Posted by DH on October 01, 2004
In Reply to: Chalk horse? posted by platypus on October 01, 2004
: : : "Never bet on a chalk horse". I heard this on an episode of "Law and Order" last night. I've never seen a pale, thoroughbred horse, and I'd like to know if "chalk horse" is a horse race term for something other than color.
: : I'm no gambler so I could well be completely off-track here, but might it refer to the figures carved into the chalk hillsides in many Southern English counties (these take many forms, but a large number are horses.)
: : It would certainly be a mistake to bet on one to win any sort of race!
: : DFG
: The scene in question took place at an OTB (off-track betting) in New York City. I'm fairly certain it relates directly to horse racing and gambling.
Chalk n horse racing by 1950's A horse favored to win...Dictionary of American Slang, Harper Collins