Horse Racing has a language of it’s own. For someone new it can be confusing to try to follow what some people are talking about. Here are some common terms you will hear and what they mean.

ABC Wagering ABC Wagering is a wagering system invented by Steven Crist that allows you to rank the horses according to their appeal to you. "A" runners are the ones most likely to win, "B" runners are somewhat likely to win and "C" runners are unlikely but might have a shot. Given those ranking you can construct your bets more efficiently.
Across The BoardAcross the Board bet is a bet on a a runner to Win, Place, and Show. If the runner wins the player collects all three prices, if the runner comes in second the player collects the Place and Show prices, and if the runner comes in third the player collects the Show price only
ActionA) The way a horse moves. B) To wager. I.E. (Number 1 has all of the action).
Added MoneyMoney added to the purse of a race by an industry fund to the amount paid by owners in nomination, eligibility, entry and fees.
AddinMoney added by the host track to pool. (Seed Money)
AgentA person legally empowered to conduct business for a stable owner or jockey, may buy or sell horses for an owner or breeder.
AiringRunning slower than normal in a race.
All-Out When a runner is pushing it to the edge, going faster and harder than normal.
Allowance RaceA race where the runners are allowed to carry different weight based on age, sex and/or past race performances.
Also-EligibleA horse that is officially entered in the race, but will only run if other horses are scratched below a specified number.
AnteriorToward front.
ApprenticeRider which has ridden less then a specified number of races. May be denoted with an asterisk in the program.
ApronArea between the grandstand and race track. Normally a paved spectator area.
Baby RaceA race for two year old horses.
Backside / BackstretchEmployee and stable area many times located behind the track.
BandageBandages are used on horses in a race to support their legs and help protect against injury.
Barrier / Tape Starting device used in steeple chase racing which is stretched across the racetrack and springs back out of way when released.
BellSignal sounded to indicate betting is stopped. May happen when the gate opens or prior.
Beyer NumberPopular handicapping ranking popularized by author Andrew Beyer, assigns a numerical value to each runner based on final time and track conditions.
BitAluminum, rubber, or stainless steel bar attached to the bridle which fits in the horse's mouth and allows the rider/jockey to exert control over the horse.
BlanketCovering for a runner bearing the number and color corresponding to post position.
BleederA horse that is prone to bleeding from the lungs during exercise or running. May be exacerbated by either extreme hot or cold temperatures. May be preventively treated with Lasix.
BlinkersA device to limit the range of vision of a horse. Prevents the horse from being distracted/scared by the crowd or other objects/horses.
Board Historically the "Tote Board" in the middle of the racetrack that displayed pool totals and odds. May refer to any display presenting odds/pool totals.
Bolt When a runner suddenly veer's off course.
BomberWhen a long shot (high odds) horse wins.
BoxBet type that uses all selections in each possible position. I.E. Trifecta Box
BreakageRemaining pennies after rounding, may go to the state or entity taking the wager depending on state rules. (Negative Breakage is paid by the entity taking the wager)
ButePhenylbutazone, a NSAID that is legal in many jurisdictions. Also known by Butazolidin and Butazone.
CallThe actual position of the horses at a certain point in the race.
Carryover Many pools may payout partially if no-one selects the exact finish. In that case the left over money will be added to the next (or specified) instance of the same pool. If a pool is not "hit", this can lead to successive carryovers and very large pools. In some instances carryovers may be forced-out and paid to those with the most correct selections (5 of 6 etc.). Carryovers are more likely in pools with more legs. I.E. Pick 6 or Super High Five.
ChartShows the position and distance of each horse at pre-determined points of call, runners age, weight, owner, trainer, jockey, race statisics and other data.
CheckedWhen a jockey must slow a horse due to others in its path.
ChuteExtension of the straight stretches of the track allowing runners to get up to speed before going into a turn.
Claiming Method that any licensed person may purchase a running horse entered in a "claiming race" for a predetermined price. When a runner is claimed the runner changes owners as soon as the race begins although the prior runner still retains all purse money for the race. Thus the new owner takes the risk of the race and the old owner takes the reward.
Claiming RaceA race with a predtermined amount that any runner in the race can be purchased at. (See Claiming)
Classic Historically significant race.
Clerk of ScalesRacing official whose duty is to ensure riders are properly weighed before and after each race.
ClockerPerson that times the races and workouts of a runner.
CloserRunner that tends to do best in the late stages of a race.
ColtUngelded male horse under four years old.
CommingleCombining wagers into the same pool from multiple wagering locations.
ConditionsRequirements and rules for a certain race. Restrictions may include age, sex, winning money, winning races, weight carried, and/or distance of race.
DamFemale parent of a horse.
Dam's SireMaternal grandfather of a horse.
Dead HeatTwo or more runners finishing at the same exact time in a race. (Tie)
Deep StretchNear the finish line in a race.
Decimal OddsActual probable payout for a runner to win. More accurate than fractional odds which may involve rounding.
DerbyStakes race for three year olds.
DistaffA female horse.
DistancedA runner so far behind there is no possible way it may win.
DrivingA horse running as hard as possible under urging from the jockey/driver.
EarmuffsDevice covering horses ears to prevent noise from distracting it.
EasedGently slowing a horse during a race.
