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What are Some Horse Racing Terms?

Horse racing is an exciting and popular sport that has been around for centuries. It’s also a sport that has its own language and terminology. Knowing some of the basic horse racing terms can help you understand the sport and make you sound like an expert! Here are some of the most common horse racing terms:

Post Time

Post time is the designated start time of a race. It is when the horses are loaded into the starting gates and the race begins. This term is also used to refer to the time a race is scheduled to start, which may be minutes or hours before the actual start of the race.


The purse is the total prize money that is awarded to the winners of a race. The purse is usually split up among the top three finishers, with the winner receiving the largest portion of the purse.


A furlong is a measure of distance in horse racing. It is equal to about one-eighth of a mile, or 0.2 kilometers. Furlongs are the standard measure of the distance of a race.


Handicapping is the process of analyzing a horse race to determine which horse is most likely to win. It involves looking at factors such as the horse’s performance in previous races, the jockey’s experience, and the track conditions.


The odds are the numerical representation of the likelihood of a horse winning a race. Odds are typically expressed in the form of a fraction and indicate the amount of money a bettor would win if they bet on the horse.

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Claiming Race

A claiming race is a type of horse race in which the horses are randomly assigned to different owners. The owners may then “claim” a horse for a set price and take ownership of it.

Maiden Race

A maiden race is a type of race in which the horses have not yet won a race. These races are typically for younger and/or less experienced horses, and the winner of the race is usually eligible for an additional prize.

Daily Double

A daily double is a type of bet in which the bettor must pick the winners of two consecutive races. The payout for a daily double is usually much higher than that of a single bet, as it is much more difficult to pick the winners of two races.


A jockey is the person who rides a horse in a race. Jockeys must be licensed and must weigh no more than a certain amount in order to compete in a race.

Stakes Race

A stakes race is a type of race in which the horses are owned by a single owner or group of owners. These races typically have the highest purses and are often considered the most prestigious.

Allowance Race

An allowance race is a type of race in which horses of different ages and/or experience levels compete against each other. These races usually have a lower purse than stakes races, but can still be lucrative for the owners and jockeys.


These are just a few of the many horse racing terms that you should know. Knowing these terms will help you understand the sport of horse racing and make you sound like an expert. With a little practice and knowledge, you’ll be able to talk about horse racing like a pro!