Before Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome could race, his name had to be approved by The Jockey Club, a breed registry that maintains a database of more than 400,000 names certified to thoroughbreds in the breeding and racing industries of the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Here’s how the naming process of thoroughbreds works.
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Owner submits a name
A name request for a living or unborn equine is submitted to The Jockey Club via hard copy, online or mobile device. The Jockey Club Naming Application can suggest names using filters such as “contains.”
Availability is checked
The name is compared with active and reserved names listed in The Jockey Club’s name database to see whether it is already taken or sounds similar to an existing name.
Rules are reviewed
The name must also meet several criteria including:
And the winner is . . .
The name is then approved and certified. If a reserved name is not assigned to a specific horse within one year or re-reserved, it is kicked back into the pool of available names.
• 18 characters or less • Not vulgar or obscene • Not all initials or numbers • Not in horse racing’s Hall of Fame • Not on the International List of Protected Names* • Written permission if named after a person
*includes names of internationally renowned stallions, broodmares and champions of racing.
The 2014 Preakness contenders
Bayern California Chrome Dynamic Impact General a Rod Kid Cruz Pablo Del Monte Ria Antonia Ride On Curlin Ring Weekend Social Inclusion
All of the 2014 Preakness contenders were born in 2011. At that time, these words in racehorse names were:
Not so popular
SOURCE: The Jockey Club, International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. GRAPHIC: Ted Mellnik, Cristina Rivero and Ben Chartoff - The Washington Post. Published May 17, 2014.