Playing the Name Game at Churchill Downs - News, Weather & Sports

Playing the Name Game at Churchill Downs

Louisville, KY. (WAVE) What's in a name? Well, if you ask anybody in the horse racing business, everything.

"When you look at the great Derby winners over the years, they have such regal names," said Senior Director of Communications at Churchill Downs, Darren Rogers. The names of the horses in the Kentucky Derby are sometimes as interesting as the race itself, and looking at past Kentucky Derby's, there have been some interesting names entered into the race. "Swaps, Citation, Secretariat", as Rogers named a few.

When it comes to names, brand new Churchill Downs announcer, Larry Collmus has seen it all in his 29 years of calling races. "One of the most difficult ones was Flat Fleet Feet. And you had to say that one really slowly, or it could come out completely jumbled", said Collmus. Collmus jokingly said that he thinks some of the owners and trainers purposely name horse to try to throw off track announcers.

Often, by the time the horses get to the track to start racing, sometimes his name has changed once, sometimes twice. Sometimes because he's changed owners, other times because the trainers didn't like the name to begin with. "Two Toed Joe I told the guy was the about the dumbest name I've ever heard," said trainer, Dale Romans. Long time trainer, Bob Baffert says he's careful about asking owners to change the name of their horses. "Well it depends on the owner. If he named it after his child I don't say anything," said Baffert.


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