Bob Baffert purchased Vallenzeri for $1.9 million at the Keeneland 2-Year-Old In-Training Sale. It is the highest price paid for a juvenile at public auction in 2009.
Cumulatively, Keeneland sold 66 horses for $11,805,000 during the April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, down 27.57 percent from the corresponding period last year, when 77 horses brought $16,299,000. The average of $178,864 represents a 15.50 percent decrease from $211,675 in 2008.
According to The Blood Horse, Baffert will be patient with Vallenzeri. “I’m going to give him some time off and freshen him up,” the trainer said. “I’m going to let the horse dictate when he races for the first time, and maybe he’ll race late in the summer or the fall. He’s by A.P. Indy, and the mare (Azeri) got better as she got older, so this is the kind of horse I want later on for the classics.”
Baffert the white-haired California trainer was acting on behalf of a new client, Kaleem Shah. Shah is the president and founder of Virginia-based CALNET, which is involved in the information technology, intelligence analysis, and telecommunications businesses.
Asked if Shah, who didn’t attend the Keeneland juvenile sale, would keep the name Vallenzeri for the 2-year-old, Baffert replied: “I don’t think so. It’s a whole new page here, so we’re going to change the name.”