What is breezing in horse racing?

Breezing is a term used in horse racing to describe horses’ workouts between races.

Strangely, it has different meanings depending on where the workout took place.

At western tracks, “clockers” – the people who time morning workouts – use the term to mean that the horse was working out with either no or little encouragement from its rider. It is used to describe a small fraction of workouts, most of which are described as “handily,” meaning that horses were asked for some speed by their riders.

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But in the East and Midwest, clockers use breezing to describe a workout where the rider was encouraging the horse to run and handily to mean that the horse was doing it on his or her won, with the rider sitting “chilly” and not calling for more effort.

All in all, I wouldn’t attach too much significance to the designations in the Daily Racing Form and other basic information providers. Most players who incorporate workouts into their handicapping subscribe to a private service that offers much more detailed information about how a horse looked during its morning exercise.

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