01/21/2013 2:50PM

Gulfstream Park: Frac Daddy looks set for Holy Bull after strong work

Barbara D. Livingston
Shanghai Bobby (left) works five furlongs in company in 1:00.88 on Sunday at the Palm Meadows training center.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Frac Daddy may have worked his way into the Grade 3, $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes on Saturday at Gulfstream Park with an effortless work here Monday, in which he went five furlongs in 1:01.31, then was caught by Daily Racing Form going out six furlongs in 1:13.95 and seven furlongs in 1:27.46.

The Holy Bull, at 1 1/16 miles, is expected to be topped by the unbeaten Shanghai Bobby, who Saturday night was named the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old colt of 2012. Frac Daddy is eligible to a first-level allowance race at 1 1/8 miles on the undercard Saturday, but trainer Ken McPeek said he was “leaning toward running in the Holy Bull” immediately after watching the work. Entries for Saturday’s card are taken Wednesday.

“That was a nice work,” McPeek said. “I’m probably going in the Holy Bull as long as he’s eating good and acting good. But I’ve got until Wednesday to decide whether to run there or the allowance race.”

David Cohen, who has ridden Frac Daddy in his last two starts, was aboard for the work and has the mount Saturday, McPeek said.

Frac Daddy ran three times last year at 2. He was second in his debut at Belmont Park in October, then crushed maidens by 9 3/4 lengths at Churchill Downs before a second-place finish behind Uncaptured in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill on Nov. 24.

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

In addition to Frac Daddy and Shanghai Bobby, the Holy Bull field is expected to include Bern Identity, Clearly Now, Dewey Square, Itsmyluckyday, Sr. Quisqueyano, and Tulira Castle.

Shanghai Bobby completed his serious preparation for the Holy Bull on Sunday at the Palm Meadows training center, when he worked five furlongs in company in 1:00.88 before galloping out strongly. Exercise rider Patti Krotenko was up.

“Physically, he’s doing very well,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains Shanghai Bobby. “He’s gained some weight. He’s got a great coat. That was a good, solid work and gallop out. He’s in position to get started.”

Shanghai Bobby has not raced since his game victory Nov. 3 at Santa Anita in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, the fifth win of his 2-year-old campaign.

Bern Identity also had a strong work Sunday at Palm Meadows. He went five furlongs under jockey Paco Lopez in 59.33 seconds, which was the fastest time of 13 at the distance.

“He looked like he’s ready,” said Kelly Breen, trainer of Bern Identity. “He looked great – first quarter in 24, last three-eighths in 35. That was a nice work.”

Bern Identity was second most recently in the Nov. 17 Delta Downs Jackpot, won by Goldencents, who subsequently won the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita.

Bern Identity won 3 of 6 starts last year and was third to Shanghai Bobby in the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga.

Also Sunday at Gulfstream, Dewey Square worked five furlongs in 59.10, the best time of 20 at the distance. Dewey Square was third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Frac Daddy, in the Kentucky Jockey Club, which also was his last start. He won both his previous races, at Hoosier and then at Churchill Downs.

– additional reporting by Mike Welsch