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Monday, August 31, 2020

The Greatest Alpaca You've Never Heard Of

The weirdest bit of Booster Gold news I've bumped into lately comes by way of

Introduction 206 is Booster Gold, he’s one of the yearlings boys who has been reserved and will be heading off to his new home real soon. He's named after a superhero as his mums Wonderwoman. @BarnacreAlpacas 2020-08-25

Wait, who's the dad?

(Over at, Russ Burlingame managed to turn this alpaca news into a 500 word article that also promotes Friday's Bill & Ted Face the Music in a clever bit of cross marketing. I tell you, that guy can work Booster Gold into anything, and I mean that as the highest possible praise.)

While we're on the subject of animals named after our favorite super hero, you may recall that last October I told you about a thoroughbred racehorse who lost every race he ran last year.

Well, according to, he's raced 4 more times in 2020, and these are the results:

June 27, Laurel Park, MD, Race 1; "BOOSTER GOLD, wide on the turn, weakened." Finished 6 in a field of 10.

July 30, Laurel Park, MD, Race 3; "BOOSTER GOLD was outrun." Finished 10 in a field of 10.

August 15, Laurel Park, MD, Race 6; "BOOSTER GOLD, in a bit tight at the break, raced wide and failed to menace." Finished 8 in a field of 11.

August 27, Laurel Park, MD, Race 9; "BOOSTER GOLD was outrun." Finished 11 in a field of 12.

Seven races, never finishing in the top half. At least he's a safe bet... not to win. Perhaps our boy should consider retiring to an alpaca farm.

UPDATE 2020-09-18: September 11, Charles Town, WV, Race 3; "BOOSTER GOLD rated close to the early pace three wide, gave chase from the three eights pole then weakened into the far turn." Finished 4 in a field of 6. This is the first time that a bet on Booster Gold could have paid off. A $1 Superfecta bet — a bet on the horses to place in first, second, third, and fourth position in the correct order — would have returned a $914.70 payout. Is it possible that Booster Gold has been sandbagging all this time just to run up his odds for a bigger payment? No one would put that past him.

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Friday, October 11, 2019

The Greatest Horse You've Never Heard Of

I come across a lot of unusual things in pursuit of all things Booster Gold. Perhaps the most unusual in 2019 is the discovery that there is a thoroughbred racehorse who shares our hero's name.

According to, the gelding Booster Gold raced in the September 27 Maiden Special for two-year-olds at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, West Virginia. Maidens are races for horses who have not won before. Booster Gold still qualifies. He finished last in a field of 8.

The rules for naming thoroughbred horses are extensive. According to the The American Stud Book Principal Rules and Requirements, Section V, Subsection 6, Part F.6: "Names clearly having commercial, artistic or creative significance" are not eligible for use. For example, "Superman" and "Batman" are off limits. Apparently, the arbiter of names, the Jockey Club, thinks that "Booster Gold" has no "commercial, artistic or creative significance." Given how well the horse has raced so far, they might be right.

To be fair, it's not clear whether the horse is actually named for the super hero. "Booster" and "Gold" are common enough words that do bump into one another occasionally — as I'll attest after seeing countless promotions for make-up, card games, and shoes — and certainly horse breeders must always be struggling to find new 18-or-less letter phrases that the Jokey Club will approve. There are only so many ways to work "winner" into a unique phrase.

So to the owner of Booster Gold, may I say that if you're looking to spur your horse to greater success, maybe you should consider getting him a partner. I suggest naming your next horse "Blue Beetle". Blue and Gold probably won't win you many races, but I promise you'll get a kick out of their shared misadventures. Blue and Gold forever!

UPDATE 10-18-2019: Booster Gold ran a second race today on the same track, this time with blinkers on, and came in fifth... out of five horses. Official scorekeeper comment: "was never a factor." Maybe that's just what he wants us to think.

UPDATE 11-08-2019: Booster Gold's third race was held in Laurel Park, Maryland in a Maiden Claiming race, which means he is now for sale, and it's easy to see why. This time he came in tenth in a field of ten horses. Note I didn't say "finished." He stopped at the turn. I'm sure he had a good reason, but I don't know what it is.

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