Glossary

B

Baby Race
A race for two-year-olds.  

Backside
Stable area, dormitories and often times a track kitchen, chapel and recreation area for stable employees. Also known as "backstretch," for its proximity to the stable area.  

Backstretch
1) Straight portion of the far side of the racing surface between the turns. 2) See backside.

Bad Doer
A horse with a poor appetite, a condition that may be due to nervousness or other causes.  

Bandage
Bandages used on horse's legs are three to six inches wide and are made of a variety of materials. In a race, they are used for support or protection against injury. "Rundown bandages" are used during a race and usually have a pad under the fetlock to avoid injury due to abrasion when the fetlocks sink toward the ground during weight-bearing. A horse may also wear "standing bandages," thick cotton wraps used during shipping and while in the stall to prevent swelling and/or injury.  

Bar Shoe
A horseshoe closed at the back to help support the frog and heel of the hoof. It is often worn by horses with quarter cracks or bruised feet.  

Barren
Used to describe a filly or mare that was bred and did not conceive during the last breeding season.  

Barrier
A starting device used in steeplechasing consisting of an elastic band stretched across the racetrack which springs back when released. Also known as a "tape."  

Bay
A horse color that varies from a yellow-tan to a bright auburn. The mane, tail and lower portion of the legs are always black, except where white markings are present.  

Bearing In (Or Out)
Deviating from a straight course. May be due to weariness, infirmity, inexperience or the rider overusing the whip or reins to make a horse alter its course. 

Bell
Signal sounded when the starter opens the gates or, at some tracks, to mark the close of betting.  

Beyer Speed Figure
A handicapping tool, popularized by author Andrew Beyer, assigning a numerical value (speed figure) to each race run by a horse based on final time and track condition. This enables different horses running at different racetracks to be objectively compared.  Can be found in Daily Racing Form past performances.

Big Red
Refers to either of two famous chestnut-colored horses Man o' War or Secretariat.  

Bit
A stainless steel, rubber or aluminum bar, attached to the bridle, which fits in the horse's mouth and is one of the means by which a jockey exerts guidance and control. The most common racing bit is the D-bit, named because the rings extending from the bar are shaped like the letter "D." Most racing bits are "snaffled," (snaffle bit) which means the metal bar is made up of two pieces, connected in the middle, which leaves it free to swivel. Other bits may be used to correct specific problems, such as bearing in or out.  

Black
A horse color which is black, including the muzzle, flanks, mane, tail and legs unless white markings are present. 

Black Type
Boldface type, used in sales catalogues, to distinguish horses that have won or placed in a stakes race. Many sales catalogues have eliminated the use of black type for stakes below a certain monetary level -- $15,000 in 1985, $20,000 from 1986-1989 and $25,000 beginning in 1990. If a horse's name appears in boldface type in a catalogue and in all capital letters, it has won at least one black-type event. If it appears in boldface type and capital and lower case letters, it was second or third in at least one black-type event. Black type was awarded to fourth-place finishers in races before Jan. 1, 1990.  

Blaze
A generic term describing a large, white vertical marking on a horse's face. The Jockey Club doesn't use blaze, preferring more descriptive words. See snip; star; stripe.  

Blind Switch
A circumstance in which a rider's actions cause him/her to be impeded during a race.  

Blinkers
A cup-shaped device designed to limit a horse's vision and prevent him from reacting to and swerving from objects and other horses.  

Blister
Counter-irritant causing acute inflammation used to increase blood supply, blood flow and to promote healing in the leg.  

Bloodstock Agent
A person who advises and/or represents a buyer or seller of Thoroughbreds at a public auction or a private sale. A bloodstock agent usually works on commission, often five percent of the purchase price, and can also prepare a horse for sale.  

Blood-Typing
A way to verify a horse's parentage. Blood-typing is usually completed within the first year of a horse's life and is necessary before registration papers will be issued by The Jockey Club.  

Blow-Out
A short, timed workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to sharpen a horse's speed. Usually three-eighths or one-half of a mile in distance.  

Board
Short for "tote board," on which odds, betting pools and other information are displayed.

Bobble
A bad step away from the starting gate, usually caused by the track surface breaking away from under a horse's hooves, causing it to duck its head or nearly go to his knees.  

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