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What's In A Name? Seize the Night, Someday Is Today, Caravel, Que Sera Sir Ralph, Heresy

Andrea Branchini

As for intriguing names of winning horses, that was the week that was.

As for intriguing names of winning horses, that was the week that was.

Let's start with the seminal power of those two immortal little words Carpe Diem ('Seize The Day'} from Ancient Rome prince of poets Horace (65-8 BC)–also responsible for Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori ('It is sweet and fitting to die for the homeland'), written only a few years after having run away, throwing the shield on the ground, at the battle of Philippi (42 BC).

Two horses creatively honored the WinStar stallion Carpe Diem (by Giant's Causeway out of Rebridled Dreams by Unbridled's Song): Churchill Downs 5-14 2yo winner SEIZE THE NIGHT (by Carpe Diem out of Candle Maker by Tapit) cleverly switched day with night with some help from his dam's name, while Charles Town 5-13 3yo winning filly SOMEDAY IS TODAY (by Carpe Diem out of Any Day Now by Smart Strike) sounds like an eloquent exhortation based on both father's and mother's names.

Then we have the nautical congruity of the name of Pimlico's The Very One S. triumphant speed merchant CARAVEL (by Mizzen Mast out of Zeezee Zoomzoom by Congrats). Caravels, Portuguese-developed ships that were “agile and easy to navigate” (according to Wikipedia), ventured across the oceans in the 13th century with notorious epoch-making results. The mizzen mast is the aft-most (or last) mast of many sailing ships, lower in height and well suited to carry a relatively small lateen (triangular) sail in those adventurous caravels.

The name of Golden Gate 3-year-old winner QUE SERA SIR RALPH (by Haynesfield out of Norah's Kitten by Kitten's Joy) is a phonetical little masterpiece of wordplay–Doris Day would approve of it and maybe smile her famous smile.

Down Under winner HERESY (AUS) {by Street Boss out of Montsegur {Aus} by New Approach {Ire}) carries a cunning name. The Chateau de Montsegur is a former fortress in the Ariege department in southern France. Its ruins are the site of a razed stronghold of the Cathars, unorthodox Christians that were persecuted as heretics by the Catholic Church between the 12th and the 14th centuries. Godolphin namers, do not make me work this hard–this was a tough one, I almost missed it.

And, last but absolutely not least, we have our brilliant Preakness winner. A few people have noticed a possible link with a precious Napa Valley Chardonnay–and this number includes the national daily newspaper USA TODAY, who ran a story before the race about the 10 Preakness participants, ranking their names for “originality, prestige and more” (Concert Tour was first, the winner fourth). The ultimate origin of the very name ROMBAUER is not clear and may be never known, but, in any case, the name has a great sound to it: it evokes 'roar' and 'rumble' and 'blast'. It is greatly suited to a sporting spectacle: not for nothing, “Rombo Di Tuono” ('Roar of Thunder') was the nickname of Italian soccer legendary goal scorer Gigi Riva. Never ask for whom the crowd roars: it roars for the winner, dark horse or not.

5th-Churchill Downs, $99,058, Msw, 5-14, 2yo, 5f, :58.81, ft, head.
SEIZE THE NIGHT (c, 2, Carpe Diem–Candle Maker, by Tapit) Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $57,488. O-Willis Horton Racing LLC; B-Cove Springs Farm LLC (KY); T-Dallas Stewart.

Someday Is Today, f, 3, Carpe Diem–Any Day Now, by Smart Strike. Charles Town, 5-13, (S), 6 1/2f, 1:19.94. Lifetime
Record: 2-1-1-0, $26,145. B-Schiano Racing Inc. & Carpe Diem Syndicate (WV). *$50,000 Ylg '19 FTKFEB; $30,000 Ylg '19 FTKOCT

THE VERY ONE S., $100,000, Pimlico, 5-14, 3yo/up, f/m, 5fT, :56.21, fm.
1–CARAVEL, 122, f, 4, Mizzen Mast–Zeezee Zoomzoom, by Congrats. ($330,000 RNA 3yo '20 WANOCT). O/B/T-Elizabeth M Merryman (PA); J-Florent Geroux. $60,000. Lifetime Record: 7-5-0-2, $212,872.

Que Sera Sir Ralph, g, 3, Haynesfield–Norah's Kitten, by Kitten's Joy. Golden Gate Fields, 5-14, 1 1/16mT, 1:47.03. Lifetime Record: 8-1-0-2, $31,154. B-Richard James & Roberto Gonzalez (CA).

Heresy (Aus), f, 2, Street Boss–Montsegur (Aus) (GSW-Aus, $267,703), by New Approach (Ire). Morphettville, 5-15, David Coles AM S.-G3 ($99k), 1200mT, 1:10.78. B-Godolphin Australia (NSW). *1ST STAKES WIN. 1ST GROUP WIN.

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