01/23/2013 4:51PM

Gulfstream Park: Shanghai Bobby on the rail in field of 10 for Holy Bull Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Juvenile champion Shanghai Bobby will face nine others in Saturday’s Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The imposing presence of the undefeated and recently elected 2-year-old champion Shanghai Bobby failed to scare off the opposition for Saturday’s $400,000 Holy Bull, the first of three major Kentucky Derby preps to be run here this meet. Nine other 3-year-olds entered the Grade 3 race, with the somewhat larger-than-expected field potentially posing the biggest obstacle to the champ’s success, considering the short run to the first turn in 1 1/16-mile races at Gulfstream Park.

Fourteen of the 21 races already decided at 1 1/16 miles here this winter have been won by horses breaking from posts 1-3. But whatever angst trainer Todd Pletcher might have had regarding post position ended at Wednesday’s draw, when Shanghai Bobby got the rail for his much-anticipated 3-year-old debut.

Among the prime contenders who may have taken the worst of the draw were Dewey Square in post 6, Itsmyluckyday, post 7; and Tulira Castle, post 8.

The remainder of the field is Frac Daddy, post 2; Clearly Now, post 3; Bern Identity, post 4; Sr. Quisqueyano, post 5; Fredericksburg, post 9; and longshot Joshua’s Comprise who will break on the extreme outside from post 10.

[HOLY BULL: Get Saturday's Gulfstream PPs, watch full card live]

“It looks like it’s coming up a very competitive race for the first one of the year,” Pletcher said. “We were planning to run no matter what, but you worry about anything. The post position draw had to be a concern, it certainly wouldn’t have been ideal drawing outside.”

Shanghai Bobby, who closed his 2-year-old season winning the Grade 1 Champagne and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, will share top weight of 122 pounds under the allowance conditions of the Holy Bull with Bern Identity, winner of the Grade 2 Sanford at 2. Bern Identity has not started since finishing a troubled and very game second in the Delta Downs Jackpot on Nov. 17 and has been training forwardly at Palm Meadows for his return.

Dewey Square was an easy winner of his first two starts for Eclipse Award-winning trainer Dale Romans before finishing a wide-running third in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs to close his abbreviated juvenile campaign.

Itsmyluckyday rallied wide to a convincing 6 3/4-length victory over Sr. Quisqueyano in the one-mile Gulfstream Park Derby on New Year’s Day while earning a 95 Beyer Speed Figure in the process, the highest of any member of the Holy Bull field.

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

“The post is obviously not ideal, but it could have been worse,” trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said. “He could have been in eight, nine or ten. I’m not crazy about it, but you can’t always have what you want. I’m surprised there are that many horses in this race. It’s certainly the most solid 3-year-old race this year and maybe the toughest field any of these horses have faced thus far either at 2 or 3.”

Tulira Castle was an impressive allowance winner here earlier in the meet when making his first start over dirt and will be stretching out around two turns for the first time Saturday.

Trainer Ken McPeek opted to test Frac Daddy, who was beaten a neck by Uncaptured in the Kentucky Jockey Club, in the Holy Bull rather than running him in one of the two entry-level allowance races he is eligible for earlier on the card.

Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
Week group period, wait in see.
Richard More than 1 year ago
Now is the time to see where these guys are at right now. Gulfstream is a speed favoring track but a fast track compared to a sloppy track like they had last Saturday at 1 1/8 miles on dirt. Ron the Greek a closer won The Florida Sunshine Millions Classic with a career beyer of 115. Mucho Macho Man had to be pulled up in the stretch when he was doing so well. They are saying he did not like the sloppy track. He has the pedigree for slop but he raced the worst race of his life, hard to believe! Ron the Greek had a fifth position in a seven field race and that was his start also. It is the end of January, 2013! It is time to see who the contenders are going to be. Shanghai Bobby showed how good he was in The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile but he also showed how green he was. He got a good lead on the horses coming around the turn and slowed down to wait for his buddy’s. Not unusual for a two year old. Their learning! But there are connections that want to see how good their horses are and see what kind of training and work their horses are going to need. Believe me they’re all going to need a lot of work. Let’s get a look at how good these contenders look! It starts from races like The Holy Bull.
Elijah Allison More than 1 year ago
duh just because a horse is bred to run in mud doesnt mean they will, also mucho macho has never run a good race in the slop check out the pps
R Everhart Castelo More than 1 year ago
maybe he will run off the pace, and finish? short, though.
russell More than 1 year ago
Shanghai Bobby doesn't even have a 1 1/16 pedigree. Most of Harlan Holiday's top horses are at 1m and under. After watching the BC Juvenile again I'm even more convinced. Almost the whole field was on Bobby at the 1/8 pole. This race can have some huge payoffs.
Bwell More than 1 year ago
I'm still looking for a winner inthis race. I think the weights are a little unfair to Shanghai Bobby and Bern Identity. Enlighten me, Who has a real 1 1/4 pedigree in this race? The Gulfstream Park 1 1/16 configuration makes this race a lil' gimmicky, IMHO. Heaven forbid, they run at 1 1/8. Oh the thought!!!
russell More than 1 year ago
Bet against Bobby. This race has a good chance to blow apart. Bobby's pedigree isn't bred for distance and he was desperate to win the BC Juvenile. I will admit he was very game but I don't see this horse doing much at 3 yrsold.
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Excellent observation,russell. Bobby, is a nice colt, and should do well at the shorter distance. Hope Pletcher, and his connections, do what is right for the horse, and keep him at the distance his pedigree suggests.
Matthew Sanchez More than 1 year ago
Itsmyluckyday,,shanghi bobby,,,bern identity,,, and fredricksburg in order of preference!!!! great race to kick off the start of many good derby preps to come!! i knows its early but your derby winner is in this race!!! hey this just be my lucky day lol Itsmyluckyday all the way from here to da derbys winner circle with gas still left in the tank!!
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
One Mile at Oaklawn, One mile and one sixteenth at Gulfstream both pose a real danger to horse and jockey alike. Just hope they all make it safely!
rollyhoyt More than 1 year ago
Danger? Exactly how many accidents have there been in those races? Is the "danger" any worse than drawing the 1-hole in the Derby? These athletes face danger every day. Please don't overstate the danger they supposedly face at those distances.
Jimmy Gunn More than 1 year ago
It looks like a good weekend of racing.
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
really where??
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
Perfect post for Frac Daddy. I hope that he sits in the pocket until they straighten for home...