In horse racing, there is a wonderful tradition of strange names on full display during the Kentucky Derby. Consider, if you will, the past three winners of the iconic race: American Pharaoh, California Chrome, and the comparatively conservatively dubbed Orb. This year's event is no different, but out of all of the oddities (you could root for Danzing Candy, or perhaps Oscar Nominated seems like a better pick to you), there is possibly no better name among this year's Kentucky Derby horses than Suddenbreakingnews.
Suddenbreakingnews is currently ranked 12th out of the 20 horses that will run in the Kentucky Derby on May 7. The 3-year-old is coming off of a Southwest Stakes win on Feb. 15, and based on the bay gelding's veteran trainer (Donnie Von Hemel) and jockey (Luis Quinonez), Suddenbreakingnews could be an, erm, dark horse in the 2016 derby.
But more importantly to people not in the horse world, Suddenbreakingnews also has a lineage of bizzaro family names. His sire is Mineshaft, and his dam is Uchitel (sired by Afleet Alex, natch). But who knew that the love (or forced copulation) of Mineshaft and Uchitel would lead to the greatness that is the name Suddenbreakingnews? Oh, and the horse isn't bad, either.
So why is his name Suddenbreakingnews? Owner Samuel Henderson initially wanted the name Breaking News for the gelding, but it was rejected by the Jockey Club because two other thoroughbreds had been registered under the name. So Henderson added "Sudden" and subtracted any spaces, and Suddenbreakingnews was born. Henderson told Daily Racing Form that he isn't a news junkie, but just liked the name.
Hmm. Well, though that seems like a plausible enough story, there has to be some sort of subconscious messaging that went into Henderson's naming, right? It can't be that simple for a name that awesome. It could be a commentary on the horse's racing style, which is a slow start and a fast finish, thus a sudden breakthrough in the race.
But my chief theory is that it's a commentary on the 24-hour news cycle and our constant need to feel like we're in the know immediately. Or maybe Henderson is actually the pseudonym of disgraced NBC anchor Brian Williams, who has at once wanted to leave reporting behind and can't seem to let it go. Or, at the very least, Henderson thought it would be hilarious to see "Breaking News: Suddenbreakingnews wins the Kentucky Derby" flashed across the lower-third of most cable TV stations. And it really would be.