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Evolution of Preakness' starters names

Evolution of Preakness' starters namesComing up with a clever name for a thoroughbred can be a challenge — and not just creatively.
While parents simply put their choice of names for their child on a birth certificate and are done, registering a thoroughbred foal is not so easy.
Owners can submit up to six choices in order of preference to The Jockey Club in the registration process. Similar to choosing an online password, the name can't exceed 18 characters, must be available and comply with a lengthy list of guidelines.
And that's before it receives the blessing of The Jockey Club, which last year approved an estimated 26,000 of 36,500 names submitted.
The odds seem to be in an owner's favor, but that doesn't make it easy.
"The reason we have such quality control is to make things very clear to the layman, to the stakeholder, to a trainer, to a bettor," The Jockey Club manager of registration services Andrew Chesser said. "You want to avoid confusion, especially when you're talking about two particular horses that can be racing at the same time and breeding at the same time."
Chesser couldn't explain the 18-character limit other than it being the worldwide standard and added, "18 has just always seemed to work."


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