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Shah, Callaghan Could Have Discovered One other Bellafina

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This column highlights the performances of maidens who’ve made not more than 5 begins and who both bought for greater than $500,000 at public public sale, have siblings which are graded/group winners, or have dams which are graded/group winners. BloodHorse analysis exhibits maiden winners who meet these standards usually tend to go on to be graded stakes winners.

Los Alamitos Race Course

Kaleem Shah and Simon Callaghan are not any stranger to good fillies. The proprietor/coach pair have mixed to win grade 1 stakes races with star distaffers Bellafina and American Gal along with a number of graded stakes races over the past decade. Their debut winner on July 8, the Metropolis of Mild filly Benedetta , might be the latest card up the duo’s sleeve after her effortless frontrunning victory at Los Alamitos Race Course.

Although she has much to prove on the racetrack to catch up to Bellafina, Benedetta bares striking similarities to Shah’s three-time grade 1 winner. Bellafina, a daughter of Quality Road , dropped the hammer for $800,000 as a 2-year-old after catching the attention of shrewd bloodstock agent Ben McElroy on the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Florida Choose Sale. She had recorded a :10 eighth-mile breeze days earlier on the below tack present.

Benedetta is sired by arguably High quality Highway’s most gifted son at stud in Metropolis of Mild, captor of the 2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and 2018 Breeders’ Cup Dust Mile (G1). Like Bellafina, Benedetta additionally fell on McElroy’s shortlist after cruising by means of a :9 4/5 eighth-mile throughout this 12 months’s below tack present on the Ocala Breeders’ Sale Firm March Sale of Two-12 months-Olds in Coaching. Hailing from the rapid household of grade 1-winning sprinter Swap, it took a spirited bidding battle to get her however Benedetta fell into Shah’s palms for $750,000.

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“It’s what the good horses cost,” Shah told BloodHorse after securing Benedetta in March. “Ben McElroy is the one who loved her, and so did Simon Callaghan, so we shall see if they are right or wrong. This time next year, we will find out.”

Four months after her tour through the sales ring, Benedetta began to vindicate her early admirers with a three-length debut score. After a slightly awkward start, the bay drove her way to the front and cruised around the Los Al oval virtually unchallenged under top California rider Juan Hernandez. She stopped the timer in a sparkling :57.92 for five furlongs over the fast main track.

Bendetta became the second stakes winner for her dam, the Grand Slam mare Tessie Flip. The mare had previously earned the title of black-type producer when her Scat Daddy filly Jo Jo Air tallied two stakes wins sprinting over the lawn in the 2019 William Walker Stakes at Churchill Downs and the 2020 Daisycutter at Del Mar.

Bellafina went on to capture seven graded stakes, including three grade ones, following her July Los Al debut. We’ll have to wait and see if Benedetta can blaze a similar path in the coming months with the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) held in her own backyard this year.














BloodHorse Maiden Watch


Notable maiden winners for week of July 3 – 9


Date
Track
Race
Horse
Sire
Dam
Starts
Notes


7/5
FL
3
Boy Is She A Lady
Boys At Tuscanova
Palanka City
3
Dam is a G3SW


7/8
LRC
5
Benedetta*
City of Light
Tessie Flip
1
$750K 2YO


7/8
LRL
7
Feral’s Joy
Kitten’s Joy
Hungry Island
5
Dam is a G2SW


7/8
WO
5
Rosa*
Street Boss
Magnificence
1
Dam is a G3SW


7/9
BEL
1
Nicky Jolene*
Solomini
More Than Love
2
Dam is a G2SW


7/9
ELP
3
Beautiful Dancer*
Gun Runner
Dream Dancing
2
Dam is a G1SW


7/9
ELP
7
High Class
Into Mischief
Euroboss
5
$575K Yearling


7/9
HAW
1
Dorothy Crowfoot*
Audible
Enjoy This Moment
1
$500K 2YO


7/9
PLN
5
Acero
Gun Runner
Intensify
5
Half sibling to G2SW Money Multiplier and G2SW Intense Holiday

* denotes 2-year-old

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