What’s in a Name?

The month of July always brings a bit of a slowdown for me, only in that I find myself in hotels across the country in the name of Travel Baseball. Currently, I am in a hotel in Atlanta for two weeks waiting out the popup rain storms and the rescheduling of baseball games. What this does allow me to do is get away from the details of operating my everyday life and provide time to ponder important things, such as naming my filly! I have a long list of potential names that I keep on my cell phone. Whenever I am enlightened by a potential name, I jot it down. The list consists of 26 names to date. Over the last several months, I have asked my family members for ideas. Many drives back and forth to the barn with my daughter consist of the name game. It is not easy, naming an animal, right? From the new puppy, to kitten, to potential future super star. My husband and I insert a name potential in to the following, “…..and coming down the stretch, is ___________,…….” What name do we want the announcer to be yelling? And of course, there are the actual rules and regulations for naming a Thoroughbred. There are quite a few I have come to find out, which are maintained by The Jockey Club, which I have summarized below: • A name may be claimed on the Registration Application, on a Name Claiming Form or online. Names cannot be claimed via telephone. Name selections should be listed in order of preference. • A foal must be named by February 1 of its two-year-old year, otherwise a fee is required. • You must use the name within one year from the day it was reserved. • A foal’s name may be changed at any time prior to starting in its first race. Ordinarily, no name change will be permitted after a horse has started in its first race or has been used for breeding purposes. • Names of horses over ten years old may be eligible for use if they are not excluded and have not been used during the preceding five years either for breeding or racing. Names of horses that were never used for breeding or racing may be available for use five years from the date of their death as reported. • Specific rules: 1. Names must be 18 letters or less (spaces and punctuation marks count as letters); Excluded names: 2. Names consisting entirely of initials such as C.O.D., F.O.B., etc.; 3. Names ending in “filly,” “colt,” “stud,” “mare,” “stallion,” or any similar horse-related term; 4. Names consisting entirely of numbers. Numbers above thirty may be used if they are spelled out; 5. Names ending with a numerical designation such as “2nd” or “3rd,” whether or not such a designation is spelled out; 6. Names of living persons unless written permission to use their name is on file with The Jockey Club; 7. Names of persons no longer living unless approval is granted by The Jockey Club based upon a satisfactory written explanation submitted to the Registrar; 8. Names of racetracks or graded stakes races; 9. Names clearly having commercial, artistic or creative significance; 10. Names that are suggestive or have a vulgar or obscene meaning; names considered in poor taste; or names that may be offensive to religious, political or ethnic groups; 11. Names that appear to be designed to harass, humiliate or disparage a specific individual, group of individuals or entity; 12. Names that are currently active either in racing or breeding; 13. Names of winners in the past 25 years of grade one stakes races; 14. Permanent names. The list of criteria to establish a permanent name is as follows: a. Horses in racing’s Hall of Fame; b. Horses that have been voted Horse of the Year; c. Horses that have won an Eclipse Award; d. Horses that have won a Sovereign Award (Canadian Champions); e. Annual leading sire and broodmare sire by progeny earnings; f. Cumulative money winners of $2 million or more; g. Horses that have won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes, The Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Breeders’ Cup Classic or the Breeders’ Cup Turf; and h. Horses included in the International List of Protected Names. 15. Names similar in spelling or pronunciation to the classes of names listed above. 16. Names of horses previously recorded in The American Stud Book by the same sire or out of the same dam as the foal for which the attempt is made. 17. Names of horses appearing within the first five generations of the pedigree of the foal for which the attempt is made. And the final rule is that The Jockey Club maintains the ultimate decision-making authority on name approval. So, the clock is ticking with about six months to go to arrive at the perfect name. And being a task master, I find I need to cross this off my list of To Dos sooner than that. Do I name her from a derivative of the sire and dam, Tritap (Tapit/Victory Road) and Skip the Glitter, (Glitterman/Skip A Dare)? I was thinking First Born Tap or Emerald Coast may be good options. What about my dream in all of this – Achieve the Dream or Dream Fulfilled? Or after something financial to tie to my accounting roots – Debitsandcredits or Financial Plan? What about tied to her greyness – Stormy Night or Gracious Grey? Or my books – Height of the Storm? So many options! I haven’t yet put any of my ideas through the interactive naming system, so don’t know which ones may have already been used, but I figured I would come up with my top ten and go from there. With this all being said, I figured I would see what ideas you all may have – do you have an idea for a name as you all have been a part of my journey? I would love to hear your feedback so feel free to post your name idea in the comments section of the Facebook post at I will keep you posted as I whittle down a list!

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