Baseball & Horse Racing

Famous athletes and sports expressions often inspire the names submitted for Thoroughbred racehorses, and baseball is no exception.

As the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds, The Jockey Club is responsible for reviewing and approving all Thoroughbred names.

Last year, the registry reviewed more than 35,000 names, with about 73 percent of those getting approved.

“It seems like we see a name related to baseball about once or twice a week, with more submitted during or just after the playoffs,” said Rick Bailey, registrar for The Jockey Club.

With the World Series kicking off this week, it seems fitting that The Jockey Club Registry recently approved the name BROOKS ROBINSON for a 3-year-old gelding.

For those not of a certain age- Brooks Robinson played third base for the Baltimore Orioles from 1955-1977 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983.

As per The American Stud Book Principal Rules and Requirements, The Jockey Club received written permission from Robinson to bestow his name upon the Thoroughbred.

Horses have been named after baseball players for decades. DIMAGGIO, a Graded Stakes Winner in the 1970s, went on to sire FIFTY SIX INA ROW, who was also a Graded Stakes Winner. That moniker being in honor of Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak.

More recently, NYRA fans have been able to watch horses named JETER and SYNDERGAARD compete on the racetrack, while Chicago Cubs fans probably moaned in pain when BARTMAN, (a gelding) showed up in the entries.

Horse owners have also been inspired by current sports events when naming their horses.

After the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, snapping an 86-year drought, names approved for Thoroughbreds included RED SOX PARADE, SWEEP THE SERIES, BAMBINO’S CURSE, and CURSE REVERSED.

Through the years, the registry has also seen names such as CURVE BALL, HOME RUN, CENTERFIELD, and WALK OFF show up on registration applications.

With each postseason come new storylines, and one can be confident that this October will prompt a unique collection of Thoroughbred names.

Maybe the Houston Astros will be the impetus for a horse being named CHEAT TO WIN ? But that one was probably registered last year.

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