Ben McElroy

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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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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