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Updated on 11/03/2012 9:32PM
Breeders' Cup Juvenile: Shanghai Bobby battles his way to victory
ARCADIA, Calif. - Shanghai Bobby inherited a clear lead at the top of the stretch in Saturday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita, yet his jockey, Rose Napravnik was a bit concerned.
"Bobby got a little lost," Napravnik said. "Most jockeys, especially in the Breeders' Cup, aren't hoping the horses will come to them but I sure was, because once he saw another horse he will turn right back on, and he turns on unbelievable."
Shanghai Bobby was confronted by He's Had Enough and sure enough, Shanghai Bobby turned it on, rebroke, and outlasted He's Had Enough to the wire to win the Juvenile by a head. It was 2 1/4 lengths back to Capo Bastone in third.
The victory capped a strange week and a perfect season for Shanghai Bobby, who clinched the 2-year-old championship. Shanghai Bobby also won the Grade 2 Hopeful and Grade 1 Champagne.
Shanghai Bobby, a son of Harlan's Holiday, had his trip from New York delayed a day by Hurricane Sandy. He also didn't train for three days because of the storm.
"We weren't even sure if we were going to get here," trainer Todd Pletcher said.
For Pletcher, it ended a 0-for-25 skid in Breeders' Cup races run at Santa Anita that included oh-fers in 1993, 2008, and 2009.
For Napravnik, it was her first Breeders' Cup victory, and she joined Julie Krone as the only women riders to win a Breeders' Cup race. Earlier in the year, Napravnik became the first woman to win the Kentucky Oaks.
"This is just as good as the Kentucky Oaks if not better," Napravnik said. "World championships - I'm so thankful to be here and that Todd and Starlight Racing have kept me along for the ride."
Earlier in the week, the Starlight Stable of Jack and Laurie Wolfe and Don and Barbara Lucarelli brought the Coolmore connections of Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor along for the ride, selling them half-interest in the colt.
"We took our chance, when you win the Hopeful and the Champagne you're obviously a good 2-year-old." Tabor said. "I'm not sure he'll get a mile and a quarter, but hopefully he'll go on and do nice things next year," Tabor said.
Shanghai Bobby completed his 2-year-old season with a gritty victory in the Juvenile.
Hustled away from the gate by Napravnik, Shanghai Bobby was three wide entering the first turn while Title Contender set the pace chased by Speak Logistics.
Midway down the backside, Shanghai Bobby moved into second position. Around the turn, he moved toward Title Contender, who was beginning to fade. Shanghai Bobby struck the front leaving the three-eighths pole, but was beginning to idle.
"He went from a big lead to no lead and looked like he might be in trouble," Pletcher said. "In his second start, the Track Baron at Belmont, a similar scenario developed. He dug down and found more, and that's exactly what he did today."
He's Had Enough, who encountered traffic on the turn, rallied in the stretch and fell just short to Shanghai Bobby in his first start on dirt.
"I thought we were going to get there, but Shanghai Bobby definitely dug in and wasn't going to let us by there but we did have a world of trouble," said Doug O'Neill, the trainer of He's Had Enough. "Around the turn, he was water-skiing, he had nowhere to go."
Shanghai Bobby covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.56 and returned $4.60 to win.
"He's the most talented horse I've ever ridden," Napravnik said. "I still don't think we've seen the best of him."
By virtue of his victory in the Juvenile, Shanghai Bobby earned 10 points toward entry into next year's Kentucky Derby under a new points system initiated. Coupled with his victory in the Champagne, Shanghai Bobby now has 20 points.
Shanghai Bobby is the real deal as this one appeared beat and came back and won it!! Great ride by Rosie Napravnik but I was gonna say bad ride by her for moving too soon but the horse had some life left and didn’t want to get beat! That’s a champion right there! I think he has the 2 year old division wrapped up. He looked exhausted but still game. I thought in that race we saw bad rides by the 2nd and 3rd place finisher jockeys. Mario Gutierrez on He’s Had Enough and Joel Rosario on Capo Bastone. Mario was blocked in the stretch and costed the horse the win but I don’t know if it would win since Shanghai Bobby didn’t want to give up the lead. Joel’s ride on Capo Bastone was bad that he has the horse blocked and went too wide coming for him. Would’ve been a factor if hadn’t been too blocked. The biggest disappointment was Power Broker who didn’t get the trip he wanted.
Love this horse and I think that Rosie can hold her own with anybody, but unless he outruns his pedigree there is no Tri Crown chase in his future. Father won at 1 1/8 but granddaddy Harlan was a sprinter trained by D. Wayne. There's even more sprinting blood on the dam's side. Look forward to seeing him in races like the Met Mile and BC Dirt Mile.
This was a brilliant ride, would have been so easy for the jock to panic, throw the kitchen sink at the horse and lose the race, she stayed cool as the proverbial cucumber, waited and took the race. The horse is clearly all heart and talent, and if he learns to race properly next year should be a big contender for all the top races. Those Coolmore boys sure do know when to get involved!!
No question Shanghai Bobby will be a puplic and pundits top choice for fav status for the KY Derby going into the winter meets down Gulfstream way, but be aware that sire Harlan's Holiday has been getting a bunch of sprinters in his progeny, and the dam sire being the sprinter Orientate, we may find this 8.5f run is this colt's top distance. He looks like a sprinter-miler to me, albeit with a lot of heart. But I don't think that gets him 9f and a 10f race on the first Saturday in May; I'll be doing my shopping elsewhere!
Another thought on Shanghai Bobby, this horse, along with others, flew into LA on a plane in the middle of a NY hurricane on Wednesday, raced without Lasix and beat the East-West jinx. 'Nough said.
He has a heart of a champion ...no doubt...I would not take him any farther...right now.... he's a miler because the horses he beat weren't that good..I noticed in his 2nd start ..(I believe).... his tail was wagging as he finished .. ..A sign of getting tired...He's in shape now for sure but I would keep him at a mile......
It is amazing to me that everybody is saying this horse won't get the Triple Crown distances and that he ran out of gas in the BC Juvy. Even Trevor said he was exhausted at the top of the lane. Didn't anybody hear Rosie after the race? SB will be a force on the TC trail next year, might be wise to NOT underestimate him. Undefeated. Eclipse Award winner. 'Nough said.
bobby was great and juvenile races without lasix all great roll on next year when the whole card is drug free
Great race. Terrific effort by Shanghai Bobby, I thought he was completely done at the top of the lane, tremendous heart to find his second wind and fight back for the win. Great ride from Rosie Napravnik to keep him focused. A most exciting prospect to watch for next year.
Who was Power Brokers jockey..He sucks!