A horse by any other name

This past Saturday was the Kentucky Derby. I’m not that interested in horse racing. As in, at all. It’s always struck me as slightly cruel. Riding horses for recreation is one thing, but whacking the horse with a crop and essentially whipping it repeatedly to make it run faster doesn’t seem especially kind.

But one aspect of horse racing that I’ve always found fascinating is the names these horses have. The winner of this year’s derby was I’ll Have Another. As in I’ll have another shot of whiskey. Or I’ll have another card in blackjack. Or I’ll have another punch to the face, please. It makes me wonder where these names come from. Are horse names derived from silly story of the horse’s infancy? Are they like the stereotypical Native American name? As in, the child cried a lot when it was born so they named it Howls at the Moon. Or Eagle Screamer. Or Please Make the Baby Stop Crying.

So where did I’ll Have Another get his/her name (I’m not sure the horse’s gender, and I’m too lazy to look it up). Did it love sugar cubes and kept begging its owner for another one whenever he/she (owner gender is also an unknown) broke out the sugar cubes. “Wow, this horse keeps coming back for sugars cubes. Eureka! Let’s call it I’ll Have Another.” Or does it really like getting whacked with a riding crop? Hmm.

Were I a racehorse owner, I’d name my horses names that force the crowd to question the winning horse. Such as I Was Robbed, or The Winner Cheated, or I Meant To Lose. I can heard the announcer now. “And coming in second place is I Meant To Lose.”

Other great racehorse names:

Oh No He Didn’t

I Swallowed A Bug

Stop Whipping Me

Also, one of my favorite radio campaigns was doen by an agency in New York known as DeVito Verdi for National Thoroughbred Racing and turns the idea of funny racehorse names into pure comic genius. Enjoy.

And here’s the actual derby race with the announcer.

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