We bought a really nice horse about 6 years ago and as always, I ask members of the partnership for name suggestions. We get the usual; a combination of the father and the mother but everybody does that and it’s a bit Ho Hum. In my mind I’m looking for something that grabs your attention, a legacy name, a name that will go down in history with many of the greats in the past!
I’m in my office one day and I get a call from Karl, one of the owners of this big fantastic horse and he says in his raspy borough of Brooklyn inflection, “Yo Gallo I gotta name for the horse.” I’m thinking here we go again, but Karl is a good guy and who knows where a good name is going to come from? “That’s great Karl, what’s the name?” He blurts it out with emphasis on the first word “KID Blast.”
My mind explodes, my ears ring, I am now fully at attention. I say "Holly Shamolly Karl that is a great name where’d you get that one?" He replies “it was a friend of my old man back in the neighborhood.”
“That’s good enough for me, I love it, it’s like BAM! Kid Blast! Wow, I love it! I’ll submit it and get back to you!”
I submit the name to the Jockey Club. It took about 48 hours for them to approve it. I call Karl back immediately because it’s very exciting for an owner to know that his name choice has been accepted. "Karl, they took the name, it’s a done deal you named the horse Kid Blast!” All I hear is laughing on the other end of the phone, like real laughing, like grab your belly laughing, like it hurts to laugh laughing. “Karl what’s so funny? You just named your horse!"
“You don’t know? Gallo you don’t know?” I’m scratching my head; did I miss something here? "No Karl, what’s up man tell me?"
"Yo Gallo, Kid Blast was the little brother of Joey Gallo, the Gallo brothers. Joey Gallo, who got nixed at Umberto’s Clam House on Mott street back in the 60’s? The Little brother was nicknamed Kid Blast because he was the one with the gun!”
I said "Karl, very funny man when this horse wins it’ll be all over the NY Post, very funny! I’ll be famous or more like infamous!"
Karl chimes back just snickering now, "I can’t believe you didn’t get it, being Italian and Gallo and all that…”
The joke was on me, but at the end of the day the horse won for us and won multiple races. He was just famous in his own right. He is a big wonderful horse that we raced for 5 years and who gave us joy and excitement along with a little disappointment like all horses do. No matter what happened we all loved him; we followed every moment, every work, and every race. He made it special for all the owners, every day we owned him and now he continues to bring us joy because now he is a lead pony in the Post parade at the NYRA tracks! Everyone got to see him on Belmont Stakes day as we do every other day on TVG or the NYRA feed. So, thank you Karl but most of all, thank you Kid Blast for all the excitement and thrills you gave us! Here’s to you, our big, brown, furry, forever, friend: KID BLAST!