In spring, thoughts turn to . . . horse names

March 31st, 2007

With the Kentucky Derby just around the bend, Sports Illustrated senior writer Frank DeFord invited National Public Radio listeners to suggest names for the younger siblings of 2006 Derby winner Barbaro. You can hear how he encouraged listeners to play off the names of Barbaro’s sire, Dynaformer, and dam, La Ville Rouge, and how he planned to pass along any good ideas to Barbaro’s owner, Gretchen Jackson.

Horse owners often point out how hard it is to win a major event in any discipline. Breeders know that it’s not much easier to come up with a good, original name, especially considering that more than 5 million Thoroughbreds and Quarter  Horses have been foaled in North America in the past half century.

DeFord announced his favorite names for Barbaro’s siblings – from more than 2,000 submissions — in a follow-up commentary. He received some good suggestions, but one of the best had to be one that stepped outside of DeFord’s guidelines: “Letmrsjacksondoit.”