Nap - The selection that racing correspondents
and tipsters nominate as their strongest selection of the day or
meeting. Reputed to stand for 'Napoleon'.
- National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) -
A non-profit, membership organization created in 1997 to improve
economic conditions and public interest in Thoroughbred racing.
- Neck - Unit of measurement about the length of a
- Nickel - A $500 wager.
- Nod - Lowering of head. To win by a nod, a horse
extends its head with its nose touching the finish line ahead of a
- Nominations - The complete list of runners
entered by owners and trainers for a race.
- Nose - Smallest advantage a horse can win by.
Called a short head in Britain.
- Nursery - A handicap for two-year-old horses.
- Oaks - A stakes event for three-year-old fillies
- Objection - Claim of foul lodged by rider, patrol
judge or other official after the running of a race. If lodged by
official, it is called an inquiry.
- Odds - The sportsbook's or bookmaker's view of
the chance of a competitor winning (adjusted to include a profit). The
figure or fraction by which a bookmaker or totalisator offers to
multiply a bettor's stake, which the bettor is entitled to receive
(plus his or her own stake) if their selection wins.
- Odds-against - Where the odds are greater than
evens (e.g. 5 to 2). When the bookmaker's or totalisator's stake is
greater than the bettor's stake. For example, a horse that is quoted
at 4:1 would be odds against, because if it wins a race, the bookmaker
or totalisator returns $4 for every dollar a bettor places on that
horse, plus his or her original outlay.
- Odds Compiler - Same as 'Oddsmaker' below.
- Oddsmaker - A person who sets the betting odds. (Sportsbooks
or Bookies don't set the odds. Most major sportsbooks use odds set by
Las Vegas oddsmakers.)
- Odds Man (US) - At tracks where computers are not
in use, an employee who calculates changing odds as betting
- Odds-On - Odds of less than even money. This a
bet where you have to outlay more than you win. For example if a horse
is two to one Odds-On, you have to outlay two dollars to win one
dollar and your total collect if the horse wins is three dollars. That
is made up of your two dollars and the one dollar you win.
- Official - Sign displayed when result is
confirmed. Also racing official.
- Off the Board (US) - A horse so lightly bet that
its pari-mutuel odds exceed 99 to 1. Also, a game or event on which
the bookie will not accept action.
- Off-Track Betting (OTB) - Wagering at legalized
- On The Board - Finishing among the first three.
- On The Nose - Betting a horse to win only.
- Open Ditch - Steeplechase jump with a ditch on
the side facing the jockey.
- Outlay - The money a bettor wagers is called his
or her outlay.
- Out Of The Money - A horse that finishes worse
- Outsider - A horse that is not expected to win.
An outsider is usually quoted at the highest odds.
- Overbroke - Where the book results in a loss for
- Overlay - A horse going off at higher odds than
it appears to warrant based on its past performances.
- Overnight Race - A race in which entries close a
specific number of hours before running (such as 48 hours), as opposed
to a stakes race for which nominations close weeks and sometimes
months in advance.
- Over The Top - When a horse is considered to have
reached its peak for that season.
- Overweight - Surplus weight carried by a horse
when the rider cannot make the assigned weight.
- Pacesetter - The horse that is running in front
(on the lead).
- Paddock - Area where horses are saddled and kept
before post time.
- Panel - A slang term for a furlong.
- Parimutuel(s) - A form of betting originated in
1865 by Frenchman Pierre Oller in which all money bet is divided up
among those who have winning tickets, after taxes, takeout and other
deductions are made. Oller called his system 'Parier Mutuel' meaning
'Mutual Stake' or 'betting among ourselves'. As this betting method
was adopted in England it became known as 'Paris Mutuals', and soon
- Parlay - (Also, Accumulator) A multiple bet. A
kind of 'let-it-ride' bet. Making simultaneous selections on two or
more races with the intent of pressing the winnings of the first win
on the bet of the following race selected, and so on. All the
selections made must win for you to win the parlay.
- Part Wheel - Using a key horse or horses in
different, but not all possible, exotic betting combinations.
- Pasteboard Track - A lightning fast racing
- Patent - A multiple bet consisting of 7 bets
involving 3 selections in different events. A single on each
selection, plus 3 doubles and 1 treble.
- Penalty - A weight added to the handicap weight
of a horse.
- Permutations - It is possible to Perm bets or
selections (e.g. on 4 selections all the possible doubles could be
Permed making 6 bets).
- Phone TAB - Another phone betting service,
provided by a totalisator which allows people with special betting
accounts to place bets via the telephone. Much the same as a bank
account, you must have a credit balance to be able to place a bet. The
cost of the investment is debited to your account, and winning
dividends and refunds are automatically credited to your account.
- Photo Finish - A photo is automatically taken as
the horses pass the winning line and when the race is too close to be
judged the photo is used to determine the order of finish.
- Picks - Betting selections, usually by an expert.
- Pick Six (or more) - A type of wager in which the
winners of all the included races must be selected.
- Pitch - The position where a bookmaker conducts
his business on a racecourse.
- Place - Finish in the top two, top three, top
four and sometimes also top five in a competition or event. A Place
bet will win if the selection you bet on is among those placed.
Usually, a horse runs a place if it finishes in the first three in
fields of eight or more horses. If there are only six or seven runners
the horse must finish first or second to place. Different sportsbooks
have different Place terms and you should check their rules before
placing a bet. In US, 2nd place finish. (See 'Each Way' UK)
- Point Spread - (Also, Line or Handicap) The
points allocated to the 'underdog' to level the odds with the
- Pole(s) - Markers at measured distances around
the track designating the distance from the finish. The quarter pole,
for instance, is a quarter of a mile from the finish, not from the
- Pony - GBP£ 25.
- Pool - Mutuel pool, the total sum bet on a race
or a particular bet.
- Post - 1) Starting point for a race. 2) An
abbreviated version of post position. For example, "He drew post
four". 3) As a verb, to record a win. For example, "He's posted 10
wins in 14 starts".
- Post Position - Position of stall in starting
gate from which a horse starts.
- Post Time - Designated time for a race to start.
- Price - The odds.
- Protest - When a jockey, owner, trainer or
steward alleges interference by one party against another during a
race that may have affected the outcome of a race. If a protest is
upheld by officials, the runner that caused the interference is placed
directly after the horse interfered with. If a protest is dismissed by
officials, the original result of the race stands.
- Punt - Another term for bet or wager.
- Punter - Bettor or investor.
- Pull Up - To stop or slow a horse during or after a race or workout.