Ben McElroy

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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Second Chances: Vittorio

In this continuing series, TDN's Senior Editor Steve Sherack catches up with the connections of promising maidens to keep on your radar. Vittorio (c, 2, Ghostzapper-Roberta Turner, by Smart Strike), a $750,000 OBS Spring purchase by Kaleem Shah, has every right to build off a better-than-it-looked debut fifth going five furlongs at Del Mar Aug. 1 (video). Off to a tardy beginning after breaking inward at the start, the 4-1 chance, equipped with blinkers, was slow into stride and trailed the field in ninth through an opening quarter in :23.28....

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Shah Makes Another ‘Quality’ Buy at OBS Spring

A colt by Quality Road (hip 1018) rang the bell earlier in the day on Friday at OBS Spring when selling to Kaleem Shah's son Arman for $1.25 million. The Shah family's bloodstock advisor Ben McElroy signed the ticket. A $240,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling buy, the half-brother to MSW and MGISP Standard Deviation (Curlin) breezed in :20 3/5 last week and was consigned to the sale by Ciaran Dunne's Wavertree Stables, Inc. Kaleem Shah has done well with 2-year-old in training buys by Quality Road in the past--he purchased MGISW...

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Cautious Bidding as OBS Spring Sale Opens

Action returned to the sales ring Tuesday for the first session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training and consignors and buyers tiptoed carefully through the first auction since the coronavirus pandemic halted the industry across the globe. At the conclusion of the session, numbers were down slightly from 2019 figures, but by and large participants seemed content simply to have made a new beginning. "Given everything that everyone has had to go through, I think it was a solid start," said OBS Director of...

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Bullet-Breezing Ghostzapper Colt Provides Late-Session Fireworks at OBS

A co-quickest (:9 4/5) colt by Ghostzapper provided an exclamation point at the end of the opening session of the OBS Spring Sale Tuesday when bringing a winning bid of $750,000 from Ben McElroy, agent for Arman Shah, son of prominent owner Kaleem Shah. Consigned by Becky Thomas's Sequel Bloodstock, Agent VII as hip 1250, he was originally entered in the cancelled Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale. A $250,000 KEESEP yearling purchase by Wyoming native and oil and gas industry executive Joey Platts, the Mar. 30 foal is out of a Smart...

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Goodwin Named Eaton Sales Account Manager

Jay Goodwin, formerly a partner in Select Sales Agency, has been named account manager at Eaton Sales. Goodwin was a partner at Select for 10 years. "We are thrilled to have Jay on board," said Eaton Sales partner Ben McElroy. "He brings valuable auction experience to Eaton Sales, in addition to his extensive horsemanship and unparalleled energy and enthusiasm for horse racing." Goodwin, who moved to Lexington in 2005, currently manages around 125 broodmares on his farm, and formerly oversaw the business of numerous clients at Select Sales. "We are...

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