By BEN WALKER
AP National Writer
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - When it comes to picking a Kentucky Derby
favorite, a lot of people simply play the name game. Be it cute,
curious or catchy, that can be the deciding factor.
A look at how the 20 horses set to run Saturday got their names,
listed by post position:
1. Cool Coal Man. His sire was Mineshaft, but the owner "tried
a million names and couldn't pull one," trainer Nick Zito said
Friday. "I had it. I thought he was a cool horse."
2. Tale of Ekati. Owner Charles Fipke discovered a diamond mine
in a remote Canadian area called Ekati.
3. Anak Nakal. Owner Kassem Masri said the phrase means
"mischievous child" in Indonesian.
4. Court Vision. Hoops related. Co-owner Kenny Troutt runs a
youth championship basketball team that travels all over.
5. Eight Belles. The only filly in the field gets her name from
the summer home Eight Bells in Maine, where painter Andrew Wyeth
lived. His family based it on the painting "Eight Bells" by
6. Z Fortune. Owner Ahmed Zayat likes names that begin with Z.
7. Big Truck. His sire was Hook and Ladder. Owner Eric Fein
figured the firefighting theme was a perfect fit.
8. Visionaire. He was the first horse bought after his owners
formed a group called Vision Racing.
9. Pyro. The only true wild-card name on the track. It has no
connection to his sire or dam or anything else. His team just liked
the way it sounded.
10. Colonel John. Army reserve Lt. Colonel John Geiber spent
time in Iraq and has worked several years for one of the co-owners.
11. Z Humor. Another of Ahmed Zayat's entries.
12. Smooth Air. Easy one here: His sire was Smooth Jazz, his dam
was Air France.
13. Bob Black Jack. Co-owner Tim Kasparoff knows his way around
the poker table.
14. Monba. The pairing of sire Maria's Mon and dam Hamba.
15. Adriano. Owner-breeder Don Adams' middle name is Adrian.
16. Denis of Cork. The owners have a priest friend named Denis
Casey who grew up in County Cork, Ireland.
17. Cowboy Cal. Houston Texans owner Bob McNair's entry was
named for son Cal. As a teen, he wore cowboy boots and a young
cancer patient the family knew took to calling him "Cowboy Cal."
18. Recapturetheglory. The co-owners revisit the past, when
their colt Risen Star finished third in the 1988 Kentucky Derby,
then won the Preakness and Belmont.
19. Gayego. Inspired by the Galicia region of Spain, where a
resident is a Gallego. The owners have family from the area. To
make the horse's name easier for track announcers to say, they
changed the double-L spelling to the phonetically correct "y"
20. Big Brown. UPS is a client of minority owner Paul Pompa Jr.
Convenient, too, since United Parcel Service Inc. employs 20,560
people in the Louisville area, its biggest hub.
AP Racing Writer Beth Harris contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)