The Kentucky Derby: A New Trend of Political Racehorse Names?

Steve Novick

A few years back, my little brother and I started wondering why there aren’t any racehorses named after political words and catch-phrases. Last year, I posed the same question to Stephanie Vardavas, Mike Radway, Mark Wiener, Lisa Grove and others, who came up with a long list of possible names (Stephanie and Mike were especially prolific). I contacted Barbara Dudley, whose family actually owns some racehorses, and gave her some suggestions, should they ever have a horse that needs a new name.

Well, this project just assumed a new urgency: the political racehorse name barrier has been broken. One of the horses in this year’s Kentucky Derby is named ‘Endorsement.’

Now, I’m not sure whether to root for this horse, in order to encourage what is hopefully a new trend, or to oppose it, so we can all nod sagely and say “well, of course – we all know endorsements don’t matter.” But I do know that I need to expand the political horse-naming talent pool, and invite the BlueO community to rate our suggestions and add your own.

Keep in mind the importance of names that will fit will into a race announcer’s patter. For example: “And as we hit the midway point it’s still Filibuster, Follow the Money, Margin of Error, Crosstabs, Matching Funds, Not A Crook, and Conventional Wisdom. And now Conventional Wisdom is making a move on the outside rail. He passes Not A Crook. He passes Matching Funds. He passes Crosstabs. Meanwhile Follow the Money has moved into the lead. Conventional Wisdom passes Filibuster. He passes Margin of Error. He’s gaining on Follow the Money. They’re neck and neck. It’s Conventional Wisdom. Follow the Money. Follow the Money. Conventional Wisdom. And … it’s Conventional Wisdom by a nose!”

After the jump, I’ll list a bunch of other names we came up with, and invite your comments and suggestions.


Silent Majority
Override
Beltway Bandit
Majority Whip
Inoperative Statement
Unanimous Consent
That Woman
Whistlestop
Matching Funds
Treehugger
Cloture
Earmark
Reconciliation
Soft Money
Hush Money
Roll Call
Habeas Corpus,
Great Society
Guns And Butter
Favorite Son
Feel Your Pain
Whip Inflation Now
Killer Rabbit
Stagflation
Keep Hope Alive
Amazing Grace
Selma
Bus Boycott
Birmingham Jail
Silent Spring
Nepa
Cap And Trade
Read My Lips
Lockbox
Glass Steagall
New Ideas
Minimum Wage
Wagner Act
Davis Bacon
Card Check
General Strike
High Negatives
Undecided
Public Option
Stimulus Package
Hopeandchange
Ozone Man
Heckuva Job
Old Europe
Name ID
Chattering Class
Blogosphere
Fear Itself
Read My Lips
Great Society
Nattering Nabob
Parliamentarian
House Divided
Extraordinary Rendition
Missile Crisis
Bay of Pigs
Black Bag Job
Enemies List
Push Poll
Eighteen Minute Gap
Nuclear Option
White House Mess

As you can see, it’s really easy to come up with Nixon phrases. Further proof that, as Bob Dole said, the last half of the twentieth century really was the Age of Nixon.

Comments

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Steve Novick:

    A few years back, my little brother and I started wondering why there aren’t any racehorses named after political words and catch-phrases. Last year, I posed the same question to...

    Bob T:

    Are you looking for something to do?

    Bob Tiernan Portland

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    Nice post, Steve!

    Let me be the first to suggest:

    Great Kenya-Kansas Hope

    Clearly, a winning thoroughbred, if ever there was one. :)

  • Timr (unverified)
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    Ranking Member Line-Item-Veto CBO POTUS

  • Timr (unverified)
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    Trickle-down Kitty Dukakis Iowa Caucus

  • Ricky (unverified)
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    T rands are ways change but its depend of on us that when we change with trends. Pro Cleanse

  • Kurt Hagadakis (unverified)
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    This is a case in point about what I said two weeks ago . And you can add "strong left hook". BO faux progressives indicated back then that they didn't feel the point merited comment. I only bother to mention it for the sake of those that write checks in the misguided notion that the Democratic Party of America shares their values.

