Racing Glossary





Racing Glossary


Across The Board (ATB)
Choosing a selection to win, place and show in a single designated race. The total wager costs three times a single bet. If the selection wins, the player collects on all three wagers. If it places second, the player collects on the place and show bets. If it finishes third, the player collects only the show bet.

Also-Ran
A horse that finishes a race out of the money, i.e., a horse that doesn’t win, place or show.

Apron
An area located next to the racetrack where players may watch racing up close and in person. A fenceline separates the apron from the actual racing surface.

Backstretch
The area of the racetrack opposite the finish line. At most tracks, it is the area that crosses in front of the tote board.

Bad Beat
A tough, unforeseen loss when an underdog hand surprisingly wins the pot against the odds against seemingly better hands. This term is often used to imply that the winner of the pot had no business being in the pot at all, or to suggest dumb luck played a large part in the win. This term may also be applied to a situation where winning points are scored against a wager in the dying seconds of a game, or the favored horse loses by a nose, after leading all the way.

Bankroll
The total available wagering funds held by the player.

Best Bet
The horse selected by a handicapper to win a race; or a wager in a game representing the highest odds in favor of the player.

Bet
The amount of money a player voluntarily risks on cards, sports or other games. The bet can be in the form of cash, chips or vouchers.

Bettor
A person who places or has a bet (US). A bettor is also called a player in the US and a punter in the UK.

Break-Even Point
The point at which a player’s bets approximately equal the payoffs received.

Bridge-Jumper
A player in the US who specializes in large Show bets on odds-on favorites.

Chalk
The favored team, side, contestant or horse in a sports event.

Chalk-Eater/Chalk-Player
A player who tends to wager only on the favorites, rarely on the underdogs.

Chart
A record of each race showing finish, calls, odds and comments describing the performance of each racer. The chart is considered a useful statistical aid to handicappers for studying the past performance of each racing horse.

Chartwriter
A statistician who compiles records and writes comments describing the performance of each horse or player.

Crow’s Nest
A high vantage point where the racetrack announcer, judges and other officials sit to observe the races.

Daily Double
A combination wager where the player selects the winners of the first and second races of the day. He must place his bet before the start of the first race. The daily double is similar to the accumulator.

Dam
The female parent of an animal, i.e., the mother of a greyhound or thoroughbred.

Dead Heat
An exact tie in a race. The winner in a photo finish is determined by the position of the tip of the racer’s nose, relative to the wire.

Even Money
A bet that pays the player the same amount that he wagered plus his original wager. Shown as a ratio of 1:1. Neither side lays any odds.

Exacta
Refers to wagering on a race in which the first and second place horses are picked to cross the finish line in a specified order.

Exacta Box
Refers to wagering on a horse race in which the first and second place horses (two or more) are picked to cross the finish line in any order.

Fast
The physical state of the racetrack during normal weather conditions.

Favorite
The team, side, horse or contestant competing in any given event considered to have the best chance to win.

Field (Racing)
The number of entries in a race.

Forced Out
A chartwriter’s term describing a situation where a horse is crowded to the outside by one or more of the other racers.

Futures
A type of wager made, or lines/odds posted, on an event or outcome that will be determined in the future, for example on which team will win the Super Bowl. The player making the ante post or future wager often will enjoy better odds for having done so.

Handle
Total amounts of wagers taken.

Hedge
To wager the opposite of your original wager in order to reduce your exposure.

High Roller (Whale)
A big bettor.

Holding Your Own
The result of breaking even, i.e., neither winning nor losing, during a wager, or series of wagers.

Hot
A player who is on a winning streak

Hot Tip
Wagering information/data.

Infield
The area surrounded by the oval racetrack.

Interference
Intentional physical contact that obstructs or impedes the running of horses or players in a game.

In the Money
A first, second or third-place finish (i.e. Win, place or show)

Length
The margin equal to the length of one horse. Length is used to describe the position of a horse, relative to his competitors during calls or at the finish of the race.

Line
Refers to the listed odds, points, money line or point spread for any given event.

Long Odds
Relatively small odds given that an event will occur.

Long Shot
An extreme underdog.

MTP
An acronym for minutes-to-post, i.e., the time remaining before the start of a particular race.

Nose
A racing term for the slimmest margin of victory.

Odds On Favorite
A horse, team or contestant so favored by the public that the odds for the event are less than even.

Overlay
A horse going off at a higher price than he appears to warrant based on his past performances.

Past Performance
An accurate record of the performance of specific teams, horses or contestants when participating in sports events similar to those scheduled.

Photo Finish
When a camera is used to accurately determine the winner of a very close race.

Pick Six
A combination wager on the six winners of six consecutive races.

Pick Three
A combination wager on the three winners of three consecutive races.

Place
A wager that a specific dog or horse will finish in first or second place, i.e., if the player’s selection crosses in first or second place, he collects.

Post Time
The time the race begins.

Program
A printed guide to the day’s races including detailed data to assist players to handicap the races.

Racing Secretary
The track official whose major functions include determining how many races of each grade are to be run over each distance for any given program. The racing secretary also conducts the random draw for post positions.

Score
To win a great amount of money due to successful wagering.

Scratch
To withdraw, cancel or call off a wager.

Short Odds
The odds for an event that has a good chance of occurring.

Show
Describes a third-place finish. A player collects if his selection finishes first, second or third.

Sire
The male parent of an animal, e.g., the father of a greyhound or horse.

Smart Money
Money wagered on sides by knowledgeable handicappers.

Stakes Race
A horse race for a championship, or for a purse larger than those offered for ordinary feature races.

Straight Bet (Wager)
A wager on a specific horse or team, in a single designated race or game, to win at the given odds. This is the simplest and most common bet. Also see Single Bet, and Win (Bet).

Straight Wager (Bet)
A single straightforward wager on a selected side, or over/under. The team wagered on must win by the point spread given at the time of the wager.

Superfecta
A wager placed on any four horses or greyhounds to cross the finish line in a specific order.

Take
The money taken from the betting pool by track management for the state, as well as the racing association.

Totalisator Machine
A computerized system that records amounts wagered, prints tickets for players, calculates odds and displays them on screens throughout a racetrack.

Tote Board
A board located behind the backstretch of the racetrack that displays the odds, pools, results and payoffs of each race.

Tout
A person who either sells or gives away his selections on games, races or contests.

Tout Service
A business that sells opinions of sporting events.

Trifecta
A wager on three selections, in a single designated race, to cross the finish line in a specific order.

Trifecta Box
Racing term referring to a player making three picks to finish first, second and third in any order.

Underlay
A bad bet. An underlay occurs when the odds of a particular wagering proposition are lower than they should be, i.e. they favor the house. In such circumstances, players often bet that an event will take place but without justification.

Value
An overlay, i.e., getting the best odds on a wager.

VIP
Acronym for a big bettor deemed worthy of full complementary treatment

Void
Invalid with no result.

Wager
The amount of money a player voluntarily risks on a game. The wager can be in the form of cash, chips or vouchers.

Win (Bet)
A wager on a specific horse or greyhound to win at the given odds. This is the simplest and most common bet. If the player’s selection crosses the finish line in first place, he collects.

Winner’s Circle
An area where the winning greyhound or horse is on display following the race and is often involved in a ceremonial presentation.

Wire
The official finish line for a horse race.