Horse Racing & Baseball

The World Series is over. The Breeders’ Cup reached its fitting conclusion.

The Breeders’ Cup has been called the World Series of Horse Racing so it’s fitting they both ended on the same weekend.

And, there is some overlap. Famous athletes and sports expressions often inspire the names submitted for Thoroughbred racehorses.

Last year, the Jockey Club Registry reviewed more than 35,000 names for American Thoroughbreds, 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 Bai of The Jockey Club Registry. 

Two years ago, right around the time of the Fall Classic, the registry approved the name BROOKS ROBINSON (maybe he ran at Laurel Park?) 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 RequirementsThe 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 PARADESWEEP THE SERIESBAMBINO’S CURSE, and CURSE REVERSED.

Through the years, the registry has also seen names such as CURVE BALLHOME RUNCENTERFIELD, and WALK OFF show up on registration applications.

With each baseball postseason come new storylines, and one can’t help wonder if there’s a horse out there named WE’LLGETEMNEXTYEAR.

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