If there's one thing I know, it's horse racing. Yep, I've studied all the greats: Secretary, Rear Admiral, Seacracker, Man O' Pause, Seattle Sloth; and I know the difference between a good horse and a champion. If there's two things I know, it's horse racing and betting. Fortunately for you and your bank accounts, I'm here to combine those expertises (expertisi?) into one wealth-increasing Kentucky Derby article.
Years of focus on the minutiae of equestrian contests has led me to one, foolproof conclusion: it's all in the name. The better the name, the better chance of winning. Those animals know what you call them, and they'll perform accordingly. They're animals. It's instinctual.
With that in mind, the odds of winning (mine, not the official odds, so calm down) for each horse in the race are below. Enjoy, and send me the residuals.
Dullahan (50/1) -- Look, this horse is just rubbing it's inanity in our faces. Dullahan. Might as well be Lameson or O'Boring or McNothingaboutmylifeismeaningful. There's just no defensible reason for naming a horse (or anything) Dullahan. Whose attention are you trying to get with that name? What was the inspiration for it, the color taupe? Maybe it's the owner's last name; that would make it a legacy title and that would merit some consideration, but just because you have a last name and own some stuff doesn't mean you should name that stuff after yourself. Some names just aren't meant for publicity. Then again...
Hansen (50/1) -- This has gotta be another surname. This one might even be worse than Dullahan, if only because "Hansen" just blends right in where you at least stop to take notice of how banal Dullahan is. At first I was all like "Oh, 'MmmBop! I remember when that was a thing! This must be an ironic name, courtesy of some mustache-having, neckerchief-wearing, Death-Cab-listening hipster. I can get on board with that!" The I realized that the song was by HansOn, not HansEn, leaving me with no explanation other than that the horse has some unsightly facial feature or a third testicle and its owner doesn't want to bring any undue attention to it.
Went The Day Well (50/1) -- Who named this one, Yoda? "Went the day well it did, young Skywalker." Should've named this horse Syntactical Nightmare. Get it? Nightmare? Like a chick horse.
Trinniberg (50/1) -- I just spent 45 minutes trying to deduce what Trinniberg could mean. It yields literally zero non-horse search results on Google. Then it hit me: Brig intern. It's an anagram for "brig intern". Apparently the namer of this steed was once the understudy of a ship's prison guard. Or maybe this is just the worst name ever given to a living thing. Yes, the worst.
Bodemeister (50/1) -- Apparently Stiffler named this one.
Prospective (30/1) -- The word prospective means "likely to happen." In that sense, it would seem all but assured that this one will gallop to victory and claim the coveted Kentucky Derby Trophy.* Then again, it could be referring to anything. Maybe it means the horse is likely to finish the race. That's true. Could mean it's likely to show up at the race. Even more probable. But for all we know it could just mean that it's likely that it's a horse. If the horse had a real prospective shot at winning the race, then they oughtta go with something like Presumptive Favorite. Prospective is just too vague.
*Do they give out a trophy? A medal? A gift certificate? Honest question.
Creative Cause (30/1) -- How? How is this creative? What am I missing here?
Alpha (30/1) -- The word alone carries significant cache, calling to mind many impressive terms like First, Leader, Beginnings, Cereal. It is, however, a superfluously overused term and, as you'll soon see, can't hold up to most of the monikers in the field.
Union Rags (20/1) -- Because "Confederate Robes" was taken.
Take Charge Indy (20/1) -- I like this one. It's not the type of name that wins, but it's the type of name that could place if everything breaks the right way. Take Charge Indy could mean any number of things, but the only thing I can think of when I hear it is this:
And when I see this:
All I can think is, "that's not a cookie!" I think I may love this horse.
Gemologist (15/1) -- This is a really easy spot for a diamond in the rough joke. Not gonna do it though. You guys deserve better than that. Instead I'm gonna go with a did I ever tell you about my uncle the gemologist joke. What's that? Can't say it here? Cuz of the goat cheese part?
I can't tell you that joke because of the goat cheese part.
Daddy Knows Best (15/1) -- I imagine this horse is unbearable in the stables. Always sitting in his recliner, complaining about today's music, grounding the children. But he loves them. In his own way, he loves those kids.
Optimizer (15/1) -- Optimizer became a race horse after a short-lived stint on this show. Racing was just supposed to be an off-season training program for The Eliminator, like when Herschel Walker joined the Olympic Bobsled team, but it turned out to be his calling.
Liaison (12/1) -- Everyone needs a guy who can get them things. Anyone who's ever watched "The Shawshank Redemption" 57 times on TBS knows that. Liaisons are more common than you'd think; your computer is a liaison for information, the guy at Costco is a liaison to those tiny sausages*, hell, your mom was a liaison for the burp that your tiny baby throat wasn't strong enough to force out. Liaisons are great cuz they got the hook-up. For parties.
*Actually just one tiny sausage. It's a sample, not a buffet table.
Daddy Long Legs (12/1) -- Great spider name, great zoot-suit dancing name, great racing name. Watch out for this one.
Done Talking (10/1) -- What! +drops mic+
El Padrino (8/1) -- At first blush, this horse's name put it squarely in the "Unlikely" category, but then I
typed it in to Google Translate remembered all the Spanish I know and realized that it means The Godfather. Imagine being a horse trying to race against a horse that leaves horse heads in beds as messages to those who wrong them. Beat that guy and you could wake up to any horse's head on the pillow next to you. Even your own!
Sabercat (6/1) - If I have to tell you why Sabercat is a contender, the bridge to our friendship is a long one.
Rousing Sermon (9/2) -- My grandfather spent the better part of his life traveling the Western Hemisphere, preaching at big tent revivals and teaching young Panamanian kids how to play basketball. My grandma says that when he preached, even the spiders in the ground repented. Once, he had a heart attack in Bolivia and spent the ambulance trip to the hospital proselytizing to the medics. I never knew that version of my grandpa; the one that spent my childhood tottering around and eating breakfast with my mom in the mornings was a gentle, calm man, but dear Lord, what I wouldn't give to have heard one of those sermons.
I'll Have Another (4/1) -- And when he does, so will I.