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How the Kentucky Derby horses got their names


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The names for the 19 horses running in the 140th Kentucky Derby were inspired by a diverse set of people, horses and places, from television stars to the survivors of the attacks on the Boston Marathon.

By post position order, here are the explanations for each name. The No. 1 stall in the starting gate will be empty after Hoppertunity was scratched.

2. VICAR’S IN TROUBLE: Sire is Into Mischief and Vicar is a name on the dam’s side.

3. HARRY’S HOLIDAY: His sire is Harlan’s Holiday.

4. UNCLE SIGH: Named for Uncle Si Robertson of reality TV show “Duck Dynasty”; colt’s co-owner is a fan of show. He donates at least 10 percent of his horses’ earnings to charities supporting injured military veterans.

5. DANZA: Sire is Street Boss and one of the owners says he’s a tough colt; Tony Danza, best known for his roles on the TV comedies “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss?” served as human inspiration.

6. CALIFORNIA CHROME: Owners picked name out of a hat; chrome refers to the bay colt’s coloring.

7. SAMRAAT: Owned by Leonard Riggio, chairman of Barnes & Noble bookstore chain.

8. WE MISS ARTIE: Named for late family friend of owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

9. GENERAL A ROD: No connection to baseball’s Alex Rodriguez.

10. VINCEREMOS: Name is Spanish word that means “we will overcome.”

11. WILDCAT RED: Sire is D’wildcat and an owner though his coat looked red when colt was younger.

12. DANCE WITH FATE: Sire is Two Step Salsa and dam is Flirting With Fate.

13. CHITU: Trainer Bob Baffert says colt is named for a standout horse from China and it’s pronounced “Chee-too.”

14. MEDAL COUNT: Son of Dynaformer, who sired ill-fated 2006 Derby winner Barbaro.

15. TAPITURE: Extension of sire’s name Tapit.

16. INTENSE HOLIDAY: Sire is Harlan’s Holiday and dam is Intensify. Chris Mara, senior VP of player personnel for NFL’s Giants, is a partner in Starlight Racing, which owns the colt. His daughters are actresses Rooney and Kate Mara.

17. COMMANDING CURVE: Sire’s name is Master Command.

18. CANDY BOY: Sire is Candy Ride and the name Candy Girl is on its side of the breeding.

19. RIDE ON CURLIN: Sire is two-time Horse of the Year Curlin and dam is Magical Ride.

20. WICKED STRONG: Named for victims of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings and a nod to Bostonians’ habit of using “wicked” as an adjective.



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