01/26/2013 7:27PM

Gulfstream Park: Itsmyluckyday defeats Shanghai Bobby, sets track record in Holy Bull

Barbara D. Livingston
Itsmyluckyday pulls away from Shanghai Bobby in deep stretch of the Holy Bull.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Itsmyluckyday ran back to his huge performance in the Gulfstream Park Derby on New Year’s Day, and then some, when upsetting reigning Eclipse Award champion Shanghai Bobby and setting a new track record in the process in Saturday’s Grade 3, $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park.

Itsmyluckyday completed a mile and one-sixteenth in 1:41.81 - slashing .54 seconds off the old mark set by Endorsement one year earlier - en route to his two-length victory over Shanghai Bobby. It was another 11 1/2 lengths further back to the tiring Clearly Now in third.

Itsmyluckyday ($11.40 ), a son of Lawyer Ron, is trained by Eddie Plesa Jr. for the partnership of the Trilogy Stable and his wife Laurie Plesa.

As expected, Shanghai Bobby with regular jockey Rosie Napravnik aboard, went right to the lead along the rail. Itsmyluckyday was able to secure perfect stalking position under Elvis Trujillo despite breaking from post 7 with the short run to the first turn in 1 1/16-mile races at Gulfstream. Shanghai Bobby cut out a legitimate pace, recording early splits of 23.34 seconds, 46.68 and 1:10.69 for the opening six furlongs with both Clearly Now and Itsmyluckyday in close pursuit.

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

Itsmyluckyday went up to challenge Shanghai Bobby approaching the quarter pole, forged to a short advantage coming out of the turn, then gradually edged clear in late stretch. Shanghai Bobby was game in defeat, resisting the winner to mid-stretch while racing in what appeared to be the deeper going along the rail before finally succumbing near the end.

“It’s the greatest feeling in the world, anybody in this game deserves this kind of feeling and I wish them all to have this feeling sometime,” Plesa said after the race. “Just not today.”

Plesa said  he was concerned about drawing post 7 in the 10-horse Holy Bull field and was just hoping he’d get a clean trip and have no excuses after the race.

“I told Elvis if you’re seven wide going into the first turn and you’re four wide heading for home you’re not going to win the race,” said Plesa. “I just wanted our horse to get a fair chance to win the race and that’s what happened. When we got to about the half-mile pole, I felt real good because I know he has a good kick. He couldn’t have been training or doing any better so I was fairly confident we were going to be right there.”

Plesa said he’ll see how Itsmyluckyday comes out of the race but that at this point, he’d lean towards skipping the Fountain of Youth and waiting for  the $1 million Florida Derby on March 30.

For winning the Holy Bull, Itsmyluckyday received 10 points in the new system used to determine starter eligibility for the Kentucky Derby.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said he had no excuse for Shanghai Bobby  who suffered his first defeat in six starts.

“The winner was very good today, we were second best,” said Pletcher. “We got a good trip and didn’t expect to have to break the track record by three-fifths of a second in order to win.”

Sam Shelby More than 1 year ago
Triple crowns a comin. SB broke the track record too. Have a familiar ring to it? IMLD just blew by him. SB didnt fade at all.
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
Shanghai Bobby is more Hansen than I'll Have Another
Dave More than 1 year ago
I definitely question how "cranked" SB was for this one. What would Pletcher's motivation be to win the Holy Bull? SB doesn't need 10 points. He'd have to do horribly going forward to miss the Derby field on points. SB may not want a mile and a quarter, but I would definitely be wary of him next time out.
David Voelker More than 1 year ago
Looks like SB is a game horse but likes a mile perhaps 1 &1/8 mile tops.
John Hanley More than 1 year ago
Love how everybody is so sure Bobby can't get the distance. I don't know that he can, but I am not going to automatically say he can't. If you watched the end of the race, he galloped out past the winner, got pressured on the lead during the race, and this WAS his first start back in about 3 months. Wouldn't toss him quite yet.
Wesley Wright More than 1 year ago
You may be right, but he sure looks like he was struggling a bit when Itsmyluckyday challenged him and pulled away. It was not SB's lucky day for sure.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Bobby won't get the distance.
Wayne Haehner More than 1 year ago
should have been a non betting race--when the 1-1 favorite could care less aboiut winning--then the public is not getting a fair shake--but it was known ahead of time he wouldnt be fully trying
JayHovdey More than 1 year ago
At what point in the race did Shanghai Bobby not try?
jay More than 1 year ago
Didn't try? What race were you watching? He beat the third place horse by 11 lengths. I guess the other horses were trying even less. If you knew ahead of time that he wouldn't be trying, then who did you bet on? You sound like a sore loser who likes to bet chalk. Shanghai Bobby ran a very good race and just got beat by a better horse.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Wayne - Did you bump your head?
Mary Raymond More than 1 year ago
Considering the race was run in track record time ( I think ) & the distance back to the other horses, SB ran a cracker for his first run in 3 months. Most horse players know that very few horses are fully cranked up this early in the season but I have my reservations about him getting the derby trip. With the connections involved your also going to have to take cramped odds come derby day. He's a bet against for me!!!! Bert D
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
An exciting, outstanding win by Itsmyluckyday (love that name!). Lucky was a decent price and showed staying power as the race went on, getting stronger as the race came to its conclusion. Lucky obviously likes running at this track. Congratulations to all of Lucky's connections on an impressive win. Shanghai Bobby ran an outstanding race as well, running a gallant second, and both horses broke the time for the track record. With this race and the Breeders' Cup race with He's Had Enough, Shanghai Bobby has shown that he has a lot of heart, not afraid of a battle for the lead. The Derby race is already getting interesting and it is only the end of January. Lucky, Bobby, Oxbow, Goldie, Violence and roughly 20 other horses are showing us some impressive talent and streaking toward the starting gate at Churchill in May. The field is still wide open and new frontrunners seem to come to the fore every week. That makes for exciting racing. Looks like it's going to be a fun ride!
jose mesa More than 1 year ago
Itsmyluckyday ran a 105 Beyer so what was S.Bobby's Beyer and do you think they can stay at that level for eight weeks until they both run in the Florida Derby on works alone.I think a regression is very possible with the added factor of another 1/16th of a mile,how many colts can increase their Beyers as the distances progress?
Mary Raymond More than 1 year ago
Very interesting questions Jose, I wish I knew the answers..................Bert D
Daniel Garcia More than 1 year ago
Like I said, too soon Pletcher. Should have rested him longer. Good luck preping him for the Kentucky Derby. Probably just be a 7 furlong horse.
richard montgomery More than 1 year ago
After reading many of the comments from this article it is aparent that many folks do not have any idea what horses are. Beyers, Ragozin figures, pace figs, speed figs etc. are meaningless if the horse says it aint happening today. Many would benefit from a different approach to handicapping or just plain visualizing how a race will be ran...and it can be ran a hundred different ways. Invest some of your money into the organizations that help care and find homes for ex- racehorses, they need all the help they can get believe me I work with horses daily.