"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Seinfeld, Animal Kingdom, and the Triple Crown

I love horse racing. I know that's a completely random fact about me, but growing up I had the chance to spend a few summers in Ruidoso, N.M. where the family used to pass a day or two at the track. I could have spent the whole summer there learning the ins and outs of handicapping, but fortunately my folks were wiser. I found the whole process fascinating, especially trying to decipher the racing form and follow the statistical trends that would lead to the clues of the eventual winner. Needless to say, I've been hooked ever since. Kentucky Derby Day is must-see TV in my house (hats are optional).

This makes missing this year's live event all the more heartbreaking. Our cable went out (thanks Time Warner) and I was forced to find the race online at the last minute. In case you missed this year's derby, Animal Kingdom, a European horse at 20-1 odds, came from behind down the stretch to claim its first victory on dirt. Amazingly, it was only the horse's fourth career start, the fewest for a Derby winner since Exterminator in 1918.

Whether or not the grass specialist has a chance at the Triple Crown is anyone's guess. Dialed In, the favorite at Churchill Downs, ran the fastest last half mile since Secretariat in 1973, managing to close from last to 8th after a slow start, and might provide the toughest competition of The Preakness. Nehro, the runner-up in in the Race for the Roses, may not race again until the Belmont. Shackleton is another horse which finished fourth at the Kentucky Derby after leading for most of the last half mile and could be stiffer competition at the shorter distance (by the way, is there a rarer skill than calling the action of a live horse race?)

Besides the exhilaration and pageantry, one of the most creative aspects of horse racing is in the names themselves. This led to a game on twitter, well, a couple of games actually, where I am increasingly spending more of my time. One was called #DCDerbyNames (making up horse names having to do with Washington politics) and the other was called #SeinfeldDerby (horse names taken from expressions and/or characters from the TV show Seinfeld).

Since I am a huge Seinfeld fan, I mostly played the second game, although Jim DeMint's Julep, Between Michelle and a Tamale, and Rein In Spending were three of the more clever DC Derby names we came up with.

Below, my friend Charlie (@NotUFatJesus on twitter) and I have compiled a list of what we felt were the best Seinfeld Derby Horse Names. That is to say besides being memorable Seinfeld themes, you could actually imagine these names showing up in a race (speaking of pop culture, there was a horse in this year named Stay Thirsty, My Friend after the Dos XX ad)


1. Serenity Now
2. Master of My Domain
3. Rochelle Rochelle
4. Yada Yada
5. Hate the Drake
6. Indian Giver
7. Bosco
8. Spare a Square
9. On a High Note
10. Del Boca Vista
11. Real and Spectacular
12. Cherish the Cabin
13. Maestro
14. Urban Sombrero
15. Summer of George
16. Top of the Muffin
17. Feats of Strength
18. Unbridled Enthusiasm
19. Man Hands
20. Poppy's Sloppy
21. Newmanium
22. Tippie Toes
23. Rhymes with Delores
24. Hold the Reservation
25. A Horse About Nothing

Coming soon, links to all the pertinent episodes (hopefully).

Note: this was previously posted on Tuesday before blogger.com went down and started having issues.