When Bob Baffert purchased Vallenzeri at the Keeneland sale of 2-year-olds in training April 6, the trainer said the colt's new owner, Kaleem Shah, probably would rename the chestnut juvenile. Baffert and Shah probably don't need any help with this little project, but it'll be fun trying to come up with suggestions for a new name for the $1.9-million juvenile that was bought back for $7.7 million as a yearling, setting a world Thoroughbred auction record.
While sitting here in the Keeneland press box on Blue Grass Stakes Day, here are some suggestions just off the top of my head: Finally Sold, Sold Finally, Paulson's Legacy, Allen's Legacy, Big RNA, Rna'd, Big Buy-Back, New Home, Set Me Free, John's Headache, Buy Buy Buy, Bye Bye Bye, Try Try Again, Final Bid, Finally Final Bid, Shah of I Ran, Baffert's Baby, Indypendent, Mr. Indypendent, Sell Me Please. OK, OK, I know they're not very funny and some may already be taken.
Here's some suggestions from Alicia Wincze of the Lexington Herald-Leader: Thank God, ThankGoditsover, Momslilbuyback, Eddiecamethrough, Geoffreysheadache, Red Haired Boy.
Now here's your chance to be clever or you can be serious and pay tribute the Vallenzeri's royal breeding or the accomplishment of Allen Paulson, whose living trust bred the colt. And you can also choose a name that has nothing to do with Vallenzeri's past or his pedigree. Fire away! And if the meaning of the name isn't obvious, please explain it. You can even make a case for keeping the colt's name.
Oh, congratulations to Mr. Sidney, the $3.9-million yearling who finally realized his potential in the April 10 Maker's Mark at Keeneland. It gives hope to big auction spenders everywhere.