Here's why Saratoga Special runner-up Noose's name changed

August 14, 2019 01:57pm
Here's why Saratoga Special runner-up Noose's name changed
Photo: Coady Photography

Less than a week after running second in the Saratoga Special (G2), 2-year-old colt Noose has been renamed Scabbard, with the horse’s Equibase profile updated to reflect the change. 

Official charts for the Joseph Sutton homebred’s first two starts – Saturday’s Saratoga Special and a maiden win June 28 at Churchill Downs – list the colt’s name as Scabbard, with a line in the footnotes stating, “Scabbard raced as Noose.”

Alexa Ravit, communications coordinator for The Jockey Club, said Wednesday in an email that “registration transactions, including name changes, are handled as private matters with the owner/agent.”

Ravit cited rule 6D of 
The American Stud Book Principal Rules and Requirements, which states:

“A foal's name may be changed at any time prior to starting in its first race. Ordinarily, no name change will be permitted after a horse has started in its first race or has been used for breeding purposes. However, in the event a name must be changed after a horse has started in its first race, both the old and new names should be used until the horse has raced three times following the name change.”

The name change was first reported Tuesday by freelance journalist Teresa Genaro, writing for The Saratogian newspaper.

Genaro’s column called attention to the racial connotations of the word “noose,” citing a 2014 Los Angeles times piece that said African American people comprised 75% of the extra-legal hangings… in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”

“More recently, the noose has been used as a symbol of intimidation and hate at African-American parades and at sites of school desegregation,” Genaro wrote.

Sutton told Daily Racing Form on Wednesday that he recommended the name change, saying Scabbard was originally named Noose to fit a Western theme.

The More Than Ready colt’s dam is Cowgirl Mally, daughter of Gone West.

“It wasn’t meant to be offensive,” Sutton told DRF. “Honestly, I had no idea it was offensive. …

“I didn’t think or know that there was anything wrong with the name at the time, but I was glad to change it.”

Eddie Keneally trains Scabbard, who has made $94,848 over his first two starts, earning one win and one second-place finish.

The colt broke Saturday under jockey Corey Lanerie as the 5-2 second betting choice and finished runner-up by 3 ¾ lengths to 3-2 favorite Green Light Go.

Scabbard is expected to race next in Churchill Downs' Sept. 14 Iroquois Stakes (G3), regularly the first points-paying race toward the next year's Kentucky Derby.


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