11/25/2012 2:47PM

Gulfstream: Shanghai Bobby slated to make 3-year-old debut in Holy Bull

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Barbara D. Livingston
Shanghai Bobby will run twice before the Kentucky Derby if he follows trainer Todd Pletcher's schedule.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Shanghai Bobby, the undefeated winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and likely champion 2-year-old colt, is being pointed to the Grade 3, $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26 for his 3-year-old debut, trainer Todd Pletcher said Sunday.

By starting him in the Holy Bull, Pletcher has the option of running Shanghai Bobby back in the Fountain of Youth on Feb. 23 or, preferably, waiting for the Florida Derby on March 30 should he stick with the south Florida route to the May 4 Kentucky Derby for Shanghai Bobby. Pletcher said he would prefer just a two-race pre-Derby campaign for Shanghai Bobby, who twice this year won off a 69-day layoff.

“He’s had five races, but he’s also had good spacing in between,” Pletcher said. “Right now, I’d say the Holy Bull and Florida Derby put him on a steady campaign of races and we’d still have a fresh horse that’s had a lot of spacing in between his races.”

Pletcher added, “If you target the Fountain of Youth as your first start back and have any hiccups along the way and you miss the Fountain of Youth it puts you behind schedule.”

Pletcher noted that with Churchill Downs employing a new points system to replace the graded stakes earnings rule previously used to determine starters for the Kentucky Derby, Shanghai Bobby is not assured a spot in the Derby field despite wins in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Champagne and Hopeful.

Under the new system, Shanghai Bobby has earned 20 points, but races run in March and April are worth significantly more points than the Champagne and Breeders’ Cup. The winner of the Holy Bull would earn only 10 points while the Fountain of Youth winner earns 50 points and the Florida Derby winner gets 100 points.

“To think you have to be cognizant of earning points with a horse that’s 5 for 5 and won the Breeders’ Cup, whether he was my horse or not, that needs to be looked at,” Pletcher said. “The Breeders’ Cup champion shouldn’t have to worry about points, but it’s so heavily geared to the final preps. Hopefully the points he accumulated already and if he earns a few more in his next prep, he’s in a position that if he ran well in his final prep that even without winning he’d qualify.”

Shanghai Bobby, owned by Starlight Stable and Coolmore, is currently in light training at the Palm Meadows training center in south Florida.

Haydn More than 1 year ago
Good 2 year old colt, I just don't see him winning farther than he has already gone. I also think (if he goes to the Florida Derby) that if he and Bern Identity were to race against Bern would win. The farther they go the more I see the others "eating him up" (Shanghai Bobby) so to speak. He has not peaked, most horses peak at 5, but he is pretty close to being topped out.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Shanghai Bobby is a great juvenile champ...heart,speed,class...etc.. the point here factually is that juvenile stakes don't produce many 3,4,5 year old champions that this sport needs..there is no following of our athletes because of this as many just don't last long enough..so to me, the new points system is a good step in assuring better soundness in our breed and therefore more longevity for horses and fan base...use juvenile stakes as a guide to which sires have quicker returns on breeding investments and sales purchases..not in determinating Kentucky Derby prospects...that old agenda is causing too many breakdowns.
the ol' dad More than 1 year ago
the day i start feeling sorry for pletcher, i'll check myself in. if SB doesn't get in the derby it'll be bedcause one of pletcher's 600 other 3yo beat him out.
John More than 1 year ago
ANYONE who gambles on the 2013 BREEDERS CUP is an idiot ! NO LASIX ? Lets show the suits the bettors have had enough ! BOYCOTT 2013 BREEDERS CUP
Chris Butler More than 1 year ago
Horses SHOULD NOT race with race day medication. If the betting public can be asssured none of the horses is racing with race day medication, thus creating a level playing field, I think it willl be a win/win. If you own horses that need race day medication invest in some that don't.
Ponies Payme More than 1 year ago
We'll miss your $25
PeterG More than 1 year ago
I hope Pletcher works this winter on Shanhai Bobby's bad habit of waiting for other horses once he gets the lead. Rosie clearly said that's what he did in the Breeders Cup and a previous stakes race. Ainslie talked about that in his book. Some horses do that, it's the "herd mentality". Otherwise Rosie is going to have to time his run so that he just gets up at the wire every time. I guess you cure him of that by working him with other horses and making him run away from them during the workout. I'm not a trainer but that's what I would do.
BALOK CHUGS TRANYA More than 1 year ago
one of the stupidest things in racing is assigning weight to a horse. why would you handicap a horse with extra weight because he is good? STUPID.
Kevin Smith More than 1 year ago
The decision of which races recieve points could be done in a vindictive way and thats my main issue with the points system. Why not just use graded earnings earned in your 3yo season in races over a mile on dirt or synthetic? Wouldn't that simpler?????? As it stands you have 19 races in prep season offering 17 total points per race. Then you 17 races broken down into First Leg, Second Leg and Wild Card. First Leg is 8 races offering 85 points per race and Second Leg is 7 races offering 170 points per race and 2 more wild card races. I have a sneaky feeling the person that came up with this system also wrote the tax laws...Plain and simple confusion!
Ponies Payme More than 1 year ago
They are basically determining WHEN you rest your horse. ALL races should receive the same points. If you need to run in more races, and your horse can't handle it>>>> Is he really deserving to be a champ?
jttf More than 1 year ago
horses who have serious 2 year old campaigns dont improve much later on in their racing careers. the lasix and drugs stunt the growth of these drugged up race horses. many of these horses end their careers by the summer of in their 3 year old season. so why would you use 2 year old races as motivation to get into the derby ? all of the horse of the year canidates didnt have serious 2 year old campaigns. this includes, wise dan, little mike, point of entry and fort larned.
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
The point system may need tweaking. If a real contender is kept out by the system that will serve as motivation.
russell More than 1 year ago
Ed, No BC Juvenile winner has won the Derby so why should it be an automatic qualifier? The system needs serious improvement. The Delta Jackpot winner gets the same points as the Champagne winner. Ridiculous. The garbage 3 year-old race from New Mexico also gets a lot of points as does the UAE Derby.
David More than 1 year ago
Street Sense