SOME COMMON RACING TERMS
FORM: How a horse has been
racing. Generally, good form is defined as close up
finishes in recent starts - bad form is
poor finishes in recent starts.
CLASS: The level of competition
that a horse has been facing. Generally, the higher
class level the bigger the purse and the
stronger the level of competition.
CONSISTENCY: How often a
horse is able to win/race well. A consistent winner can be
defined as a horse that is able to win
at least 20% of its starts. A horse that is able to
finish in the money in at least 50%-60%
of its starts can be considered to be a
PACE: The early fractions
of a race, particularly the opening 1/4 mile and 1/2 mile.
The pace of a race can effect how well
certain horses are able to compete. For
example...if a pacesetter is able to set
a slow pace, horses that are far back early will
have a particularly difficult time making
up ground once the pace picks up in the latter
stages of the race. Conversely, if the
early pace is torrid, it will be harder for pacesetters
to withstand the late challenges of closers
who benefit from a relatively slow second half.
GATE SPEED: How quickly a
horse is able to leave the starting gate.
POST POSITION: The position
a horse leaves the starting gate from at the start
of a race. The #1 post is closest to the
rail and the #8 post is farthest from the rail.
Generally speaking, the #1 post is the
best and the #8 is the worst.
PARKED OUT: This term describes
a horse that is racing on the outside, normally
for an extended period of time. Horses
lose ground while racing on the outside and
depending on the circumstances (the amount
of time spent racing on the outside,
the pace, etc) can be adversely effected
BOXED: This describes the
situation that occurs when a horse is stuck on the rail
with a horse ahead of him and a horse
SHUFFLED BACK: This occurs
when a horse is stuck on the rail and loses position
when outside horses advance past him.
BREAK: When a horse goes
offstride. A harness horse competes at either a trot
(diagonal gait) or pace (lateral gait).
A break occurs when a horse goes offstride
and into a gallop.
COVER: Describes when a horse
is racing with a horse in front of him, especially
on the outside. Live cover occurs when
a horse has an advancing horse in front of him,
dull cover occurs when the cover horse
does not advance.
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