09/15/2013 3:49PM

Belmont Park: Shanghai Bobby returns Friday in Aljamin Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Shanghai Bobby, seen training at Saratoga last Friday, will make his first start since March in Friday's $100,000 Aljamin Stakes at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Shanghai Bobby, last year’s 2-year-old champion male who has been sidelined since the spring due to a pelvic fracture, returns to the races Friday at Belmont Park in the $100,000 Aljamin Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs.

The Aljamin, originally scheduled for Thursday, did not have enough entries to fill for that day. With several supplemental nominees, including Shanghai Bobby, the race was carded with six runners.

Shanghai Bobby drew post 3 in the field and has John Velazquez named to ride. Rosie Napravnik had ridden Shanghai Bobby in all seven of his previous starts.

Shanghai Bobby, trained by Todd Pletcher, went 5 for 5 as a juvenile, capped by his head victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita. He finished second to Itsmyluckday in the Grade 3 Holy Bull in his 3-year-old debut in January and then finished fifth, 10 3/4 lengths behind Orb, in the Florida Derby on March 30.

Coming out of that race, Shanghai Bobby was diagnosed with a pelvic fracture that required time but no surgery.

Shanghai Bobby has worked seven times since July 29, including a four-furlong move in 48.40 seconds last Friday over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga.

“He looks great,” Pletcher said. “He’s training really well; pleased with what he’s been showing us in the mornings. He’s always been very competitive in the afternoons, so we’d expect him to come back and run well.”

Pletcher said how Shanghai Bobby performs Friday will determine which races to point him toward this fall. One option would be the Breeders’ Cup, where he could be a candidate for the Dirt Mile or Sprint. Another option could be the Grade 3 Bold Ruler at Belmont on Oct. 26 as a prelude to the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 30.

Among the challengers Shanghai Bobby will face Friday are stakes winners Purple Egg and Whiskey Romeo. Slan Abhaile, Tenango, and Dads Caps also are in the field.