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Old 08-14-2019, 11:01 AM
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Default Saratoga Special runner-up (horse) Noose renamed so as not to hurt niggers' feelings


Saratoga Special runner-up Noose renamed
Aug 14, 2019

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Noose, the horse who ran second in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on Saturday in his second start, has been renamed Scabbard, The Jockey Club and the colt’s owner confirmed on Wednesday.

Joseph Sutton, the colt’s owner and breeder, said in an interview that The Jockey Club contacted him early this week and recommended that the name be changed, based on criticism that the name was racially insensitive.

“I don’t want to offend anyone, anywhere, at any time,” Sutton said. “The smart thing to do was to change the name.”

Sutton said that the name was given to the horse because of its relation to the horse’s dam, Cowgirl Mally. A full brother to Scabbard is named Chaps.

“It wasn’t meant to be offensive. Honestly, I had no idea it was offensive,” said Sutton. “It was just a Western-themed term, and we had used Western terms with that mare. I didn’t think or know that there was anything wrong with the name at the time, but I was glad to change it.”

The Jockey Club declined to comment on the name change, saying that “registration transactions, including name changes, are handled as private matters with the owner/agent” of the horse.

The word “noose” has negative and racially tinged connotations, especially in the black community, due to its association with lynchings. Commentators began noting those connotations on social media when the horse was entered in the Special earlier in the week.

The name change was first noted on Twitter Tuesday by Teresa Genaro, a freelance journalist who had raised issues with the name prior to the Special.

Names submitted to The Jockey Club are subjected to a computer-driven analysis designed to flag potentially unsuitable names, such as those that contain vulgarities. The flagged names are then reviewed by personnel at The Jockey Club. However, general terms that have political sensitivities, like “noose,” would not necessarily be flagged by the computer system unless a human intervened.

In its response to questions, The Jockey Club cited rules say that “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.”

Currently, the name Noose does not link to the horse Scabbard in the Equibase database that is co-owned by The Jockey Club.
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