10/06/2012 6:56PM

Champagne: Shanghai Bobby wins but not definite for Breeders' Cup; Pletcher passes Frankel on earnings list

Barbara D. Livingston
Shanghai Bobby pulls away to a five-length victory in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Shanghai Bobby delivered another sterling performance, winning Saturday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Champagne Stakes by five lengths at Belmont Park.

The win was the fourth in as many starts for Shanghai Bobby, confirming his status as the top 2-year-old colt in the country. Now, the question most people want answered is whether Shanghai Bobby will ship cross-country to Santa Anita for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, a race for which he earned a fees-paid berth as part of the Win and You’re in program.

It is not a question that was readily answered by part-owner Jack Wolf after the race. In 2001, Wolf said he felt he made the correct decision not sending Harlan’s Holiday to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. At 3, Harlan’s Holiday won the Florida Derby and Blue Grass and was the favorite for the Kentucky Derby, though he finished seventh.

“I was a believer then, and I probably am still, that the horses that run in the 2-year-old Breeders’ Cup race don’t come back,” Wolf said. “With the exception of last year; last year was unbelievable how they came back.

“We’ll take our time and decide,” Wolf said. “I really don’t know what the right answer is right now.”

Shanghai Bobby would certainly be one of the focal points of this year’s Breeders’ Cup. He is now 4 for 4 and has gotten better with each race.

[Breeders’ Cup Challenge 2012: Replays of all the Win and You’re In races]

Sitting off the pacesetting Goldencents through a half-mile in 47.45 seconds – the horses were running into a headwind down the backside – Shanghai Bobby, under Rosie Napravnik, forged to the front approaching the quarter pole. With a few taps of Napravnik’s whip, Shanghai Bobby drew clear with authority. He covered a mile in 1:35.55 and returned $5.30 to win as the 8-5 favorite.

Goldencents finished second by a length over Fortify.

“He’s really improving and maturing every race,” Napravnik said of Shanghai Bobby. “The sky’s the limit for him, he did this real easy. I probably shouldn’t have even hit him, but sometimes he gets a little distracted once he gets the lead. He’s growing, he’s very athletic, he’s maturing, and it’s all [ahead of] him.”

Pletcher said: “I thought his Hopeful looked easy, and this was sort of a repeat performance. Right now, he’s clearly stamped himself as the divisional leader. The fact he went 1:35 and 2 over a track that’s not super fast is very encouraging. He’s just a consummate professional and continues to do everything right.”

The victory was the second on the day at Belmont for Pletcher, who also won the Grade 1 Frizette with Dreaming of Julia. Shanghai Bobby’s victory pushed Pletcher past Bobby Frankel for second on the all-time earnings list.  At day’s end, Pletcher had $228,168,465 in purse earnings, surpassing Frankel’s second-place mark of $227,912,022. D. Wayne Lukas, Pletcher’s former boss, is the all-time leader with $260 million.

“When you’re in the middle of these situations, you’re going day to day, big races every weekend, sometimes you don’t have time to reflect,” Pletcher said. “Anytime you’re in that sort of territory with guys like that, it means something extra special.”

If there was one negative for Pletcher coming out of the Champagne, it was the performances of Archwarrior and Micromanage, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the six-horse field.

“They ran like horses that had only one start,” Pletcher said. “Archwarrior got stuck down inside in a position he’s never been in, got some dirt, just sort of ran evenly down the backside. I thought he did show some interest late when he got in the clear.”

* The Champagne was a 10-point qualifying race for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. Churchill Downs has moved to a points system to determine the field for the Derby, scrapping the previous system of graded stakes earnings. The first four Champagne finishers earned points: Shanghai Bobby, 10; Goldencents, 4; Fortify, 2; and Archwarrior, 1.

HandicapperErni More than 1 year ago
Rosie had a big dayat Belmont park!! She won 2 grade 1's with shanghai bobby in the champagne and in the Jamaica in an upset with King David. You sure she should she go to New Orleans in the winter? 3 wins in NY yesterday just saying. .
Senor Enrico More than 1 year ago
Come on. Shanghai Booby and all Pletcher 2YO's run on lasix. There will be no lasix in the 2YO races. SB won't go to the BC because Pletcher needs Lasix and what ever other drug he uses to make the horse perform. I really hope he goes to the BC and is 9/5, so I can bet against him and make some real money!
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
LOL Running on a different surface could also change his performance. So heres pulling for Booby.
Mike Lee More than 1 year ago
The Breeder's Cup Juvenile Mile (turf) would be a nice option for Shanghai Bobby,already a proven winner on dirt at 2,think he has a bright future as a versatile miler and will run well on any surface.
Alyssa F. More than 1 year ago
IMO, if Shanghai Bobby makes it to the Derby, he more than likely won't be a big factor. His pedigreee tells me that 10 furlongs would be out of range for him. And, he is a Pletcher juvenile; say what you want, but for the past few years Pletcher horses have been non factors in the triple crown races.
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
Your probably right on Pletcher not making the derby the only thing with this one is if my memory is correct he hasn't be treated with lasix yet.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Super Saver ? Rags to Riches.
CONNIE More than 1 year ago
Leaving Shanghai Bobby out of the Breeders Cup would be selfish of Wolf. Look at what Street Sense did.
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
I think it's selfish of you to insist he ship 3000 miles to run. I wouldn't send him if he was mine.
Ian Fick More than 1 year ago
Wolf makes no sense and Pletcher ought to have a serious talk with him. What happens in most cases is that some 2 year olds matuse sooner than others. I smart owner can cash in on this by RACING his two tear old instead of shelving him.
harvey savitsky More than 1 year ago
slow down and get all the words correct!
Charley More than 1 year ago
Throw away the Racing Form! No articles on King David winning a Grade 1 ? I understand why a $25,000 claimer against Graded Stakes? This is why you might as well throw darts at the Racing Form.There isn't a true horse player out there who would of placed their money on this horse. Something is very wrong here and don't anyone out there tell me this horse was playable.Even though it was the biggest shot on the board it should of been 100-1.(Short field is the only reason) This was not good for Horse Racing!
Ian Fick More than 1 year ago
It would be easier to purge fools like yoi Charley
Cheri Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
Jamaica Handicap was my lone play of the day—$20 to win and $20 to show. 5-1-0 (six starts) in 2012 and Napravnik riding. How could anybody have missed this one?
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
They didnt know anything on this one, there was only 2 people in the winners circle. As unbelievable as it is there's rarely a 100-1 shot in N.Y. (but I totally agree with you on both counts)
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Good call by the connections. I wouldn't run him on that ridiculous surface at SA.
denali1 More than 1 year ago
I find it hard to believe Pletcher wont take this colt to the BC. Who said Rosie cant ride and abuses 2yr olds. Do you really think Pletcher would put her on this colt if that was true?
stevejPS More than 1 year ago
Its Todd Pletcher..so dont expect him to stay around for the Triple Crown series. He'll be retired by the end of next summer