A lot of great questions have come in so we’re going to split this up into a pair of posts over the next few weeks. Without any further ado, let’s dive into it with some explanation of terms. There are many other, more involved, questions that we’ll tackle in another post.
Maiden Claimer – A race in which no horses have won a race and are eligible to be purchased at a designated price.
Soft Spot – A race that a specific horse, usually a very good one, ends up pitted against weaker foes so that he/she goes off as a big favorite.
Wide Open Race – A race that is the polar opposite of a “soft spot” where nearly all of the contenders are possible winners.
Dropping in Class – When horse moves from one level of racing to another. Reference this post for the different levels of races from lowest to highest. Dropping in class (from stakes to allowance, for example) would be going from races at the end of the post toward the beginning.
Racing Age – Thoroughbreds all celebrate their birthdays on January 1. They may not have been foaled until May 15, for example, but move another year older on January 1.
Reasons for scratching – horses scratch for various with most likely being: a grass horse in a race that has come off the turf; injury; illness; re-entering in another race.
Pinhooking – A pinhooker makes money by buying a horse at one sale and then selling it at another later on. For example, they buy a yearling and then resell it the next year in a 2-year old sale hoping to make a nice profit.
Walking Hots – This is the process of cooling a horse down after a workout, exercise or a race. The hot walker takes the horse from a lead rope and walks the horse until he is cooled off and dry.
Open Company – A horse that is not restricted to state bred horses; open to horses regardless of where they were bred.