Anne M. Eberhardt

The Name Game: Deadline Set to Name for Free

Owners and breeders have until Feb. 1 to submit names to avoid $100 late fee.

The Jockey Club has issued a reminder to owners and breeders that a valid attempt to name foals of 2011 must be made by Feb. 1 to avoid a $100 late fee.

Names selections can be submitted to The Jockey Club from the registry website or can be submitted via mobile applications developed for the iOS and Android platforms. The "Naming Application" to reserve, change, or claim a name Thoroughbred is available to be downloaded free.

As an aid in selecting a desired name, in December The Jockey Club published a list of approximately 46,000 names released from active use. A majority of the released names are from horses more than 10 years old that have not raced or been used for breeding during the preceding five years. Names selected from the list for re-use are subject to approval by The Jockey Club.

"The Jockey Club's online and mobile resources offer owners and breeders an efficient, convenient method to research and decide on names for their Thoroughbreds," said Matt Iuliano, The Jockey Club's executive vice president and executive director. "The list of recently released names can be reviewed for suggestions and the Online Names Book is an invaluable tool to compare potential choices to currently in-use names."

The list of recently released names and the Online Names Book are updated daily as names are claimed. More information is available at or Registry mobile at

The Jockey Club release said the Interactive Registration is the most efficient means to submit name applications to the registry. TJC said applications submitted through Interactive Registration are preliminarily screened to eliminate direct matches with names unavailable for use and that owners who name their Thoroughbreds through Interactive Registration receive their first choice approximately 75% of the time.

There are a set of rules that are to be followed in naming a Thoroughbred. Some of the most important guidelines pertaining to names not eligible for use can be found under Section "F" within the Naming section of The Jockey Club rules.

They include:
F. The following classes of names are not eligible for use:
1. Names consisting of more than 18 letters (spaces and punctuation marks count as letters);
2. Names consisting entirely of initials such as C.O.D., F.O.B., etc.;
3. Names ending in "filly," "colt," "stud," "mare," "stallion," or any similar horse-related term;
4. Names consisting entirely of numbers. Numbers above thirty may be used if they are spelled out;
5. Names ending with a numerical designation such as "2nd" or "3rd," whether or not such a designation is spelled out;
6. Names of living persons unless written permission to use their name is on file with The Jockey Club;
7. Names of persons no longer living unless approval is granted by The Jockey Club based upon a satisfactory written explanation submitted to the Registrar;
8. Names of racetracks or graded stakes races;
9. Names clearly having commercial, artistic or creative significance;
10. Names that are suggestive or have a vulgar or obscene meaning; names considered in poor taste; or names that may be offensive to religious, political or ethnic groups;
11. Names that appear to be designed to harass, humiliate or disparage a specific individual, group of individuals or entity;
12. Names that are currently active either in racing or breeding (see Rule6(E));
13. Names of winners in the past 25 years of grade one stakes races;
14. Permanent names. The list of criteria to establish a permanent name is as follows:
a. Horses in racing's Hall of Fame;
b. Horses that have been voted Horse of the Year;
c. Horses that have won an Eclipse Award;
d. Horses that have won a Sovereign Award (Canadian Champions);
e. Annual leading sire and broodmare sire by progeny earnings;
f. Cumulative money winners of $2 million or more;
g. Horses that have won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes, The Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Breeders' Cup Classic or the Breeders' Cup Turf; and
h. Horses included in the International List of Protected Names.
15. Names similar in spelling or pronunciation to the classes of names listed in Rule 6(F) 6 - 14 above.
16. Names of horses previously recorded in The American Stud Book by the same sire or out of the same dam as the foal for which the attempt is made.
17. Names of horses appearing within the first five generations of the pedigree of the foal for which the attempt is made.