03/24/2013 3:33PM

Florida Derby contender Shanghai Bobby works with Louisiana Derby prospect Palace Malice

Barbara D. Livingston
Shanghai Bobby (left) and Palace Malice work in company on Sunday. Both 3-year-olds trained by Todd Pletcher will run in major Kentucky Derby preps this weekend.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -  Juvenile champion Shanghai Bobby breezed five furlongs in 1:00.77 Sunday morning at Palm Meadows, his final work in preparation for Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby.

Shanghai Bobby worked in company with stablemate Palace Malice, who will also be in action Saturday at Fair Grounds in the Louisiana Derby. The pair went off a very easy opening eighth-mile in 13:70 seconds  and quarter-mile in 26.02 before really picking up the pace, the duo completing their final three furlongs in 34.75 with Palace Malice edging about a half-length in front at the wire. Palace Malice galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.29 with Shanghai Bobby completing the distance in 1:14.01.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

“I thought he worked well, consistent with what he normally does. He’s not an overzealous work horse,” Pletcher said of Shanghai Bobby. “But I thought we got a good tightener and everything’s gone according to schedule. Palace Malice worked super. He finished up great, galloped out good. He’s done really well since the Risen Star.”

Shanghai Bobby has not started since suffering his first defeat at the hands of Itsmyluckyday earlier this season in the Grade 3 Holy Bull.

Shanghai Bobby was one of two Florida Derby hopefuls to work on Sunday, along with Merit Man, who went an easy five furlongs in 1:04 from the gate at Gulfstream Park.

Pletcher worked several other of his Derby candidates at Palm Meadows on Sunday, including the undefeated Verrazano, who went an easy half-mile in 49.79 in company with Gulfstream Park Handicap winner Discreet Dancer before galloping out extremely well, five-eighths in 1:01.40 and six furlongs in 1:13.40.  Verrazano is slated to make his next start in the Wood Memorial on April 6.

“You could say it was a maintenance work except that the gallop out was really awesome,” said Pletcher. “It was pretty impressive.”

Pletcher also sent out Revolutionary to breeze four furlongs in 48.30 in company with Overanalyze. The pair completed their final quarter in 23.80 with Revolutionary under a snug hold coming to the wire before galloping out five-eighths in 1:00.68 and pulling up six furlongs in 1:14.08.

“I thought he worked super. I was really happy with him. He was well in hand and is coming up to the race in good order,” Pletcher said of Revolutionary, who is scheduled to join Palace Malice Saturday  in the starting gate for the Louisiana Derby.”

Working right behind Shanghai Bobby and Palace Malice was Normandy Invasion for trainer Chad Brown. Normandy Invasion, who will take on Verrazano in the Wood, went five furlongs in 1:00.34 in company with stable mate Saint Vigeur. Jockey Javier Castellano was aboard  Normandy Invasion, who galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.47 and pulled up seven-eighths in 1:26.94.

“I thought it was a good work,” said Brown. “I thought Javier had plenty of horse and he galloped out strong. He’s right on schedule.”

* Code West, second in the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 23, worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 at Santa Anita on Sunday.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Code West will start as a top contender in Saturday’s Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen