Kentucky Derby: Horses We’d Bet On Based Solely On Their Names

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Time to polish your Pimm’s Cups, people: The Kentucky Derby is upon us once again. This year, contenders for this year’s wreath include “Candy Boy,” “Hoppertunity,” and “Vicar’s in Trouble.” For whatever reason, racehorse owners seem to enjoy making the announcers as uncomfortable when they’re choosing names for their horses.


But there are some rules: The Jockey Club says the names can’t be too explicit or “in poor taste.” Sadly, Hugh G Dildeaux and Pee Nesenvy will never grace the Preakness stakes.

But a few fun ones do make it through. Compiled for your enjoyment: the greatest racehorse names OF ALL TIME, from least to most delightful.

12. The Winner

He competed in the 1896 derby and finished second to last. It’s the equestrian equivalent of people who name their kids “Princess” or “Benz.”

11. Onoitsmymothernlaw

Like most of the names on the list, this one is particularly funny if you imagine an announcer saying it. “Onoitsmymotherinlaw is in hot pursuit!”


10. Horlicks

Horlicks won the 1989 Japan Cup, and the following year one named Better Loosen Up claimed the title.


9. Burgoo King

Like Horlicks, this is mostly funny because the winner three years later was named Whopper.


8. Genuine Risk

In this case, the name paid off: She won the 1980 Kentucky Derby.

7. T V Commercial

Maybe the owners were hoping for a sponsor tie-in?

6. In Front

Again, this one messes with announcers—”It’s In Front in last place and Onoitsmymotherinlaw in first!”


5. Flat Fleet Feet

Say that one five times fast.

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

IMAGE: It's not really a derby unless you have a gigantic hat on. CREDIT: Getty Images

4. Gay Crusader

We tip our outlandish hats in England’s direction for this forward-thinking name of a horse who raced in the 1917 English Triple Crown. (Yes, we know it technically meant something else back then.)


3. Gold Shower

Did this mean the same thing in 1947 that it does now? If not, what exactly were they going for?


2. Iron Liege

This horse and his fellow derby winners “Gallahadion” and “Flying Ebony” sound like they could have formed a pretty solid crime-fighting trio.


1. Potoooooooo

The Earl of Abingdon asked a stable boy to write the horse’s nickname, Potatoes, on the feed bin. When the Earl walked by later, he realized the young man had misheard it as “pot-8-O’s.” He was so tickled that he changed its name, and the horse went on to compete professionally as Pot-8-Os or simply Potoooooooo.