From pop culture references to comical catch phrases, crazy horse names in the Kentucky Derby have been used to add excitement to the race.
Even though owners have created some electrifying and witty names there are some limitations to what they can use. In order to get approval from The Jockey Club, names must not exceed more than 18 characters, you can not use a racetrack or top tier race as an inspiration for the name and you must receive written consent to name your horse after a living person. On top of that, you can not have a repeat name out of the hundreds of thousands of horses in the history of horse racing. With that being said, owners have gotten creative and given us some entertaining names.
I’ll Have Another
The 2012 Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another has a comical name origin story. Canadian owner J. Paul Reddam explained that he named the colt after the reply he gives his wife when she asks if he wants more of her fresh baked cookies. I think a lot of spouses can relate to this one.
Any Given Saturday
The inspiration for the Todd Pletcher trained horse came from the well-known football movie “Any Given Sunday”. In that movie, Al Pacino delivered a famous motivational speech to his players before a big game about how life is a game of inches. The speech is quite fitting for horse racing given how horses can win by a nose. However, it ended up not being a game of inches for Any Given Saturday as he placed eighth in the 2007 Kentucky Derby.
Palace Malice’s name was inspired by one of the most infamous days in NBA history. In a 2004 November game between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons, Ron Artest and Ben Wallace got into a scuffle with under a minute left in the game. The small fight quickly grew into a frenzy in the stands involving numerous fans and players. At the end of the day, nine players were suspended for a total of 146 games, and 5 players and 5 fans were hit with an assault charge. Nine years later Palace Malice ran in the 2013 Kentucky Derby without putting up a fight finishing in 12th place.
Pistols and Roses
The name comes from a combination of two of the best 1970s and 1980s rock bands, Guns N’ Roses and the Sex Pistols. The Sex Pistols were one of the most influential bands and played a critical role in the progression of punk rock. Their only studio album recorded, Never Mind the Bollocks, is considered one of the best of all time. Guns N’ Roses “Sweet O’ Child of Mine” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988. GNR still goes on tour to this day after 36 years since it was formed. Rock n Roll fans were disappointed as Pistols and Roses ended up finishing in 16th place.
The Winner and Triple Crown
The owners of these horses went with a bold strategy in the naming process. They tried to speak a Kentucky Derby win into existence. Ironically, The Winner finished 7th out of 8 horses in the 1896 Kentucky Derby, and Triple Crown finished 17th in the 1974 Kentucky Derby. Let’s just say it might be a bad omen to claim your horse as a winner before actually running in the race.
Honorable Mention: While this race was not the Kentucky Derby, it is too good to leave off this list. In 2010 at Monmouth Park, announcer Larry Collmus had one of the funniest calls in history. Mywifenosevrything and Thewifedoesntknow faced off in a heated battle down the stretch that was almost too good to be true.
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