EligibleQualified to start in a race.
Entry FeeMoney paid by an owner to put their runner in the race.
EntryTwo or more horses with common ownership or common trainers which run as a single betting interest. Rules vary between jurisdictions.
ExoticRefers to any wager other than win, place, or show.
FastTrack condition where it is dry and evenly packed.
FenceRailing on inside of track.
FieldAll runners in a race.
FillyFemale horse under four years old.
FirmTrack condition on a turf course where it is dry and evenly packed.
FlagManual race start signal.
Force-Out A pool which will be paid fully even if no one selects the correct order.
Front-RunnerRunner which normally leads the pack, may do poorly once in the middle of the pack.
Furlong660 Feet = 220 yard = 1/8 of a mile.
FurosemideCommonly known as Lasix. Medication to help prevent bleeding in some horses.
GaitParticular characteristic of the way a horse walks, such as: walk, trot, canter, or gallop.
GapOpening in the railing where horses may enter and leave the racecourse.
GranddamGrandmother of a horse.
GrandsireGrandfather of a horse.
GroomPerson that cares for horses in the stable.
HandMeasurement equivalent to four inches.
HandleAmount of money wagered on a pool/race/event.
HardTrack condition where it is extremely solid.
HeadTerm for when a horse is leading another by a small amount (the size of their head).
HeatRace in which the winners will qualify to run in a later more prestigious race.
InfieldThe area inside the inner railing of the racecourse.
InquiryJudges/Stewards investigating a possible rule violation. May result in disqualification of a runner in some circumstances.
In The MoneyA runner that finishes in first, second, or third place.
LasixSee furosemide.
LengthSight measurement equivalent to the length of a horse. Denotes distances between horses during a race.
LockA sure thing, cannot lose. (Or so they say..)
LureMechanical device used to guide the greyhounds around the racetrack.
MaidenHorse that has not won a race.
MareFemale horse older than five years.
MatineeRace program conducted during daylight hours.
Minus PoolA pool where a favorite horse is bet so much that when it wins the entities taking the bet must add money back to the pool to cover the legal minimum payout.
MudderA runner that does better in wet/muddy conditions.
Mutuel PoolSum of all wagers on a specific bet type for a specific race (or races in multi-race pools).
NeckA sight measurement generally equivalent to the length of a horses neck.
NoseA sight measurement meaning very small distance.
OaksStakes race for three year old female horses.
ObjectionClaim of a foul or rule infraction made by a jockey against another horse/rider.
OfficialRace is final and tickets can be paid/redeemed for shown prices.
Off Track BettingWagering at legal betting outlets not at the actual racetrack. All wagering on AmWager is Off Track Betting.
On The BoardRunner finishing in the top three positions.
OverlayA runner / combination that has been wagered on less than it warrants based on statistics.
PacesetterThe horse running in front. The leader.
PaddockArea where horses are saddled and paraded for the crowd before racing.
Part WheelUsing multiple horses in each leg of a wager. Also known as just Wheel.
Past PerformanceStatistics about the actual performance of a runner in its past races.
Photo FinishFinish where the order is too close to call visually, judges must view the high-speed finish camera to determine the winners.
PickType of multi-race wager where you must pick the winner in each selected race. I.E. Pick 3, Pick 5, Pick 6.
PlaceSecond position. A wager that pays on first or second.
PostStarting position of a runner in the race.
Post TimeDesignated time the race should begin.
PurseTotal money distributed to owners of the top finishers of the race.
RailBarrier on either side of the racing surface.
Rail RunnerA runner that likes to stay near the inside rail of a track.
Schooling RacePractice race.
ScratchRemoved from the race. May be removed for various reasons.
Self-ServeA machine that you can place a wager at a track without interacting with a teller.
ShowThird position. A wager which pays out if a runner comes in at least third.
SilksJacket and cap worn by jockey's that designate the owner of the horse, or post position. (Varies based on track)
SimulcastTransmission of the race to other locations.
SireMale parent of a horse.
SloppyTrack condition - Wet with water visible on the track.
SlowTrack condition - Track is wet and somewhat soaked.
SoftTrack condition - Extremely wet, horses may sink deeply.
SprintShort race.
StakesA race in which the owner must pay an entry fee. Generally has higher purses than other races.
StallionMale horse used for breeding.
Starting GateDevice which serves to hold the runners until the start of the race and then release them evenly.
TakeoutThe percentage of each bet deducted prior to going into the pool. Shared by the entity taking the bet, the track, government bodies, tote systems, and others.
ThoroughbredA horse whose lineage can be traced back to either Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk or Godolphin Bar and has satifised all requirements of The Jockey Club, and has registered in a stud book recognized by The Jockey Club.
Thoroughbred Racing AssociationIndustry group comprised of many race tracks in North America.
Tote / TotalizatorComputer system which aggregates wagers, displays odds, and calculates payouts.
ToutPerson which claims to have the best knowledge of who will win.
Track BiasSome race courses may favor certain types of runners. Finding the bias in a track can help handicapping.
TripDescription of how a specific horse performed in a race.
UnderlayA runner or combination which has had more money bet on it than statistics warrants.
UntriedA runner that has never ran in these specific conditions.
WireThe finish line.
WorkTo exercise a runner.