Glossary: Horse Racing Terminology F-G

false favorite
Horse that is a race favorite despite being outclassed by other competition in the field. See underlay.
Horseshoer, blacksmith. Also called a "plater."
fast (track)
Footing that is dry, even and resilient.
Weak points of a horse's conformation or character as a racehorse.
Light weight. Usually refers to the weight a horse is assigned to carry in a race.
1) Amount paid to a jockey for riding in a race. 2) The cost of nominating, entering or starting a horse in a stakes race.
See rail.
fetlock (joint)
Joint located between the cannon bone and the long pastern bone, also referred to as the "ankle."
fiber optic endoscope
See endoscope.
The horses in a race.
field horse (or mutuel field)
Two or more starters running as a single betting unit (entry), when there are more starters in a race than positions on the totalizator board.
Slang for speed figure.
figure eight (nose band)
See nose band.
Female horse four-years-old or younger.
A burst of acceleration by a horse in a race. For example, "The horse did (didn't) fire when asked."
See pin firing.
firm (track)
A condition of a turf course corresponding to fast on a dirt track. A firm, resilient surface.
fissure (fracture)
Longitudinal crack through only one surface of a bone.
Signal manually held at a short distance in front of the gate at the exact starting point of race. Official timing starts when flag is dropped by the "flagman" to denote proper start.
flak jacket
Similar to a jackets worn by quarterbacks, the jockey's flak jacket protects the ribs, kidneys and back.
Area between the horse's ribs and hip. Lacking heavy musculature and the site of important internal organs, the flank is a very sensitive region on the horse's body and cannot be touched by a jockey's whip during a race.
flat race
Contested on level ground as opposed to a steeplechase. Often used in the term, on the flat.
flatten out
A very tired horse that slows considerably, dropping its head on a straight line with its body. Some horses, however, like to run with their heads lowered.
1) An equine dental procedure in which sharp points on the teeth are filed down. 2) The instrument with which the above procedure is performed.
Flat plate or wooden implement (float) dragged over the surface of a wet track to aid in draining water.
1) A horse of either sex in its first year of life. 2) As a verb, to give birth. Also known as "dropped." 3) Can also denote the offspring of either a male or female parent She is the last foal of Secretariat.
Fontana safety rail
An aluminum rail, in use since 1981, designed to help reduce injuries to horse and rider. It has more of an offset (slant) to provide greater clearance between the rail and the vertical posts as well as a protective cover to keep horse and rider from striking the posts.
Area of the foreleg located between the elbow joint and the knee (carpus), which is made up of the radius bone and the ulna.
Lock of mane hair that falls forward from the poll (top of the head) to just above the horse's eyes.
See laminitis.
founding sires
The Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk and Godolphin Barb. Every Thoroughbred must be able to trace its parentage to one of the three founding sires.
fractional time
Intermediate times recorded in a race, as at the quarter, half, three-quarters, etc. The "quarter time," for example, refers to the time after the first quarter-mile, not the first 25 percent of the race.
A break in a bone. See comminuted; compound; condylar; fissure; metacarpal; oblique; saucer; sesamoid; slab; spiral; simple; stress. See "Fractures" subsection of "Musculoskeletal System" in veterinary supplement for a more detailed explanation.
free handicap
A race in which no nomination fees are required. More recently, and more commonly, a ranking of horses by weight for a theoretical race. See Experimental Free Handicap.
The V-shaped, pliable support structure on the bottom of the foot. See "Hoof" subsection of "Musculoskeletal System" in veterinary supplement for a more detailed explanation.
A horse whose running style is to attempt to get on or near the lead at the start of the race and to continue there as long as possible.
frozen (track)
A condition of a racetrack where any moisture present is frozen.
full-brother, full-sister
Horses that share the same sire and dam.
One-eighth of a mile, 220 yards, 660 feet.
A medication used in the treatment of bleeders, commonly known under the trade name Lasix, which acts as a diuretic, reducing pressure on the capillaries.
A race for two-year-olds in which the owners make a continuous series of payments over a period of time to keep their horses eligible. Purses for these races vary but can be considerable.
The characteristic footfall pattern of a horse in motion. Thoroughbreds have four natural gaits-walk, trot, canter and gallop. Thoroughbreds compete at a gallop.
An opening in the rail where horses enter and leave the course.
Garrison finish
A close victory, usually from off the pace. Derived from "Snapper" Garrison, old-time rider given to that practice.
Area of the hindleg between the stifle and hock joints, consisting of the tibia and fibula.
gastric ulcers
Ulceration of a horse's stomach. Often causes symptoms of abdominal distress (colic) and general unthriftiness.
See starting gate.
gate card
A card, issued by the starter, stating that a horse is properly schooled in starting gate procedures.
A male horse of any age that has been neutered by having both testicles removed ("gelded").
gentleman jockey
Amateur rider, generally in steeplechases.
Progeny of sire.
1) An elastic and leather band, sometimes covered with sheepskin, that passes under a horse's belly and is connected to both sides of the saddle. 2) Deepest point of the horse's midsection, around which the saddle girth is tightened.
good bottom
Track that is firm under the surface, which may be dry or wet.
good (track)
A dirt track that is almost fast or a turf course slightly softer than firm.
grab a quarter
Injury to the back of the hoof or foot caused by a horse stepping on itself (usually affects the front foot). Being stepped on from behind in the same manner, usually affects the back foot. A very common injury during racing. Generally, the injury is minor.
graded race
Established in 1973 to classify select stakes races in North America, at the request of European racing authorities, who had set up group races two years earlier. Always denoted with Roman numerals I, II, or III. Capitalized when used in race title (the Grade I Kentucky Derby). See group race.
1) Winning for the first time, horse or rider. 2) A horse that has moved up to allowance, stakes or handicap racing.
See second dam.
The grandfather of a horse; father ("sire") of the horse's dam or sire.
grass slip
Used in some areas, permission to exercise a horse on the turf course.
Infection of the hoof resulting from a crack in the white line (the border between the insensitive and sensitive laminae). An abscess usually forms in the sensitive structures and eventually breaks at the coronet as the result of the infection.
A horse color where the majority of the coat is a mixture of black and white hairs. The mane, tail and legs may be either black or gray unless white markings are present. Starting with foals of 1993, the color classifications gray and roan were combined as "roan or gray." See roan.
Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation
A charitable organization, established in 1989, which combined the Grayson Foundation (established 1940) and The Jockey Club Research Foundation (established 1982). The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is devoted to equine medical research.
green osselet
An inflammation and swelling in the fetlock joint of young horses, particularly on the front of the joints where the cannon and long pastern bones meet. See arthritis.
A person who cares for a horse in a stable. Known as a "lad" or "girl" in Britain.
group race
Established in 1971 by racing organizations in Britain, France, Germany and Italy to classify select stakes races outside North America. Collectively called "pattern races." Equivalent to North American graded races. Always denoted with Arabic numerals 1, 2, or 3. Capitalized when used in race title (the Group 1 Epsom Derby). See graded race.
growth plates
Located at the end of long bones where they grow in length. See physis.
guttural pouch
A sac in the side of the head that may become infected. The sac is a pouch that is part of the eustachian tube, a passage between the pharynx and the inner ear and is unique to the horse.
Note: Information Provided by Thoroughbred Racing Communications, Inc.
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