Horse Racing’s Language Lost in Translation

copyright 2016 A while back Amanda Duckworth wrote an excellent piece for ESPN entitled “Word Play” that raised an important issue for those of us in the horse racing industry:

It was at this moment in time last week when I was approached by a woman who was astonished I knew how to read a [sales] catalog page. As the days have passed, I keep returning to our conversation because it highlighted a long standing issue: is horse racing’s vernacular keeping fans away?

Although all sports have their own terminology, horse racing takes things to another level. Take a gander at just a few of these words that a novice might hear on their first trip to the track.

Claiming races




Bug boys

Starter allowance

Maiden Special Weights

7/5 odds

Super Hi-5

Place Pick All

What comes second nature to most of us handicappers is like a foreign language to the overwhelming majority of the public.  I know this isn’t the first time this has been addressed, but it’s an important issue that I truly believe does keep potential fans away.

Maybe every entrant into every racetrack in America should have the opportunity to pick up a flyer that addresses the basic terms used and what they mean.  Education creates fans and we’re not doing nearly enough.

Horse Racing Educational Series created by Former Jockey

Former New York jockey, Frank Lovato, Jr., has created a video series entitled “365 Days of Racing Terminology.” With the series Lovato has vowed to create a horse racing terminology video for each day of the year 2013. This is an effort to bring awareness to Jockey World, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to bring more education to fans of all ages in horse racing.

“We are asking our friends and racing’s industry leaders to support us in this effort,” stated Lovato. “These videos are to help educate racing fans and create more enjoyment to the sport.”

Sponsored by the account wagering service Premier Turf Club (, the videos are launched every day throughout the Jockey World website and various social media outlets. The videos are an average of two minutes in length and are created to be fun, engaging and educational for viewers. [Note: players wishing to join BetPTC can enter promo code “AGOS” and they will receive a higher rebate schedule than typical new customers]

“BetPTC is thrilled to be a part of this innovative series,” explained Richard Nilsen, who serves as Director of Marketing for Premier Turf Club. “Frank has come up with a great idea, especially in this age of online videos, to educate people throughout the world on the sport of horse racing.”

Some leading sites within the horse racing industry, such as and, have already signed on to promote the educational videos.




For more information on how you can support this series or Jockey World’s mission in some manner, please email: or give the organization a call us at 419-663-1472.


Premier Turf Club operates in Portland, Oregon, and is licensed by the Oregon Racing Commission as a Multi-Jurisdictional Simulcasting and Interactive Wagering Totalizator Hub. The company can be found on the internet at Premier Turf Club accepts online and phone wagers on over 120 Thoroughbred, Harness, and Greyhound race tracks. Since 2007 Premier Turf Club has handled over $125 million in wagers safely and securely through the Oregon hub. [Note: players wishing to join BetPTC can enter promo code “AGOS” and they will receive a higher rebate schedule than typical new customers]