While football fans in Baltimore were partying and making wild guesses as to who had turned out the lights, something else happened during Super Bowl XLVII. Tucked away in the back roads and rural scenery of historic Glyndon, a new horse was born at Sagamore Racing's stables. And some creative fans have helped name that colt.
It's appropriate that Baltimore-area sports fans, who have proved their love for brooding poetry matches their love for football, would name a thoroughbred racing horse Quoth The Raven.
Locals submitted and voted on the name, and Tom Mullikin, Sagamore Racing's general manager, said he was more than pleased with the results.
This is not the first time Sagamore Racing has had a naming contest for one of its horses.
Last year, it had a contest for one of its 2-year-olds. Given the circumstances of Quoth The Raven's birth, Sagamore Racing decided to hold another naming contest, thinking it would gain the interest of the Ravens' faithful, Mullikin said. Social media sites, such as Facebook, were used as the primary source for name suggestions.
"It was interesting," Mullikin said. "We've had a pretty sizable uptick on social media with people commenting and offering names up. Hopefully they enjoyed it and it's something that we can continue doing down the line."
The turnout itself was more than what the Sagamore Racing staff had expected, Mullikin said.
"There were somewhere between 800 and 1,000 names submitted," Mullikin said. "A lot of them were duplicate names, and a lot of them were names that were already taken, like Black Out or Lights Out. When we submit a name to the Jockey Club, we have to stick to their rules about naming horses, and when a name's already been taken, it can't be used again. Last year, we had somewhere around 400 or 500 names submitted, so to have about double that amount this year is pretty great."
Five finalists were chosen from the pool of suggestions. Other finalist names included Lights Not Included and Poe Boy. An online vote determined the ultimate winner, who received a Sagamore Racing gift, including a tour of the farm and the opportunity to attend Quoth The Raven's first race. That race won't be until sometime in 2015, but Mullikin said he had high hopes for Quoth The Raven.
"He's only a yearling, so he has a lot of maturing to do," he said. "In late summer or early fall, he'll be broken -- we'll get a rider on his back and we'll start early training. Hopefully we get lucky and he's a good one, and then Quoth The Raven will be a name that people will be writing stories about in the future. Who's to say he couldn't run at an elite level? That's what we're hoping for."