalisator
The betting organisator or the computer that registers bets and divides the total amount bet among those who won. Track - A purpose-built facility for conducting races. For horseracing the track is usually circular or oval.

Trot
A two-beat gait; the diagonal legs are moved synchronously. The footfalls in sequence are left fore with right hind and right fore with left hind.

Turf Club
See Jockey Club.

Turf track
Grass course.

Wagering
An amount of money risked on an uncertain event in hopes of winning more, or the agreement that you make to take this risk; a bet. Win - First position at the finish.

Weight
The amount of weight a horse has to carry in the race, depending on the horse’s “handicap”.

Yearling
A colt, filly, gelding or ridgling in its second calendar year of life (beginning January 1 [Northern Hemisphere] of the year following its birth; beginning either July 1 or August 1 [Southern Hemisphere countries]).

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