Horse Racing Terms: A

Horse Racing Glossary of Terms – A
by Kenneth Strong of

Across the board – meaning to bet a horse equally in the win, place and show positions. $20 across the board on a horse would mean $20 to win, $20 to place and $20 to show at a total cost of $60. If the horse wins the bettor collects on all three bets. If the horse finishes second the bettor collects on the place and show bets. If the horse finishes third the bettor collects only on the show bet.

Action – a horse receiving attention in the betting pools is often said to be getting “action.” Often used to describe inside money being bet on a longshot. Also used to describe the way a horse is moving. For example, the horse has a beautiful way of going or a “nice action.”

Added money – money added to a race, generally a stakes race, by a breeder’s organization, racing association or other specific race-related organization.

Agent – a person who secures mounts for a jockey, generally by walking around the backstretch talking to trainers and owners. Also a person hired to buy thoroughbred bloodstock on behalf buyer such as an owner, breeder or trainer.

All out – a horse who has given everything it has in a race or tried its best.

Allowance race – a non-claiming race, generally with a number of eligibility and weight conditions set by the racing secretary. Example conditions might be “non-winners of 2 lifetime” or “non-winners of $30,000 once since…” Conditions are many and varied. Since horses cannot be claimed from allowance races, young horses often use these types of races as stepping stones to stakes races. For example a horse will often progress from a win in a maiden allowance race into a non-winners of a race other than maiden or claiming allowance race, and then on to a non-winners of 2 other than maiden or claiming allowance race and so on until they run out of conditions. Horses that cannot make it through (win) the tougher allowance conditions will eventually end up in claiming races where they can be more competitive.

Also-eligible – a horse that is entered but that does not make the body of the race at entry time may be placed on the also-eligible list. For example, a race may have 12 entries and four also-eligibles or “alsos. A horse on the alsos cannot get into the actual race unless a horse is scratched out of the body of the race. If no horses scratch (are withdrawn) from the body of a race before a prescribed time, the also-eligible horses are also scratched.

Also ran – a horse that finishes worse than fourth.

Apprentice – a jockey who receives a weight allowance until they have won a certain number of races. A 10-pound weight allowance is usually allowed until the apprentice jockey wins five races, after which many are allowed a 5-pound weight allowance for a period of one calendar year. If a horse is required by the race conditions to carry 124 pounds, and the horse is slated to be ridden by a 10-pound apprentice, the horse will be allowed to carry only 114 pounds.

At the post a phrase used to describe the fact that all horses have arrived at the starting gate prior to the race. Used by most track announcers and race callers just before the horses spring from the starting gate in a race, as in “They’re at the post, they’re off!”