The Name Game: Kilmister

Published: August 16, 2022 11:27 am EDT

After watching the way two-year-old trotter Kilmister came out ready to rock in his first four races, it appears owner Anders Ström played the right card when renaming the colt.

Ström purchased Kilmister under the name Capitolo Finale for $170,000 at last fall’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. He renamed the horse after Ian Fraser Kilmister, better known as Lemmy, the legendary singer and bassist for the band Motörhead. The group blended rock, punk and metal into an influential sound that resulted in songs such as the gambling-fuelled fan favourite “Ace of Spades,” released in 1980.

“I like heavy metal and hard rock music,” said Ström. “Motörhead was one of my favourite bands when I was a kid. Of course, I like gambling, and one of the best songs they had was ‘Ace of Spades,’ so this was a good name for a horse for me.”

Kilmister, a son of Chapter Seven-Treviso, is four-for-four this year. In his most recent start, earlier this month on Hambletonian Day, the Marcus Melander-trained colt won the Peter Haughton Memorial for two-year-old male trotters by four lengths in 1:53.3.

“It’s a great win,” said Ström, who also won the 2014 Peter Haughton as co-owner of Centurion ATM. “This is just great. [Kilmister] won so easily. I think that’s the best part of it. He’s a great horse.”

With his Haughton victory, Kilmister earned “Win and You’re In” status to advance directly to the $600,000 Breeders Crown final for two-year-old male trotters in October at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

“It’s a good target for him now,” said Ström. “We’ll be looking forward to that.”

This was not the first time Ström turned to his music catalog when naming a horse. Several years ago, he changed the name of Swedish-bred trotter Nagamori Hill to Green Manalishi in tribute to the Peter Green-penned Fleetwood Mac song “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown),” which was released in 1970.

Green Manalishi, the horse, went on to win 10 times on the Grand Circuit, including the 2019 Canadian Trotting Classic, and earned more than $1 million lifetime.

“I’m a big fan of the Peter Green/Fleetwood Mac tune as well as the cover that my favourite band Judas Priest made,” Ström said in a 2018 interview. “I had the name on my list for a long time once the right horse would show up.”

Following Kilmister’s recent Haughton triumph, Ström noted with a smile, “The name always gets better when you have success on the track.”

Ström usually listens to music while travelling, and although influenced by favourite bands including Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, is not limited to the metal genre.

“Those bands were the ones, you know, when you’re a teenager and you go to your first concert, it’s a special memory,” said Ström. “But I’m a little bit of everything when it comes to music.

“The last concert I went to was the Rolling Stones, actually. I need to pick a name from those songs as well, I think.”

Ström has also turned to pursuits other than music when naming horses. For example, Fourth Dimension, a Dan Patch Award-winning trotter at age two in 2017, got his moniker from Ström’s interest in astronomy and astrophysics.

What might be next?

“Now, I have become so interested in baseball,” said Ström. “Maybe you will see some names from that in the future.”


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