Racing Terms

  • Pacesetter


    The horse that is running in front (on the lead).

  • Paddock


    Structure or area where horses are saddled and kept before going to the track for the race.

  • Paddock Judge

    Paddock Judge

    Official in charge of paddock and saddling routine.

  • Pari-mutuel


    System of wagering where all the money is returned to the bettors after deduction of track and state percentages.

  • Parlay


    A multi-race bet in which all winnings are subsequently wagered on each succeeding race.

  • Past Performances

    Past Performances

    A horse's racing record, earnings, bloodlines and other data, presented in composite form.

  • Pastern


    Denotes the area between the fetlock joint and the hoof. The joint between the long and short pastern bones is called the "pastern joint." Can also be used to describe the area of the limb or to describe a specific long pastern bone. Technically known as the P1 (long) and P2 (short).

  • Patrol Judge(s)

    Patrol Judge(s)

    Official(s) who observe the progress of a race from various vantage points around the track.

  • Photo Finish

    Photo Finish

    A result so close that it is necessary to use the finish-line camera to determine the order of finish.

  • Placing Judge

    Placing Judge

    Official who posts the order of finish in a race. In most states the stewards must confirm the final order of finish prior to posting the race as official.

  • Prep (Race)

    Prep (Race)

    A workout (or race) used to prepare a horse for a future engagement.

  • Pole(s)


    Markers at measured distances around the track designating the distance from the finish. The quarter pole, for instance, is a quarter of a mile from the finish, not from the start.

  • Pony


    Any horse or pony that leads the parade of the field from paddock to starting gate. Also, a horse or pony which accompanies a starter to the starting gate. Also can be used as a verb: “He was ponied to the gate.” Also known as a "lead [LEED] pony."

  • Ponying


    The act of leading a race horse without a rider around while mounted on another horse. This is a way to provide exercise with minimal strain, often employed during recovery from an injury. Also, the activity where a pony accompanies a starter to the gate for a race.

  • Post


    1) Starting point for a race. 2) An abbreviated version of post position. For example, "He drew post four." 3) As a verb, to record a win. For example, "He's posted 10 wins in 14 starts."

  • Post Parade

    Post Parade

    Horses going from paddock to starting gate past the stands. The post parade provides spectators with a chance to get a final look at the horse before the race.

  • Post Position

    Post Position

    Position of stall in starting gate from which a horse begins a race.

  • Post Time

    Post Time

    Designated time for a race to start.

  • Purse


    The total monetary amount distributed after a race to the owners of the entrants who have finished in the (usually) top four or five positions. Some racing jurisdictions may pay purse money through other places.

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