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Racing News
Wednesday 1st March 2017
The Best Racehorse Names in Existence

When it comes to animals, people put a lot of thought into names (less so for people, curiously). The name needs to mean something, needs to inspire and evoke. This is true nowhere more so than with racehorse names. Yes, you’ve got your famous Secretariat, and Seabiscuit, and Man O’ War; you’ve got your poetic names like Desert Orchid and Sunday Silence; you’ve got your masculine names like Might and Power, Exterminator, and War Admiral - the true gems of names, however, are not so common, or even syntactically coherent.

Alternative Animals

For some reason, naming an animal after a different animal is a tradition that has become completely accepted, and this holds for racehorses as well. A medium-sized bay Standardbred horse? Let’s name him after a large sea bird, Albatross. This horse ended up functionally winning $130,000,000 through siring, and won 59 out of 71 of his own races.

A standardbred gelding born in 1932, allegedly the best trotting horse of all time, was named Greyhound. If it’s good enough for an entire breed of racing dogs, they must have thought it was more than good enough for a single racing horse. When you’re looking at Cheltenham betting tips, keep an eye out for some alternate-animal-named racers.


Racehorse names that are less names and more actual combinations of words that create a complete phrase, often result in the most entertaining results.

A North American harness-racing champion in the mid-1900s, Adios Butler, also had the nickname of “The Butler”, which makes his real name sound like it’s just the process of saying goodbye to him.

Spectacular Bid’s owner must have wanted to get a little meta, with a name like that. This American Thoroughbred racehorse set several track records in it’s few years of racing.

Another slightly meta name is Twenty Grand, horse of the year in 1931. Probably a bit optimistic, but apparently prophetic, with Twenty Grand winning the Kentucky Derby, Belmont, and Travers Stakes.


Sometimes, you just want to name a horse something that has nothing to do with horses, and in fact has no place being the name of anything at all.

One of my personal favorites in this category is none other than Citation. Why not name a horse after a method of referencing one piece of writing within the text of another?

Although syntactically awkward - much more fitting for the name of a sea vessel - the name Genuine Risk is inarguably hard-core. Still, it does bring to mind the thought that this name might perhaps dissuade bettors from putting their money on the horse in question. Still, Genuine Risk did win the Kentucky Derby in 1980, so it wasn’t all bad.

Last but most certainly not least, we have the horse named after the term for a preschool education program - Kindergarten. Unobtrusive, maybe, but not exactly inspiring. Imagine screaming out this horse’s name at the tracks during a race, and you’ll likely either laugh or cringe.

There are hundreds more hilarious racehorse names, but not all of them make history, or even the news. If you want to see horses like these in action, you can become a bettor yourself in any horse racing event like the upcoming Cheltenham Festival.