    Boxing, greyhound and horse racing are not sports anymore than cock fighting and bear baiting are. If your moral compass is determined totally by "it's legal"...well, that would explain a lot of that hacky means justify the ends mentality that seems to be a requirement for running a political campaign these days.

    Keep holding your heads high when Madame LaFarge comes calling...

  • Kurt Hagadakis (unverified)
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    You got me so pissed I said that backwards.

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    Kurt, the nanny-state Libertarian. Funny how you don't want the government to tell you what to do, but you don't mind telling everyone else what to do. Get over yourself dude.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    Shovel-Ready Blue Dog Unprecedented Off the Reservation Too Big To Fail Birther Death Panel Wise Latina Incentivizer Poison Pill ...and my personal favorite: Moving Forward!

  • John Roberts (unverified)
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    Executive Order Ways & Means Mission Accomplished Internets Dewey Defeats Truman Misery Index There You Go Again The Definition of Is

  • (Show?)

    C Street House DC Madame Executive Privilege Death Panel Whip Count Vocal Minority Maverick Two-State Solution Cut'n'Run

    And thanks for coming out Friday night, Steve. We appreciated having you!

  • timr (unverified)
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    Federal Register Inside-the-Beltway Gerrymander Carpetbagger Soft Target Plausible Deniability

  • Julie Fahey (unverified)
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    I love Inside-the-Beltway and Majority Whip suggested above.

    Others: Early Money Speaker of the House Chief of Staff

  • timr (unverified)
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    Darn it, Steve...now I'm addicted

    Dubya Sidewinder WMD Victory Garden

  • Zoe (unverified)
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    It has to be Davis Bacon!

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    How do we know that's political? What if it refers to a product endorsement, or even a check endorsement? So how about naming a horse "Deposit Only" or "NSF?"

  • Kurt Hagadakis (unverified)
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    What did I tell anyone to do? Fuck off, leinad. That's telling someone what to do.

    Get over yourself dude.

    And so is that.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    Kurt, do your panties ever come unbunched?

    And to keep it on topic ....

    Half-term Governor

  • Stephen Amy (unverified)
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    The all-time most appropriate political name for an American racehorse has already been taken:

    Man o' War

    And Secretariat could be connoted as being political.

    (Wow, Man o' War & Secretariat- what a depth of knowledge is displayed in mentioning those two).

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    OK, but what about Affirmed or Alydar?

  • Stephen Amy (unverified)
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    Kurt Chapman: forgive my ignorance: what is an alydar?

  • Stephen Amy (unverified)
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    In retrospect, the greatest-ever political name for a horse was the very first, 1875 Kentucky Derby winner :

    Aristides

  • stevenovick (unverified)
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    Alydar was the great horse who kept finishing second to triple crown winner Affirmed.

  • JonB (unverified)
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    A good measure of a good racehorse name is that you can't tell if it's a racehorse, a porno movie title or a metal band.

    That's why Deep Throat is about the best you can come up with in terms of political racehorse names. (there actually is a band called Deep Throat too).

  • (Show?)

    I've financial reform on the brain, so:

    Private Equity Liar's Poker Big Short Resolution Authority Federal Preemption Hedge Your Bets Cramdown State of Play Checks and Balances Return on Investment Sine Die

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Drink the Kool Aid Wingnuts Teabaggers Delight

  • Scott Shorr (unverified)
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    Another nice thing about Endorsement is the slight Portland connection. His trainer, Shannon Ritter, used to be a leading jockey at Portland Meadows (and was recently quoted as saying the success of Endorsement was her biggest horse racing accomplishment since her time in Portland).

    In light of the number of Saudi princes and Dubai royal family members who now control thoroughbreds (and for its recent political provenance), I might add "DrillBabyDrill" to the list.

  • Jeff Malachowsky (unverified)
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    'Fanny Foxe' - that's my vote.

    Along with MisUnderestimate, Strategery and Nucular.

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    Someone's got to represent for Sarah Palin, so:

    Hopey Changey You Betcha I Can See Russia From Here

  • No he didn't... (unverified)
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    Packwood is cummin' up the backstretch...

