Stonestreet Farm has announced a contest to name Rachel Alexandra's first foal, born Jan. 22. The colt is the son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin. Rachel Alexandra is said to be responding well to motherhood at Stonestreet Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.
Rachel Alexandra, who was purchased by the late Jess Jackson soon after she won the 2009 Kentucky Oaks, went on to win the year's Preakness Stakes, Haskell Invitational, and Woodward stakes for Jackson. At the end of her remarkable year, she was crowned 2009 Horse of the Year.
Returning in 2010, after a few months layoff, Rachel Alexandra was unable to reach the caliber of her previous year. She was retired to Jackson's Stonestreet Farm where she was bred to Jackson's other champion runner, Curlin. Curlin was named Horse of the Year in 2007 and 2008 and has a resume that includes wins in the Preakness Stakes, Woodward Stakes, Jockey Club Gold Cup, and the Dubai World Cup. Curlin stands at Lane's End Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. His first foals were born in 2010.
Soon after the birth of Rachel Alexandra's 125-pound bay colt, fans flooded social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter with congratulations and well wishes for mother and baby. Several name suggestions were offered, as well as inquiries into how the owners might decide on a name. Now, fans have the opportunity to formally offer their name suggestions for the foal.
The contest, which opened Feb. 14 and closes at midnight Sunday, Feb. 19, asks fans to submit name suggestions "that reflect the legacy of the late Jess Jackson and embodies the vision through which he bred his two champions to produce this very special colt."
Although the contest rules don't mention it, there are very strict guidelines in naming a thoroughbred. Among other naming rules listed with The Jockey Club, who governs the rules of thoroughbred registry, are the following classes of names which are not eligible for use:
1. Names consisting of more than 18 letters (spaces and punctuation marks count as letters);
2. Names consisting entirely of initials such as C.O.D., F.O.B., etc.;
3. Names ending in "filly," "colt," "stud," "mare," "stallion," or any similar horse-related term;
4. Names consisting entirely of numbers. Numbers above thirty may be used if they are spelled out;
5. Names ending with a numerical designation such as "2nd" or "3rd," whether or not such a designation is spelled out;
6. Names of living persons unless written permission to use their name is on file with The Jockey Club; or
7. Names of persons no longer living unless approval is granted by The Jockey Club based upon a satisfactory written explanation.
To participate in the contest to name Rachel Alexandra and Curlin's newborn, e-mail name suggestions to VisitRachelA@stonestreetfarms.com  by midnight EST on Feb. 19. For complete rules, visit Stonestreet  Farms' contest page.
The prize for the owner of the winning name is an overnight stay for two in the Stonestreet Farm guesthouse, a private tour of the farm, and a visit with Rachel Alexandra and her colt. Travel accommodations are not included.
The name of the colt will be revealed approximately 30 days after the close of the contest.
Photo: Courtesy Stonestreet Farm