Talk the Talk

Here are some of the key terms you'll hear:

Blinkers: A hood with eye cups worn by a horse and designed to limit a horse's vision, thus preventing distractions. Horses wearing blinkers for the first time usually show more early speed.

Chalk: The wagering favorite in the race.

Dead Heat: Two or more horses finishing a race in a tie.

Furlong: One eighth of a mile (220 yards). A commonly raced distance is six furlongs, or three quarters of a mile.

Inquiry: A review of a race by the Stewards (horse racing's version of a referee) to check into a possible rule infraction by a jockey. On such an occasion, the "inquiry" sign lights up on the tote board.

Length: A measurement representing the approximate length of a horse, used to show the distance between horses in a race.

Maiden: A horse that has never won a race. A maiden race is for an entire field of horses that have never won a race.

Objection: Immediately following the race, jockeys may file an objection with the Stewards and request a review of the race to check into a possible rule violation by another participant.

Photo Finish: A result so close it is necessary to use a special finish-line camera to determine the order of finish.

Post Time: The time at which the horses have to be at the starting gate, ready to go.

Scratch: A horse that has been withdrawn from a race.

Silks: Colorful jacket and cap worn by jockeys to designate owners of the horse.

Tote Board: Sometimes called simply, "the board," this electronic sign displays odds and other important wagering information.


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