How the Horses in the Kentucky Derby Got Their Names


Every year when we would sit to watch the Kentucky Derby, my mother would inevitably make corny jokes about the names of all the horses. It was one of my favorite parts of race day. Of course, we’d wonder exactly how or why race horses end up with names like Notacatbutallama, Ononitsmymotherinlaw or Doremifasolatido.

This year, to help the curious ones like my mother, the Associated Press offers up a look at what’s behind the names of each of the horses running in this year’s Kentucky Derby. For example, the article promises there is no connection between General A Rod and Alex Rodriguez. Good to know!

Uncle Sigh is named for Duck Dynasty‘s Si Robertson. 10 percent of Uncle Sigh’s winnings got to help injured military veterans. And yes, there’s a horse named Danza:

Sire is Street Boss and one of the owners says he’s a tough colt; Tony Danza, best known for his roles on the TV comedies “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss?” served as human inspiration.

Intense Holiday has some famous family friends:

Sire is Harlan’s Holiday and dam is Intensify. Chris Mara, senior VP of player personnel for NFL’s Giants, is a partner in Starlight Racing, which owns the colt. His daughters are actresses Rooney and Kate Mara

While poor California Chrome got his name picked out of hat, Wicked Strong (pictured above) is named in honor of the victims of last year’s Boston Bombings.

There’s a lot more info about the horses’ names here, if you are ready to head out to any fancy Derby parties and want to show up to your friends while getting blind drunk on Mint Juleps.

Image via Getty.

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