Jim Switlyk, a three year veteran of the harness racing industry, has named his one-year-old filly after poker pro Annie Duke, it was recently revealed.
According to reports, the New Jersey native was inspired to name his horse after Ms. Duke upon learning its lineage, which includes a long line of successful race horses boasting names like "Annie's Surprise" and "Cam's Card Shark."
According to HarnessLink.com, an online publication catering to the harness racing industry, Switlyk bought Annie Duke for $41,000 at the New Jersey Classic Sale in September, 2004.
At the time, the horse was named Last Trick Hanover. However, after seeing that the filly's granddam was Annie's Surprise and her sire was Cam's Card Shark, Switlyk thought it appropriate to name his first yearling after Ms. Duke, a high-caliber competitor who had recently won the Tournament of Champions and its $2 million prize.
So far, Annie Duke has proved herself worthy of Ms. Duke's moniker, winning her debut race on February 15 and placing 7th in a subsequent event.
Switlyk revealed he is considering naming some of his other horses after poker pros. "I know a lot of the big players. I have another Cam's Card Shark that we're considering naming 'Fossilman' after (2004 WSOP champion) Greg Raymer. 'The Professor' is also on the list of names." The latter name refers to poker pro Howard Lederer, Annie Duke's older brother.