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Scratch: A horse that has been withdrawn from a race.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