Horse Racing Winning Terms

Horse racing is an entertaining and colorful sport in many respects. One of the fun things about horse racing is that the sport has evolved a language of its own. There are many horse racing winning terms that are used by chart callers and race fans. You should become familiar with these terms if you want to increase your enjoyment of horse racing. Knowing the terms could also make you a better handicapper.

The Language of the Chart Caller

The development of certain terms and phrases to be used in horse racing was a necessity. This happened mostly because of chart callers. The chart caller is a person on the track who is responsible for putting together a summation of each race called a chart.


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A race chart is very detailed. It describes where each horse was positioned at various stages of the race, and also how the horse finished. Think of how many horses are included in an average race and you will begin to understand the magnitude of this job. It’s huge.

To simplify the records that a chart caller compiles, a type of shorthand was created. If the chart caller were to try and list every thing that happened in a race with perfect grammar and descriptive text, the chart would be massive. Using horse racing winning terms keeps the data compact while preserving a vivid picture of what happened.

Even though the chart caller is probably responsible for the creation of many winning terms in horse racing, there is no doubt that others use the terms. From trainers to grooms to jockeys and racing fans, you will hear many of these terms when you visit tracks today.

Why We Use Horse Racing Winning Terms

The main reason a certain language is used by the chart callers and other individuals who are located on the track is simplicity. As we mentioned, it provides an economy of language in an environment that benefits from direct and quick communication.

When it comes to horse racing fans, the use of these terms is more fun than anything else. They also mark you as someone who understands the game of horse racing, and as an experienced bettor.  If you are going to play the game for the long term, why not enjoy it by immersing yourself in the culture. These terms are part of that unique culture.

Examples of Winning Terms

Let’s now take some time to explore a few of the terms that you may have heard while you are making bets on the track. Or maybe you have even seen the terms used at your favorite online racebook by a handicapper. Here’s what they mean.

All Out – This term indicates that a horse was fully expending its energy in the final stages of a horse race.

Auxiliary Starting Gate – This is an additional gate which is used to facilitate the addition of more horses to the racing field.

Backstretch – The far side of the racing surface, farthest from the grandstand.

Bat – The jockey’s whip.

Bill Daly – A horse that goes to the front of the pack at the beginning and stays there until the end.

Blind Switch – When a rider does something that causes him to be impeded during a race

Checked – When a horse is slowed during a race because it was impeded by other horses

Claimed – When a horse is claimed from a claiming race.

Cut Down or Run Down – A horse that either cuts its own legs during a race or has them cut by another horse, usually due to horseshoes.

Driving – A horse being pushed at the end of the race for its best.

False Favorite or an Underlay – A horse whose chance to win has been inflated by the betting public.

In Hand – A horse that wins easily with less than maximum effort.

Maiden – A horse that has yet to win a race.

How to Learn More Terms

If you want to become a true expert in the use of horse racing winning terms, all you need to do is become a student of racing charts. The difficulty in this regard is that charts are no longer easy to find. There was a day when these charts were published in the Daily Racing Form as a matter of course. Today they are generally only available from specialty services like Equibase.

You will need to decide if the investment is worth it for you. Some chart packages can be pretty expensive. If you are making a large number of bets each week or each month and doing well, buying charts could be reasonable for you. If not, you may need to see if you can obtain them from other sources.

Practice your knowledge of winning terms by using the often in your conversations with other horse racing fans. This is the best way to become familiar, and the terms will become a part of your regular conversation.

Betting at one of our recommended online horse betting sites is also a way to become familiar with the horse racing winning terms. You will probably hear them from the announcers as you watch a feed from your favorite race track. Sign up today and start winning right from the comfort of your own home. You may even receive a welcome bonus when you sign up and make your first real money deposit. Check our Bovada racebook review, BUSR, MyBookie, BetUS, Twinspires review or even our Betamerica review. All great choice if you are in the US. 5Dimes review for folks anywhere!


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