Racing Terms

  • Backside


    Stable area, dormitories and often times a track kitchen, chapel and recreation area for stable employees. Also known as "backstretch," for its proximity to the stable area.

  • Backstretch


    1) Straight portion of the far side of the racing surface between the turns. 2) See backside.

  • Bandage


    Bandages used on horse's legs are three-to-six inches wide and are made of a variety of materials. In a race, they are used for support or protection against injury. "Rundown bandages" are used during a race and usually have a pad under the fetlock to avoid injury due to abrasion when the fetlocks sink toward the ground during weight-bearing. A horse may also wear "standing bandages," thick cotton wraps used during shipping and while in the stall to prevent swelling and/or injury.

  • Bay


    A color ranging from tan to dark chestnut with black mane, tail and points.

  • Bearing In (or Out)

    Bearing In (or Out)

    Deviating from a straight course. May be due to weariness, infirmity, inexperience or the rider overusing the whip or reins to make a horse alter its course.

  • Beyer speed rating

    Beyer speed rating

    A measure of performance developed and popularized by Andy Beyer of The Washington Post. Beyer Speed Figures are used in the Daily Racing Form.

  • Bit


    A stainless steel, rubber or aluminum bar, attached to the bridle, which fits in the horse's mouth and is one of the means by which a jockey exerts guidance and control. The most common racing bit is the D-bit, named because the rings extending from the bar are shaped like the letter "D." Most racing bits are "snaffled," (snaffle bit) which means the metal bar is made up of two pieces, connected in the middle, which leaves it free to swivel. Other bits may be used to correct specific problems, such as bearing in or out.

  • Blanket


    A cloth used to keep a horse warm. There are a variety of blankets that can be used before, during, and after exercise. Also called “sheets.”

  • Black Type

    Black Type

    Boldface type, used in sales catalogues, to distinguish horses that have won or placed in a stakes race. Many sales catalogues have eliminated the use of black type for stakes below a certain monetary level-$15,000 in 1985, $20,000 from 1986-1989 and $25,000 beginning in 1990. If a horse's name appears in boldface type in a catalogue and in all capital letters, it has won at least one black-type event. If it appears in boldface type and capital and lower case letters, it was second or third in at least one black-type event. Black type was awarded to fourth-place finishers in races before Jan. 1, 1990.

  • Blaze


    A generic term describing a large, white vertical marking on a horse's face.

  • Bleeder


    A horse that bleeds from the lungs when small capillaries that surround the lungs' air sacs (alveoli) rupture. The medical term is "exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage" (EIPH). Blood may be seen coming out of the horse's nostrils, known as "epistaxis," although it is typically discovered by a fiber optic endoscopic examination after exercise. Hot, humid weather and cold are known to exacerbate the problem. The most common treatment currently available is the use of the diuretic furosemide (Lasix).

  • Blinkers


    A cup-shaped device that limits a horse's vision. Blinkers, often used to try to improve a horse’s focus, come in a variety of sizes and shapes to allow as little or as much vision as the trainer feels is necessary.

  • Blow-Out


    A short, timed workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to sharpen a horse's speed. Usually three-eighths or one-half of a mile in distance.

  • Board


    Short for "tote board," on which odds, betting pools and other information are displayed.

  • Bounce


    An exceptionally poor performance on the heels of an exceptionally good one.

  • Breakdown


    When a horse suffers a potentially career-ending injury, usually to the leg: The horse suffered a breakdown. The horse broke down.

  • Break (a Horse)

    Break (a Horse)

    1) To train a young horse to wear a bridle and saddle, carry a rider and respond to a rider's commands. Almost always done when the horse is a yearling. 2) To leave from the starting gate.

  • Breeder


    Owner of the dam at time of foaling unless the dam was under a lease or foal-sharing arrangement at the time of foaling. In that case, the person(s) specified by the terms of the agreement is (are) the breeder(s) of the foal.

  • Breeze (Breezing)

    Breeze (Breezing)

    Working a horse at a moderate speed, less effort than handily.

  • Breeze (Breezing)

    Breeze (Breezing)

    Working a horse at a moderate speed, less effort than handily. (Depending on location, breezing can be referred to a horse working at top speed, faster than handily.)

  • Bridle


    A piece of equipment usually made of leather or nylon, which fits on a horse's head that includes other attached equipment, such as a bit and the reins.

  • Broodmare


    A female horse used for breeding.

  • Broodmare sire

    Broodmare sire

    A sire whose female offspring have produced foals.

  • Bucked Shins

    Bucked Shins

    Inflammation of the covering of the bone (periosteum) of the front surface of the cannon bone to which young horses are particularly susceptible. This is primarily a condition of the front legs.

  • Bug


    See apprentice; apprentice allowance.

  • Bullet


    The fastest workout of the day at a track at a particular distance.

  • Baby Race

    Baby Race

    Frankie Lovato Jr. explains why certain races are called baby races. He also explains that there's a difference between a baby race and a maiden race and what age group falls under the baby race title.

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