Racing Terms


ACROSS THE BOARD: A wager on a horse to win, place and show. If the horse wins, the player collects three ways; if second, two ways; and if third, one way, losing the win and place bets.

BOXED BET: Wagering on every combination in a multi horse bet such as exacta or trifecta.

BREAKAGE: In pari-mutuel payoffs which are rounded out to a nickel or dime, those pennies that are left over. Breakage is generally split between the track and state and, in some cases, breeding or other funds, in varying proportions.

BRIDGE JUMPER: This is usualy someone who places such a large wager on one horse/race that if they lose they might be the next person to jump off the nearest bridge.

DAILY DOUBLE: Type of bet demanding the selection of winners of two consecutive races, most often the first and second.

DEAD HEAT: A tie at the finish line between two horses. This usualy moves on to the photo finish. Sometimes the race is so close the photo finish cannot identify the winner.

EXACTA (or PERFECTA): Placing a bet in which you must pick in exact order the first two finishers in a race..

FIELD HORSE (or MUTUEL FIELD): Two or more starters running as a single betting unit, when there are more entrants than positions on the totalisator board can accommodate.

IN THE MONEY:  One of the more popular terms, when you finish first, second, or third.

INQUIRY: A serious review of the race to investigate possible infractions of the rules.

LOCK: Slang for a "sure thing" winner.

MINUS POOL: A mutuel pool caused when one horse is heavily  overplayed and after deductions of state tax and commission, there is not enough money left to pay the legal  minimum on the winning bet.

OBJECTION: This can be a claim lodged by a patrol judge, or a rider. If it is lodged by an official, it is called an inquiry.

OFFICIAL: Sign displayed when the race results is confirmed. Can also mean the racing official.

ON THE NOSE: Wagering on a horse to win.

OVERLAY: A horse that is considered overpriced based on his historical performances.

PARLAY: A confident better uses this, it means using the winnings of one race to place a bet on another race.

PHOTO FINISH: This is what movies are made of.  Race and a finish so close that it is necessary to utilize a finish-line camera to determine the winner.

PICK SIX (or more): A type of bet in which the winners of all the included races must be selected.

PLACE:  At finish the horse is in the second position.

PLACE BET: Bet on a horse to finish first or second.

QUINELLA:  Placing a wager on which two horses finish first and in no specific order.

SHOW: At the finish the horse is in the third position.

SHOW BET: Betting on a horse to finish in the money; third or better.

STRAIGHT: Betting to win exclusively.

SUPERFECTA:  If you are feeling lucky, this is a wager on the exact order of the first four finishers in a race.

TAKE (or TAKEOUT): Commission deducted from mutuel pools which s shared by the track and local and state governing bodies in the form of tax.

TOUT: A person who claims to have, and sell advance info on a race.

TRIFECTA (or TRIPLE): This is considered very difficult. This is placing a wager on the exact order of the first three finishers in a race.

UNDERLAY: A horse that is racing at longer odds that he should be for whatever reason.

WIN: This is the horse that crosses the finish line first.

WIN BET: Placing a wager for the horse to finish first