The Best Racing Nicknames for National Nickname Day

Pop Culture
Zenyatta is but one of the stars of racing that has a well-known nickname. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Everyone loves a good nickname. It’s no wonder that at a time where there’s seemingly a “national (fill in the whatever thing you want to fill in) day,” there’s a National Nickname Day. That day is today, Sept. 27.

Over the years, horse racing fans, turf writers, and other industry participants have come up with some of the most memorable nicknames for great horses, legendary personalities, and even racetracks. With that in mind, we put together a list of some of racing’s greatest nicknames.


“Big Red” - Man o’ War and Secretariat

“Mr. Longtail” - Whirlaway

“The Sultan of Saratoga” - Fourstardave

“The Bull” - Holy Bull

“The Queen” and  “Queen Z” - Zenyatta

“The Grey Ghost” - Native Dancer

Beholder aka "Queen B" (Eclipse Sportswire)

“Wonder Horse” and “Red Terror” - Phar Lap

“Queen B” - Beholder

“The Iron Lady” - Lady’s Secret

“The Mighty Atom” - War Admiral

“Old Bones” - Exterminator

“Chocolate Soldier” - Equipoise

“Nelly” - Black Caviar

“The Fox of Belair” - Gallant Fox

“The Club-Footed Comet” - Assault

“The Big Cy” - Citation


“The Iceman” - George Woolf

“Red” and “The Cougar” - Johnny Pollard

“The Maestro” - Angel Cordero

“Big Money Mike” - Mike Smith

“Steady Eddie” - Eddie Maple

“Johnny V.” - John Velazquez

“Jersey Joe” - Joe Bravo

“The Mig” - Richard Migliore

“The Kid” - Steve Cauthen

“The Shoe” - Bill Shoemaker

“Boo Boo” - Kerwin Clark

“Bo-Rail” - Calvin Borel


“The Coach” - D. Wayne Lukas

Allen "The Chief" Jerkens (Eclipse Sportswire)

“The Bald Eagle” - Charlie Whittingham

“The Chief” - Allen Jerkens

“Spanky” - Joseph Broussard

“Cat Man” - Wayne Catalano

“El Gran Senor” - Horatio Luro

“Red Dog” - Gary Hartlage


“Big Sandy” - Belmont Park

“The Spa” - Saratoga Race Course

“The Great Race Place” - Santa Anita Park

“Old Hilltop” - Pimlico


“Derby Doc” - Alexander Harthill (veterinarian)

“Pittsburgh Phil” - George Smith (gambler)

“Diamond” - Jim Brady (owner)

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