Famous Racehorse Names

A bay and a gray racehorse battling for the lead.

 marlenka / Getty Images

When you breed or bring home a new horse, you’ll have the chance to choose the perfect name. Finding that right name can take some time and creativity, though. But don’t worry – you don’t have to come up with a completely original name. In fact, it can be helpful to draw some inspiration from other horses. Famous racehorses have fascinating, memorable names. While you won’t want to give your horse the exact same name as a famous racehorse, you can absolutely draw inspiration from your favorite racer’s name.

Top Famous Racehorse Names

If you want to name your horse after greatness, then turn to these most famous racehorses for inspiration:

  • Secretariat
  • Seattle Slew
  • Man o’ War
  • Citation
  • Red Rum
  • Seabiscuit
  • Kelso
  • Native Dancer
  • Affirmed
  • Count Fleet
  • Alydar
  • Dr. Fager
  • Justify
  • Black Caviar
  • American Pharoah
  • Spectacular Bid
  • Eclipse
  • Holy Bull
  • Phar Lap
  • Bold Ruler
  • Zenyatta
  • Sunday Silence
  • Winx
  • War Admiral
  • Ruffian
  • Lost in the Fog
  • Smarty Jones
  • A.P. Indy
  • Barbaro

Tips for Naming Your Horse

There are some important principles to keep in mind when naming your horse. If you’re brainstorming a name that you’ll use to register your horse, then start by reviewing the breed association’s regulations for names. Each breed registry has its own set of strict rules about what types of names it allows. These rules may specify character limits, restricted phrases, and more. You can save yourself some time by learning these requirements before you start brainstorming names.

If you plan on competing your horse, consider choosing a registered or show name that’s easy to pronounce. Names that are tongue twisters or that contain unusual or foreign words will be a real challenge for show ring announcers. Choosing a name that’s easily read and pronounced can help ensure that the announcer can get the name right when calling out results.

When it comes to identifying potential names for your horse, start by looking at your horse’s dam and sire. Many horse owners include aspects of a horse’s parents’ names in his registered name, honoring those horses. This practice also makes it easier for breed enthusiasts and owners to track offspring and recognize bloodlines when they see your horse at a competition or at a race. Plus, it’s a great way to recognize the significance of your horse’s bloodlines.

Once you’ve chosen your horse’s registered name, you’ll need to think about what his barn name should be. A barn name should be short enough that it’s easy to pronounce – usually names with one or two syllables work best. Try to avoid barn names that rhyme with other commands you give, like “whoa” or “no.” If you want to change things up a little, consider experimenting with different spellings of some more common names to give your horse’s title a unique touch.

Famous racehorse names are great sources of inspiration. Maybe some of these horses are in your horse’s bloodlines. You can use these names to help you come up with ideas that you might not otherwise think of. Play around with phrases similar to these names. For instance, if you love the name “Lawyer Ron,” then you might come up with something similar like Legal Eagle, Law of the Land, Lay Down the Law, and more. A single name can inspire dozens of ideas. Add all of these potential names to a running list, then narrow the names down to choose the best option for your horse.

More Famous Racehorse Names for Inspiration

  • Damascus
  • Lawyer Ron
  • Serena’s Song
  • Lava Man
  • Exterminator
  • Arrogate
  • Game On Dude
  • Tabasco Cat
  • Havre de Grace
  • Slew o’ Gold
  • Blushing Groom
  • Bricks and Mortar
  • Thunder Gulch
  • Genuine Risk
  • Gun Runner
  • Gallant Fox
  • Runhappy
  • Raise a Native
  • Seeking the Gold
  • Shanghai Bobby
  • Hail to Reason
  • Big Brown
  • Tonalist
  • Eight Belles
  • Street Sense
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Bernardini
  • Mariah’s Storm
  • Lady Eli
  • Omaha Beach
  • Ferdinand
  • Pulpit
  • Graydar
  • Mineshaft
  • Giant’s Causeway
  • War Emblem
  • Storm Cat
  • I’ll Have Another
  • Conquistador Cielo
  • Go For Wand
  • Skip Away
  • Tiznow
  • Sir Barton
  • Key to the Mint
  • Palace Malice
  • Rachel Alexandra
  • Foolish Pleasure
  • Regret
  • Ghostzapper
  • Assault
  • Personal Ensign
  • Afleet Alex
  • Lady’s Secret
  • Curlin
  • Point Given
  • Wise Dan
  • Silver Charm
  • Easy Goer
  • Lexington
  • Round Table
  • Riva Ridge
  • John Henry

Other Horse Name Ideas

For more horse name ideas, check out: