Racing Terms

  • Gait


    The characteristic footfall pattern of a horse in motion. Thoroughbreds have four natural gaits — walk, trot, canter and gallop. Thoroughbreds compete at a gallop.

  • Gallop


    Gallop is an asymmetrical gait used at high speeds.

  • Gap


    An opening in the track rail where horses enter and leave the course.

  • Gate Card

    Gate Card

    A card, issued by the starter, stating that a horse is properly schooled in starting gate procedures.

  • Gelding


    A castrated male horse.

  • Girth


    1) An elastic and leather band, sometimes covered with sheepskin, that passes under a horse's belly and is connected to both sides of the saddle. 2) Deepest point of the horse's midsection, around which the saddle girth is tightened.

  • Graded Race

    Graded Race

    A non-restricted race with added money or guaranteed purse value of $100,000 or more which has been run at least twice under similar conditions and on the same surface and has been assigned graded status for the year contested by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) for the United States, or The Jockey Club of Canada for Canada. Established in 1973 to classify select stakes races in North America, at the request of European racing authorities, who had set up group races two years earlier. Always denoted with Roman numerals I, II, or III. Capitalized when used in race title (the Grade I Kentucky Derby). See group race.

  • Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation

    Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation

    A charitable organization, established in 1989, which combined the Grayson Foundation (established 1940) and The Jockey Club Research Foundation (established 1982). The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is devoted to equine medical research.

  • Groom


    A person who cares for a horse in a stable; known as a "lad" or "girl" in Britain.

  • Group Race

    Group Race

    Established in 1971 by racing organizations in Britain, France, Germany and Italy to classify select stakes races outside North America. Collectively called "pattern races." Equivalent to North American graded races. Always denoted with Arabic numerals 1, 2, or 3. Capitalized when used in race title (the Group 1 Epsom Derby). See graded race.

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