Derby Horses: What’s in a Name? Tradition, Humor

1. Street Sense (Street Cry?Bedazzle): Breeder/owner James Tafel says there’s no particular reason for the “sense” portion of his colt’s name. The first part, of course, is derived from the name of Street Sense’s sire.

2. Scat Daddy

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1. Street Sense (Street Cry–Bedazzle): Breeder/owner James Tafel says there’s no particular reason for the “sense” portion of his colt’s name. The first part, of course, is derived from the name of Street Sense’s sire.


2. Scat Daddy (Johannesburg–Love Style): Owned by James Scatuorchio & Michael Tabor, the Todd Pletcher trainee was christened after Scatuorchio’s nickname. “Our last name has like nineteen vowels, so growing up everyone called my father, uncle, brothers… everyone was ‘Scat'” Scatuorchio said. Pletcher called the owner “Scat Daddy” and always threatened to name a horse after him, so Scatuorchio finally gave in. 


3. Circular Quay (Thunder Gulch–Circle of Life): Owned and bred by Michael & Doreen Tabor, the colt’s title merges alternate meanings of his sire and dam’s names while mirroring the name of a port in Australia’s Sydney Harbor. Circular Quay the location is a stepping-off point for most attractions based around the harbor and is billed as “an exciting place to be on a warm summer’s day.”


4. Curlin (Smart Strike–Sherriff’s Deputy): The chestnut colt derives his title from part-owner Shirley Cunningham Jr., who chose to name a horse in honor of his great grandfather, Charles Curlin. The human Curlin was a freed slave from western Kentucky who went through military training at Camp Nelson and fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War

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Winner of the 2011 Eclipse Award for Feature/Commentary and the 2008 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Sports Writing, Claire Novak has melded her love for human-interest journalism and the equine breed into a successful Turf writing career. Since her first freelance article on racing was published at BloodHorse.com in 2005, her byline has appeared in the New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and on ESPN.com, among others. She lives near Lexington and, when not writing about racing, can often be found jumping her Thoroughbred, Bob.

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