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Taking You Wire to Wire!

Horseracing has a language of its own, and the richness of its expressions adds to the romance of the sport. But we don't want a new and different language to deter you from fully enjoying your day at the races. Here are some good words to know.

ACROSS THE BOARD - Betting a horse to win, place and show.

APPRENTICE - A jockey at the beginning of their career. Because of their rider's inexperience, the mounts of an apprentice jockey receive weight allowances.

BANDAGES - Wrappings on the lower parts of horse's legs. They are used for support or to protect the legs from abrasions.

BIT - The metal bar attached to the bridle that is placed in the horse's mouth and is used through the reins to give the jockey control over his mount.

BLINKERS - A hood designed to limit a horse's side vision. Blinkers are frequently used to focus a horse's attention on running and also with horses that shy away from horses beside them.

CHALK - The favorite in a race.

CLASS - Thoroughbred racing has three broad classes of races. You can think of the types of races as forming a pyramid, with Claiming Races forming the base. Claimers are horses whose owners are willing to sell them (have them claimed) at a specific price. Next are Allowance Races, which have weight assignments based on the horse's accomplishments. At the top of the pyramid are Stakes Races, and the best of the best are Graded Stakes Races.

CLOSERS – Horses that fall back early, but come running late.

COLT - A male horse from birth through age four. An older male is known as a horse. A castrated male is referred to as a gelding.

DEAD HEAT - A tie. Close finishes at the track are decided through the use of a photo-finish camera.

DISQUALIFICATION - Moving a horse down in the finishing order because of an infraction that impeded another horse. At the track, it's often said that a horse was DQed. Also, a disqualified horse is said to have had its "number taken down" from the tote board.

EXOTIC WAGERS - At one time, wagers such as the Exacta and Trifecta were so innovative that they were regarded as "exotic". Today, they are among the staples of a bettor's program.

FILLY - A female horse through the age of four. An older female is known as a mare.

FRONT RUNNERS – Horses that run on or near the lead.

FULL-CARD SIMULCASTING - Transmitting entire racing cards from one track into another across state boundaries. Turfway Park has an extensive full-card simulcasting program in The Race Book at Turfway Park.

HANDICAP -A race in which the horses are assigned different amounts of weight to carry, according to their respective abilities and past performances.

INTERTRACK WAGERING - When races are transmitted electronically to another track within the same state and betting is conducted on those races. It is virtually synonymous with simulcasting.

LASIX - Trade name for the diuretic furosemide, which is commonly administerd to prevent bleeding in the horse's pulmonary system. Its use is indicated by the letter (L) in the Official Program.

MAIDEN - A horse who has not yet won.

MUDDERS – Horses that like to run on a muddy or sloppy track.

ODDS ON - Odds less than even money, such as 3-5.

OVERWEIGHT - Sometimes, horses are assigned low weights and their riders cannot reduce to the assignment. The horse then carries an overweight, the difference between the assignment and the jockey's weight.

STALKERS – Horses that follow, “stalk”, the early speed.

STEWARD - One of the presiding judges at a race meet. Stewards assure that the rules of racing are being followed and that the races are conducted fairly.

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