Glossary

S

Saddle
A Thoroughbred racing saddle is the lightest saddle used, weighing less than two pounds.  

Saddle Cloth
A cotton cloth which goes under the saddle to absorb sweat. It usually has the horse's program number and sometimes, in major races, its name.  

Saddle Pad
A piece of felt, sheepskin, or more usually, foam rubber, used as a base for the saddle.  

Scale of Weights
Fixed weights to be carried by horses according to their age, sex, race distance and time of year.  

Schooling
Process of familiarizing a horse with the starting gate and teaching it racing practices. A horse may also be schooled in the paddock.  

Scratch
To be taken out of a race before it starts. Trainers usually scratch horses due to adverse track conditions or a horse's adverse health. A veterinarian can scratch a horse at any time.  

Second Call
A secondary mount of a jockey in a race in the event his primary mount is scratched.  

Set Down
1) A suspension - The jockey was set down five days for careless riding. 2) When a jockey assumes a lower crouch in the saddle while urging the horse to pick up speed, the horse was set down for the drive to the wire.  

Shadow Roll
A (usually sheepskin) roll that is secured over the bridge of a horse's nose to keep it from seeing shadows on the track and shying away from or jumping them.  

Shank
Rope or strap attached to a halter or bridle by which a horse is led.  

Shedrow
Stable area. A row of barns.  

Sheets
A handicapping tool assigning a numerical value to each race run by a horse to enable different horses running at different racetracks to be objectively compared.  

Short
A horse in need of more work or racing to reach winning form.  

Show
Third position at the finish.  

Show Bet
Wager on a horse to finish in the money; third or better.  

Shut Off
Unable to improve position due to being surrounded by other horses.  

Silks
Jacket and cap worn by riders to designate owner of the horse, or at some smaller tracks, to designate post positions (e.g., yellow for post position one, blue for two, etc.).  

Simulcast
A simultaneous live television transmission of a race to other tracks, off-track betting offices or other outlets for the purpose of wagering. 

Sire
1) The male parent. 2) To beget foals.  

Sloppy (track)
A racing strip that is saturated with water; with standing water visible.  

Snip
Small patch of white hairs on the nose or lips of a horse.  

Soft (turf)
Condition of a turf course with a large amount of moisture. Horses sink very deeply into it.  

Sophomores
Three-year-old horses. Called sophomores because age three is the second year of racing eligibility.  

Speed Figure
A handicapping tool used to assign a numerical value to a horse's performance.  

Spit the Bit
A term referring to a tired horse that begins to run less aggressively, backing off on the "pull" a rider normally feels on the reins from an eager horse. Also used as a generic term for an exhausted horse.  

Sprint
Short race, less than one mile.  

Stakes
A race for which the owner usually must pay a fee to run a horse. The fees can be for nominating, maintaining eligibility, entering and starting, to which the track adds more money to make up the total purse. Some stakes races are by invitation and require no payment or fee.  

Stakes Horse
A horse whose level of competition includes mostly stakes races.  

Stakes-Placed
Finished second or third in a stakes race.  

Starter
1) An official responsible for ensuring a fair start to the race, the starter supervises the loading of horses into the starting gate through a gate crew. He/she also has control of the opening the gate. 2) A horse that is in the starting gate when the race begins, whether he runs or not.  

Starter Race
An allowance or handicap race restricted to horses that have started for a specific claiming price or less.  

Starting Gate
Partitioned mechanical device having stalls in which the horses are confined until the starter releases the stalls' confined front doors to begin the race.  

State Bred
A horse bred in a particular state and thus eligible to compete in races restricted to state-breds.  

Stayer
A horse that can race long distances.  

Steadied
A horse being taken in hand by its rider, usually because of being in close quarters.  

Step Up
A horse moving up in class to meet better competition.  

Steward
Officials of the race meeting responsible for enforcing the rules of racing.  

Stirrups
Metal "D"-shaped rings into which a jockey places his/her feet. They can be raised or lowered depending on the jockey's preference. Also known as "irons."  

Stretch
Final straight portion of the racetrack to the finish.  

Stretch Call
Position of horses at the eighth pole.  

Stretch Runner
Horse that runs its fastest nearing the finish of a race.  

Stride
Manner of going. Also, distance covered between successive imprints of the same hoof.  

Stud
1) Male horse used for breeding. 2) A breeding farm.  

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