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A whinnying ticket: Horse names bet on Palin, GOP

Long after Sarah Palin's wardrobe has gone to charity, her namesakes may still be campaigning.

The vice presidential candidate could be running again in horse shoes instead of heels as "Sarah Barracuda" and "Sarahcuda" come of age and head for the racetrack.

A purely unscientific Herald-Leader check with The Jockey Club, which wields veto power as the official Thoroughbred registry, reveals that when it comes to names, it's no horse race: Barack Obama may lead in national polls but the GOP looks way ahead in catchy phrases.

"Joe the Plumber" and "First Dude" have been reserved by horse owners. The first refers to the self-described Ohio plumber mentioned repeatedly by John McCain during a debate; the other is the preferred nickname for Palin's husband, Todd, in Alaska, where she is governor.

Also taken: "Palin," "Palin Power," "Hockey Mom" and "Moose Shootin Moma."

So far not much call for new names referencing McCain directly, although "Straight Talker" and "Straight Talking" are out there somewhere, perhaps trailing the Republican's "Straight Talk Express" campaign bus tour.

Also claimed is "Tax Day Express," although that might be an allusion to either party.

"Obama" and "Obama Mama" are taken, but nobody seems to be naming horses for that other Joe in the campaign, Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Also apparently still up for grabs: "You Betcha" and "Clothes Horse."