Some of the Most Unusual Triple Crown Winning Horse Names in History.

When Rich Geezers' Whims Take the Stand

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From Silly to Weird: What’s in a Name?

They say if you want to own thoroughbred racehorses it takes a large fortune to lose a small fortune. Unless you get very lucky, it’s an entrepreneurial pastime for the rich and famous that gets them into fancy parties replete with open bars but costs them beaucoup bucks in the long run. One of the most interesting aspects of horse racing is the unusual Triple Crown horse names, which often have unique and creative origins.

And, while I never turn away free drinks, I prefer to earmark my investments into consumables and real estate – things like food, clothing, and a roof over my head. But let’s talk about the best thoroughbreds of all time, the cream of the crop of the horse races schedule and the reason why I bet on horse racing… the Triple Crown winners,those that gallop in the rarified air of having won the three biggest races on the circuit – the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont.

Handicapping horses is not a young man’s game. As a matter of fact, the old-timers call anyone in their 50s a kid. But once the Derby rolls around, you’ll find a bunch of young bucks walking around with jet-black feathered fedoras chomping on old cigars, flashing their pinky rings, and telling anyone who will listen why they like the favorite.

Have you ever wondered what goes through a horse owner’s mind when they’re naming their prized Thoroughbred? Apparently, some of them have a sense of humor, or maybe they’re just trying to mess with the announcers at the racetrack. Unusual Triple Crown horse names are a thing, and they range from the silly to the downright weird.

But it’s not just the wacky names that catch our attention. Some Triple Crown winners have been named after historical figures, places, or even their sire and dam. The likes of Secretariat, Affirmed, and American Pharoah may sound more traditional, but they still hold a special place in horse racing history. Whether it’s a clever pun or a nod to the horse’s lineage, there’s something fascinating about the stories behind these unusual Triple Crown horse names.

Everyone’s an expert come Derby time, but let’s recall some of the most interesting names ever to win horse racing’s most cherished prize…the Triple Crown.

Wow. Makes you want to bet on horse racing, huh?

Sir Barton (1919) 

Most people go their entire lives without ever receiving the distinction of being awarded the title of Sir. The one that leaps immediately to mind is Sir Elton John. He was appointed the title after being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for his prolific career as one of the greatest musical artists to ever tickle the ivories.

But here we have a horse, a horse for the luvva gawd, with the same title. I’m just wondering how he was able to have tea with the queen. Life’s unfair, kids.

War Admiral (1937) 

Now here’s a name I can get behind. There are admirals and then there are war admirals. It’s like being a wartime consigliere in the mob, as opposed to a peace-time consigliere who acts more like a diplomat than a bare-knuckles brawler looking to eliminate all enemies of the family.

War Admiral did indeed eliminate the competition when he won by 1 3/4 lengths at Churchill Downs, defeated Pompoon by a head at the Preakness, and dusted the field by three lengths at the Belmont, breaking the track record at the time.

Assault (1946) 

Perfect name for a legendary horse. I’m gonna assault dat ass. And he did indeed tear the competition a new one by winning the Kentucky Derby by eight lengths, the largest margin of victory ever at that time. He went on to win the Preakness and Belmont by lesser margins but will go down as one of the greatest to ever gallop and with a name that is unrivaled in the years of horse racing history.

Secretariat (1973)

On the Mount Olympus of thoroughbreds, there has to be a supreme ruler, a Zeus if you will. And that distinction belongs to the one and only Secretariat. But what the hell is a secretariat?

Sounds like secretary, someone taking notes, all up in everyone’s business, and always having written documentation of every misdeed and fucked up thing anyone ever did. I can imagine this one walking around the barn asking every other horse, “Why the long face?” Yeah, a real joy to have around.

Well, Secretariat was no joy for his rivals as he not only obliterated the competition but set records in all three legs of the Triple Crown. A real pain in the ass that one was, but when the starting gate swung open, there was no better horse in the world, and there hasn’t been once since.

These unusual Triple Crown horse names made history and shaped the future of horse racing.

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