I'm not into horse owners names, never was, never impressed, after all, I've owned lots of horses in the past myself. Though I must admit, I have fond memories of watching races as a kid and being able to identify the silks of Windfields, Sam-Son, Beasley, etc.
The reason I mention this is that I always assumed that Moreno was named after an identifiable celebrity. After handicapping the Breeders' Cup Classic (in less than 2 minutes, I might add) and coming up with Moreno as my pick, I finally decided to look into who the horse was named after.
My first thought was that the horse was named after Knowshon Moreno. Every young gambler knows this name from Fantasy Football:
He came into the NFL in 2009 and immediately he rushed for just under 1,000 yards as a rookie. He could have been thought as the next OJ, so it makes sense to take a shot and name a horse after him.
The one good thing about Moreno being in the big race is that his entry might confuse quite a few horse racing fans (Horse Racing Fan: Someone who watches horse racing once or twice a year, and might even wager on those days). The Fantasy Football crowd know full well that Moreno is out for the year after a promising start with his new team, the Miami Dolphins. Some fans may think that Moreno's entry is a misprint, and automatically dismiss this horse from their tickets creating an extra overlay.
Of course, 100% of racing's base (46-104 year olds) know singer/actress Rita Moreno:
She even dated Elvis Presley and found him boring. It would make sense to name a horse after her, but not a male horse, so I really didn't think it was named after her.
When I searched the name Moreno, I found that a soccer player, Alberto Moreno, came up high in the results:
Turns out he has been playing 4 years, but already has 4 goals in 70 games (for all I know, this is some sort of record pace). I started thinking Moreno could be a young soccer legend.
Much to my dismay, I just found out that the owner of Southern Equine Stables is Mike Moreno. The guy named a horse after himself. To the best of my knowledge, even the least humble person in horse racing today, Frank Stronach, who has bred, owned and named close to a million horses* (Cangamble estimation*), hasn't named a horse Stronach. Perhaps Awesome Again was named after Stronach came up with one of his ideas, like the quadruple superfecta, but I can only speculate. Still it was not named after him directly.
Anyway, check out Moreno romping home in the Whitney. Any horse who wires a field at Saratoga like that has a shot to wire a slightly better field at Santa Anita at a slightly longer distance:
If you haven't checked it out yet, HANA's Horseplayer Monthly (Breeders' Cup Edition) is out. The free e-magazine is full of great insights and handicapping tips, as usual.