ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 13, 2016)– Santa Anita asked fans and employees alike to help name the newest member of The Great Race Place, a Clydesdale formerly named ‘Betsy,’ the half-sister to the track’s popular Sally, also a Clydesdale, who helps pull a carriage in the afternoons transporting racing officials to their designated posts.
Fans submitted their suggestions on social media using the #sallyssister, by email and in person at the track. Over 150 names were submitted and in the end, fan Marcy Dalton of Virginia Beach, VA hit on a gem. Through Instagram, Dalton submitted the name ‘Nora’ for Nora Ephron, the famed Hollywood icon best known for her screenwriting and comedic spin on both life and love. Most notably, Ephron wrote the 1989 cult classic ‘When Harry Met Sally’ based upon many of her own life experiences.
Ephron died on June 26, 2012 in Manhattan, New York at the age of 71. The prolific writer was also widely known for ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, ‘You’ve Got Mail’ and ‘Silkwood’ and was nominated for an Academy Award on three separate occasions.
The 5-year-old Clydesdale, who arrived from Iowa just before Christmas reached Santa Anita with the name ‘Betsy’ but many didn’t feel it quite fit the blazed-faced gentle giant. “She’s just not a ‘Betsy’,” explained Paige Rickerd, owner of Paige’s Horse & Carriage, who owns Sally and the other carriage horses at Santa Anita. “Sally has so many fans and we were hoping one of them could come up with the right name for her sister.”
For choosing the winning name Dalton will receive lunch for four in Santa Anita’s FrontRunner restaurant, a picture with ‘Nora’ and a carriage ride at Santa Anita; or a $200 gift certificate from Champions! Gifts & Apparel.
The Grade II, $200,000 La Canada Stakes takes place Saturday at Santa Anita. The first post will be at 12:30 p.m. and gates will open at 10:30 a.m.