  • Lou Fleming (unverified)
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    In honor of scandal:

    Chappaquidickal

    Idaho ToeTapper

    Cigar

    Oh the last one's already been taken.

    BTW---Speaking of the sport of kings and blue collar progressives-- Why does Portland Meadows run its meeting on Monday and Tuesday during the rainy season? Oregon deserves a quality second tier track in the vein of Canterbury or Delaware Park that actually runs when the sun is out.

  • Yaruna (unverified)
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    Sanks for an article, it'll be useful in my writing service

    , ofcause I'm new in journalism and very thankful for this tips for good interview

  • H Bruce Miller (unverified)
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    I can't believe there's no mention of that great champion, Hanging Chad.

  • Scott Shorr (unverified)
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    Lou Fleming said:

    "BTW---Speaking of the sport of kings and blue collar progressives-- Why does Portland Meadows run its meeting on Monday and Tuesday during the rainy season? Oregon deserves a quality second tier track in the vein of Canterbury or Delaware Park that actually runs when the sun is out."

    I would bet (pun intended) the reason is that they make more money simulcasting to other tracks and off track betting parlors for bets from outside Portland on days those places are not busy than they get from any live betting crowd in Portland on the weekends (when there is more competition for simulcast money across the country). It is too bad. Would be fun to have some live racing in Portland on days people can actually go watch but no one was showing up. Outside of guessing at good horse names and watching the Derby, those under 50-60 generally don't go watch horse racing anymore.

  • Scott Shorr (unverified)
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    Lou Fleming said:

    "BTW---Speaking of the sport of kings and blue collar progressives-- Why does Portland Meadows run its meeting on Monday and Tuesday during the rainy season? Oregon deserves a quality second tier track in the vein of Canterbury or Delaware Park that actually runs when the sun is out."

    I would bet (pun intended) the reason is that they make more money simulcasting to other tracks and off track betting parlors for bets from outside Portland on days those places are not busy than they get from any live betting crowd in Portland on the weekends (when there is more competition for simulcast money across the country). It is too bad. Would be fun to have some live racing in Portland on days people can actually go watch but no one was showing up. Outside of guessing at good horse names and watching the Derby, those under 50-60 generally don't go watch horse racing anymore.

  • Alisa Anderson (unverified)
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    What's this world coming to? You've missed so many obvious slam dunks!

    Ummmm...you know people bet on races? So you missed the best union of politics and racing with: Deficit Spending

    Of course that leaves open all kinds of upbeat versions like Deficit Reduction.

    And you know you ride horses, right? So, probably too subtle would be "Bill" (get it, 'rider to the bill'), or something fancy like "Emergency Spending Rider".

    Adding some more:

    Democratic Carcass Political Animal No Pork Here Outside the Beltway Blue Cajones Good Night, and God Bless You Swing Stake Party Whip Referred to the Stakes 11th Hour Motion My Fellow Americans Return Mitch McConnell To Where the Women are Fast and The Horses are Beautiful Barnburner The Other Red Meat Backroom Broker Fog of War (like Man O' War) Collateral Damage Taxed Without Representation (well, the HORSE is) Black Beauty (for the Prez) Never Before In Human History A Chicken In Every Pot Prohibitionist The Race Card

    <h2>and my personal favorite, for a mare that's always a few lengths ahead (drum roll please)</h2>

    although that only barely edged out "Lewinsky's Spot Pick".

    The one name you would never use is Pelosi, as that would label that horse as an obvious nag.

  • Alisa Anderson (unverified)
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    oo, oooo, ooo, ooo, how did I leave off "Running Without Opposition"?

  • Scott B (unverified)
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    To the above I'll add:

    Deem & Pass October Surprise (do they race horses in october?) Wide Stance Mission Accomplished

    Nice post Novick!

  • Blaine Palmer (unverified)
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    For those who like demographics: Centrist Soccer Mom NASCAR Dad

    If you're into phone banks: Hostile DISCO Strong Yes

    But Steve, my favorite horses, after Seabiscuit, have got to be:

    Pull the Plug Pants Catch Fire.

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