Behind the names of certain horses

Advising Anna – “Joe Howard once became so irritated at the free advice he was getting from his spouse that he called a filly Advising Anna. The wife was singularly unappreciative of the honor.” (Arthur Daley / The New York Times, 01/25/1948)

Badge – “The good little race horse Badge, of a few years ago, got his name in a rather romantic way. When he was a young horse he was a small, weedy little thing with no pretentions to class. He was sold for a song to a poor man. One day a friend asked his owner why he had bought such an ugly, apparently no-account, animal. ‘Oh,’ replied the owner, ‘I don’t know why I bought him, unless it was to get a badge to the race course.’ ‘That’s an idea,’ replied his friend. ‘Call him Badge.’ It was not long before the little horse grew into a good-looking thoroughbred, and when he was entered in a race he won it with ease. Afterward he became one of the best horses on the turf, and now is numbered among the fifty greatest winners.” (The Washington Post, 04/12/1903)

Bug Bug (daughter of Champion Top Flight) – “…that Whitney 2-year-old which bears the quaint name of Bug Bug was so named because Sonny Whitney, of the United States Air Force, was on duty at a point in Africa by that name…” (Shirley Povich / The Washington Post, 10/03/1943)

Coaltown – “The subject of Coaltown brings to mind that he was named for Leslie B. Combs II, master of Spendthrift Farm and a close friend of [Warren] Wright’s. Combs often refers to himself as being ‘a country boy from Coaltown.’ ‘Coaltown,’ sometimes spelled as ‘Coletown,’ is a tiny settlement in Fayette County near Belair Farm, birthplace of Combs.” (Paul Lowry / Los Angeles Times, 06/18/1950)

Domino – “The mighty Domino, the largest winning horse in American turf history, received his name from his color, being a black horse, and, as a consequence, was so called for the masquerade costume instead of the popular game, as many supposed.” (The Washington Post, 03/12/1905)

Commando – “Commando, the premier two-year-old of two seasons past, was named because of Mr. Keene’s sympathy for the Boers. He called another of his horses Outlander for the same reason.” (The Washington Post, 04/12/1903)

Imp – “Imp, the idol of race-goers two years ago, was given her name because of her owner’s fondness for short names easily spoken.” (The Washington Post, 04/12/1903)

Maggie B. B. – “The great producer, Maggie B. B., owned by L. and J. Kittson, of Philadelphia, was bred by J. B. and J. M. Clay, of this county. She is twenty-two years of age, and was named in honor of Maggie B. Beck, a daughter of Senator J. B. Beck.” (Louisville Courier-Journal, 08/11/1889)

Middleground – “Middleground got his name because he was considered the second best of the 2-year-old crop on the Kleberg ranch in ’49. Air Lift, brother to Assault was No. 1 and Beau Max was No. 3. Air Lift was destroyed after suffering an injury in the first race of his career, so Middleground is the chief hope of the Texas plains for a Derby win this year.” (Paul Lowry / Los Angeles Times, 03/26/1950)

Miss Rushin – “Miss Rushin, dam of Ponder, got her name because she was foaled on January 2.” (Paul Lowry / Los Angeles Times, 05/22/1949)

Remp – “Remp represented the initials of R. E. M. Porter, Byron McClelland’s betting commissioner.” (Louisville Courier-Journal, 02/17/1896)

Revoked – “There are names whose significance rests in some particular incident rather than in the tags of their immediate ancestors. One striking example followed the sale of a colt by Dr. Eslie Asbury to Max Hirsch for $41,000. But Max claimed the horse was unsound and returned it to the original owner. The aggrieved doctor thereupon named the colt Revoked, who became a solid winner.” (Arthur Daley / The New York Times, 01/25/1948)

Salvator – “Salvator, one of the best horses that ever ran in America, and the hero of the famous match with Tenny, was named after his old groom.” (The Washington Post, 04/12/1903)

Scioto – “Imp’s full sister, Scioto, who promises to follow in the steps of the black mare, was named after a small river on which the home of her owner is located.” (The Washington Post, 04/12/1903)

Sortie’s Son – “A son of Sortie, owned by the once famous Valdina Farm, proved another tough nut to crack. After submitting 30 names, each being turned down, The Jockey Club was given the job of naming the horse. It selected ‘Sortie’s Son,’ and the colt developed into a prime performer.” (Walter Haight / The Washington Post 01/05/1954)

Spendthrift – “Many years ago Dan Swigert, the grandfather of Leslie Combs, became so annoyed at his wife’s extravagance on a shopping trip that he decided to teach her a lesson by naming a new colt Spendthrift. But in true wifely fashion she had the last word. She tossed the harpoon back at him in lady-like style by naming Spendthrift’s full brother Miser.” (Arthur Daley / The New York Times, 01/25/1948)

Theory – “Theory, the main Derby hope of Calumet this year, is in Florida. It is interesting to note how he came by his name. Calumet crossed the strains that brought them Citation, and thus hit upon Theory. Theory is by Pensive out of No Blues by Bull Lea. Pensive was by Hyperion. Citation is by Bull Lea out of Hydroplane II, a Hyperion mare.” (Paul Lowry / Los Angeles Times, 02/05/1950)

Whopper – “This is how Whopper, winner of the San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita two years ago, happened to be a blank in the Kentucky Derby entries of 1935 – the year of Omaha’s conquest. After a number of names had been submitted by Hal Price Headley, and rejected, the hugeness of the horse finally inspired the only suitable name.” (Paul Lowry / Los Angeles Times, 10/16/1938)

Yellow Tail – “Yellow Tail, who won one good race, and the next time out ran like a cur, was given his name because he has a bunch of light yellow hairs in his tail.” (The Washington Post, 04/12/1903)

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