What’s In A Name ?

One thing that often sparks the curiosity of newcomers to horse racing is how racehorses get their names.

The short answer is that owners get to choose the name of their racehorse, but it must be approved by The Jockey Club, which serves as the official registry for North American Thoroughbred racehorses.

There are, of course, certain rules set fourth by the Jockey Club in regard to choosing a name for a racehorse. But beyond that, there is so much more to naming racehorses.

Sometimes they are inspired by pop culture themes like Star Wars or Star Trek, sometimes a sport or a team is the inspiration.  Often, stables name racehorses after children or after a dearly departed family member.

Many racehorse sires (fathers) spark a wave of names. STORM CAT led to notable cats like 1994 Preakness Stakes Winner TABASCO CAT and 1999 Breeders’ Cup Classic Winner CAT THIEF.

KITTEN’S JOY was the sire of Champion BIG BLUE KITTEN and 2015 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf Winner STEPHANIE’S KITTEN. You get the idea.

Most often, however, racehorses are named for some combination of their pedigree or parentage, using the names of sire (father) and dam (mother) to form a name.

Often it can be incredibly straightforward; for example, owner-breeder Chuck Fipke tries to keep it simple since he has a fairly vast breeding and racing operation with names like FOREVER UNBRIDLED (by sire UNBRIDLED’S SONG out of dam LEMONS FOREVER) or PERFECT SHIRL (by PERFECT SOUL out of LADY SHIRL). See what he did there?

Using that structure of building off the names of both father and mother, owners can also get pretty creative with names like 2020 Preakness Stakes Winner TIZ THE LAW (by CONSTITUTION out of TIZFIZ) or Stakes Winner SHOPLIFTED (by INTO MISCHIEF out of SHOPIT).

When you’re betting races don’t hesitate to wager on a horse with a name that has some sort of personal connection to you.

For instance when the Daily Racing Blog sees an entrant with Mel, Mary, or Mike referenced in its name, it gets at least a $2 dollar Win wager.

Nothing worse than a longshot coming in with the name of someone or something you love, and wondering aloud; “Why didn’t I bet that?”

On Friday the Daily Racing Blog will structure a Pick-4 ticket for you to use on Saturday. So stop back.

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