It's Derby Time!

This Saturday, people in very large hats are going to gather around an oval of dirt to watch tiny men beat horses to make them run. I know I might be watching. Might you?

On to the point: racehorses have some weird names. Below, I review and grade the list of contenders as I found it Monday night — in wacky “ALPHABETICAL” order!

A Little Warm

That's a thermometerThere are exactly two things that could pop into your head when you see a horse name like A Little Warm. The first is a horse cadaver that’s been sitting around long enough to have lost almost all its heat. It’s just “a little warm” compared to the ground it will soon assimilate into. The second thing is your mom telling you you have a fever when you were kid: “You’re a little warm.” And so the list begins with death and illness. C-


And we already have a nonsense entry! Aikenite is just like Kryptonite, only instead of little fragments of the exploded planet Krypton, it’s little fragments of the city of Aiken, South Carolina. D+

American Lion

Wrong. The American lion (Panthera leo atrox) has been extinct for 11,000 years. What you have there is a horse. D

Awesome Act

This is a guy getting shot out of a cannon into the mouth of a humpback whale, then shooting out of the blowhole on a surfboard — all while solving a Rubik’s cube — as represented by a horse. C+You'd think this would get a better grade


I bet this guy’s other horses are named Chewing With Your Mouth Open and Whining For A Candy Bar In The Checkout Aisle. D-

Caracortado Taco car

I have no idea what Caracortado means, but it’s an anagram of taco car road.
“Sir, I’m going to have to write you a ticket for driving a Honda Civic on this road.
This road is for taco cars only.”
“Well, officer, it seems to me that you’re driving a Crown Victoria, which is hardly a taco car itself.”
“Well I guess I’ll have to write myself a ticket then, won’t I? Gonna run outta tickets at this rate.” C


Connemara is the name of a district in Ireland, and of a breed of pony which, according to Wikipedia, “has a short, attractive head,” if you’re into that kind of thing. Seems to me that naming a horse after a pony is kind of like naming a person after a chimp. D

Conveyance Ok, so maybe it doesn't work for everything

I’ve long dreamt of having a brewery and making Beer brand beer. Get this: it’s ordinary, crappy beer that comes in a white can with “BEER” printed in a simple black font. No gimmicks, no graphics; just plain, utilitarian packaging. The guy who named his horse Conveyance drinks for free at my brewery. B+

Dean’s Kitten

“Dean’s Kitten” sounds like a term used to describe a young woman who sleeps her way into/through college. It’s not an honest or wholesome way of getting ahead, but then again, neither is horse racing. A

Devil May Care

For a brief moment, I thought Dean’s Kitten was the greatest gift the Kentucky Derby gods could give me. Then I discovered Devil May Care. Now this is a name with some depth. It succinctly expresses the uncertainties in life: sure, the devil may care, but it’s just as likely that he doesn’t. Alternatively, the name might be advice for anyone having a hard time getting attention. Your family? Your friends? They don’t care if you made it through Pipe World in Mario 3 without losing a single life. But you know who might? The devil.

The only negative thing I have to say about Devil May Care is that it’s not Devil Day Care. A+Say what you want, but those are competitive rates.

Discreetly Mine

I’m guessing this horse was named by that Wikipedia editor who’s hot for ponies. Seriously, if you name anything “Discreetly Mine”, I’m going to assume you screw it. F

Drosselmeyer Passenger skull

Drosselmeyer was a character in The Nutcracker who gave out toys or something. I don’t care. It’s a boring name. I’m going to go ahead and rename this horse Skull Pilot. Is it a skull that flies a plane, or is it a little tiny dude who flies a skull? Dudes: flying skull. A++


Well, we already have a horse named after a place in Ireland, so I say Dublin takes its name from the city of Dublin, Ohio, world headquarters of Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. Nothing says “winning a race” quite like a Baconator. B


Endorsement could learn a lot from Dublin. Dublin is a shoo-in for a Wendy’s endorsement. Endorsement just looks like it’s begging. C-


YES. Homeboykris is sure to warm it up, because that’s what he was born to do. If you’re anyone but the person who named this horse, you are not the best thing-namer in the world. A++ This horse will make you bump, bump wiggle and shake your rump.

Ice Box

If you hear a weird noise, it’s just me suppressing the urge to make a Michael Dean Perry joke. Actually, Ice Box is a fitting name for a horse. You put food in an ice box; you put food in a horse. Ice falls at a rate of 32 feet per second per second; horses fall at a rate of 32 feet per second per second. It’s airtight. C


Interactif sounds like some crappy software company that went belly-up after 4 months of operation in 1996, doesn’t it? F

Jackson BendI like bending as a friend.

I have to assume that this horse was named after a trademark dance move of Michael Jackson’s. Or perhaps “Jackson Bend” refers to a specific exercise in the calisthenics routine General Stonewall Jackson made his troops perform every morning. Either way, this horse reflects the quiet majesty of dudes bending. C

Line of David

David was a human. This is a horse. Someone further back along the line has some explaining to do. D

Lookin at Lucky

Aside from the spelling error, I kinda like this one. It has a certain feel of defeatism to it. This horse isn’t lucky. No, it’s looking at some other, more lucky horse. Lookin at Lucky is the embodiment of abject failure. The long face of meritless despair. The equine equivalent of the Washington Generals.

I’m taking off points for not being named Meritless Despair. C-

Make Music for Me

So demanding. I can just picture the house of the person who came up with Make Music for Me: there’s a bird named Wash the Dishes for Me, a cat named Get Me a Taco, and a goldfish named Hey, Go Force the Cat to Get Me a Taco. D

Mission Impazible

This is the most horrible name on this list (and probably across most other lists) by far. Sure, it would be easy to rant about what the hell Impazible is supposed to mean, but that would get us nowhere. I am a man of solutions, so I’m rechristening this horse Pterodactyl Gun. It’s a gun that fires pterodactyls. A+++ Suddenly I love war!

Noble’s Promise

A quandary: is Noble’s Promise simply a bland, generic name? Or is it a thinly veiled request for an examination of the assumption that the privileged classes in a system of hereditary rule are somehow intrinsically more honest than the ill-bred plebs beneath them?

It’s a bland, generic name. C

Paddy O’Prado

Coming into this, I had no idea that horse namers were so obsessed with Ireland. By now, when we’ve come to Paddy O’Prado (which is slightly less stereotypically Irish-sounding than Mick McMickerson), I just don’t have any tolerance left in me. D- Nice bounce pass, Stegosaur!


This poor horse was meant to be broken. D

Sidney’s Candy

Most children love chocolate bars and lollipops. Sidney loves horse meat. B

Stately Victor

This definitely isn’t Victor of Aveyron, the feral French child. No, this is a stately Victor. He dresses in lavish garments and struts about his manor sipping port while reciting Yeats with a refined accent — that is, when he’s not out foxhunting. Snob. D+ I bet he has a hard time palm muting.

Super Saver

They’ll try to make you believe this is a horse, but it’s actually a coupon book. Ooh, look! $.40 off frozen crinkle-cut carrots! A


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