Ben McElroy

Queen Mary-bound 'Monster' Love Reigns Has Grogan Family in Dreamland

In winning her maiden by almost ten lengths on debut at Keeneland, Queen Mary favourite Love Reigns (Ire) (US Navy Flag) tore to shreds what many people thought possible for an unraced 2-year-old filly in the month of April. There would have been more competition had Real Madrid taken to the field against a bunch of schoolboys such was the authority of the display. Love Reigns burst into the lead from stall one, powered home to win unchallenged, and the clock backed up what filled the eye. Not even Golden...

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Dark Angel's Chardy Party Makes the Grade in Soaring Softly

Stonestreet Stables has enjoyed a good bit of success over the last few years sourcing fillies from Europe and placing them with Wesley Ward, such as MG1SW and two-time Royal Ascot heroine Campanelle (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}); GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint S. winner Twilight Gleaming (Ire) (National Defense {GB}); and SW Ruthin (GB) (Ribchester {Ire}). The latest success story from their European venture is Chardy Party (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), who took her record to two-for-two Saturday in Belmont's GIII Soaring Softly S. Rallying from well back to take...

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Queen Olly Yet Another Rising Star For No Nay Never

David Loughnane is firing on all cylinders with his juvenile band this term and added another string to his Royal Ascot bow, and  provided Coolmore sire No Nay Never with a fourth 'TDN Rising Star' of the campaign, when Amo Racing's €300,000 Goffs Orby yearling Queen Olly (Ire) (No Nay Never--Surprisingly {Ire}, by Galileo {Ire}) routed nine rivals in Friday's £20,000 Frank Whittle Partnership ebfstallions.com Maiden S. over York's straight six furlongs. The February-foaled bay was swiftly into stride and occupied a handy fifth, just behind the front rank, through...

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Buyers 'More Than Ready' at OBS March

By Christie DeBernardis & Christina Bossinakis OCALA, FL--The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's grounds continued to buzz with activity during a second straight day of very strong trade as the March 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale concluded Wednesday. Bidding was fast and furious right from the start with the top horse of the day--and the sale as a whole--coming in the second juvenile through the ring, Hip 318, a colt by More Than Ready, who summoned $1.2 million from Kaleem Shah. A daughter of American Pharoah (Hip 532) also achieved seven figures...

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Sportsman's Sale Closes On A High

The conclusion of the two-day Goffs Sportsman's Sale on Friday marked the end of a strong four days of trade at Goffs's Kildare Paddocks, with both the Orby and Sportsman's Sales rebounding from difficult 2020 renewals--when forced to move to Doncaster--and posting significant gains. A shade over €3-million was added to the coffers on Friday when 150 of the 162 yearlings offered sold, bringing the two-day aggregate to €6,967,300. The cumulative average jumped 41% to €20,674, while the cumulative median rose 45% to €16,000. Last year at Doncaster, 67.7% of...

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Midlantic Sale Opens With a Bang

TIMONIUM, MD - The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale returned to its traditional May spot on the calendar with an ebullient session topped by a $1.5-million son of Quality Road at the Maryland State Fairgrounds Monday. The seven-figure purchase was the co-highest priced colt ever sold at the Timonium auction, tying the price of a Curlin colt sold in 2017. "It was unbelievable," Midlantic Sales Director Paget Bennett said at the close of business Monday. "The activity in the barn area over the weekend was strong and all of...

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Stonestreet, Agent McElroy Strike it Big With European Buys

When Napa Spirit (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) won Friday's first race at Keeneland, bloodstock agent Ben McElroy was more relieved than ecstatic. Some six months earlier, he purchased Napa Spirit at the Goffs Orby Yearling sale in Ireland with a set goal in mind. He was looking for a unique type of horse, one that could win in the U.S. and Europe, would be fast and precocious, like the grass and be a good fit for the Royal Ascot meet. Friday's win was the latest sign that he had more...

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Stonestreet, Ward Strike Again at Keeneland

1st-Keeneland, $43,340, Msw, 4-23, 2yo, 5 1/2fT, 1:04.17, gd, 1 1/2 lengths. NAPA SPIRIT (IRE) (c, 2, Invincible Spirit {Ire}--Aimhirgin Lass {Ire}, by Pivotal {GB}) validated 2-5 favoritism in the closing-day opener at Keeneland, giving Stonestreet and trainer Wesley Ward a maiden winner on the grass acquired overseas for the second consecutive afternoon. Not the fastest away, the bay raced in and among rivals early on as stablemate Magniloquent (American Pharoah) showed the way through an opening quarter in :21.78. Three wide and traveling well in hand on the turn,...

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Million-Dollar Babies Pace OBS Wednesday

By Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis OCALA, FL - A pair of million-dollar juveniles punctuated a day of lively trade in Central Florida as the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds reached its midway point with a second session Wednesday. "We certainly picked up where we left off yesterday and the action was just as good, if not better, and we hope it continues to move forward into the next two days," said OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski. "We came into the sale with some expectations given...

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Florida-Bound Invincible Spirit Colt Leads Orby

DONCASTER, UK—On a day without the millionaire highlights that we have become accustomed to at the Goffs Orby Sale, trade struggled to keep pace with recent strong renewals of this auction—a factor which had been widely expected in advance and has been seen throughout the 2020 yearling market. Despite the industry being fuelled largely by dreams, only the foolhardy could dream that this year's trade would be unaffected by a global pandemic which is not only restricting international travel but also plunging plenty of businesses into precarious situations. To a...

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Tapit Filly On Top as KEESEP Kicks Off

by Brian DiDonato, Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis LEXINGTON, KY--A Tapit filly out of GISW Embellish the Lace (Super Saver) topped the opening session of Keeneland's September yearling sale on a $1.25-million bid by Claiborne Farm's Bernie Sams. The bay was consigned to the auction as hip 149 by Bluewater Sales LLC, Agent XVI, on behalf of breeder China Horse Club. While stringent COVID-19 protocols put in place to allow the world's largest yearling sale to be held at all may have dulled some of the electricity typically felt in...

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Ghostzapper Colt Easily Makes Amends at Del Mar

6th-Del Mar, $55,500, Msw, 8-29, 2yo, 6f, 1:11.10, ft. VITTORIO (c, 2, Ghostzapper--Roberta Turner, by Smart Strike) was away slowly from a wide stall in his Aug. 1 debut, then traveled very awkwardly, covered ground on the turn and could do no better than fifth to the impressive odds-on favorite Freedom Fighter (Violence). But the betting public did not lose faith in the colt and made him the 11-10 favorite to make the requisite improvement at second asking. Much more smoothly away from gate six with Mike Smith back at...

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