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Saratoga: Pletcher closes out powerful meet by winning Hopeful with Shanghai Bobby
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It was worth the wait.
After having to scratch from the Saratoga Special on Aug. 12 due to a temperature, Shanghai Bobby showed that he might be one of the hottest 2-year-olds on the East Coast by rolling to a 3 3/4-length victory in Monday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Hopeful Stakes on closing day at Saratoga.
Fortify, the 8-5 favorite off an eye-catching debut win, finished second, three-quarters of a length in front of Sanford Stakes winner Bern Identity. Overanalyze, Show Some Magic, Vegas No Show, Majestic Hussar, and Lawn Man completed the order of finish.
The win was the third in as many starts for Shanghai Bobby, a son of Harlan’s Holiday owned by Starlight Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher.
It was the 23rd win with a 2-year-old at this meet for trainer Todd Pletcher, his second in a juvenile stakes. Pletcher won his ninth Saratoga training title with 36 wins.
“It would have been disappointing if we didn’t close it out with a 2-year-old win,” said Pletcher, who also won the Grade 2 Adirondack with Kauai Katie. “Hopeful, very important race, it should be a Grade 1, but that’s a different story. But you know we’re happy to get it.”
The North American Graded Stakes Committee downgraded the Hopeful to a Grade 2 for this year’s running.
Shanghai Bobby certainly looked like Grade 1 material on Monday. Breaking from the outside post under Rosie Napravnik, Shanghai Bobby raced an up-close third as Majestic Hussar set the pace chased by Overanalyze.
After a half-mile was run in 45.28 seconds, Shanghai Bobby joined the leaders and after receiving a right-handed stick from Napravnik at the three-sixteenths pole, Shanghai Bobby spurted clear. Napravnik had to stay busy on Shanghai Bobby until about 50 yards from the wire when she aggressively hand-rode him to victory.
Napravnik said at the three-eighths pole, “I was still trying to hold him back from getting the lead. I honestly didn’t want to get it too early because last time he kind of got lost out there by himself. Today, he probably let up a little bit but he was finishing so strong. He was much the best.”
Shanghai Bobby covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.72, making this the second fastest of 19 Hopefuls run at seven furlongs since the race was increased in distance in 1994. Only Came Home, who ran 1:21.94 in 2001,has run the Hopeful faster.
The win earned Shanghai Bobby an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 3 as this was a Win and You’re In race. It remains to be seen if Shanghai Bobby will go to the Breeders’ Cup because his connections are staunch supporters of the race-day medication Lasix, and, at this point, all five 2-year-old races at the Breeders’ Cup are scheduled to be run without the use of Lasix.
Jack Wolf, one of the principals of Starlight, said no decision has been made about the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.
“His next race would be the Champagne [Oct. 6 at Belmont] and then we’d talk about the Breeders’ Cup from there,” Wolf said. “Forget about the Lasix, it’s do we want to ship out there? We’ve never had any luck shipping out there. We’re just going to have to wait and see.”
In addition to the $180,000 first-place purse, Shanghai Bobby earned his connections a $100,000 bonus from the New York Racing Association because he won a graded stakes at a NYRA track after winning a maiden at a NYRA track.
The greed and ego of these people is amazing.they want to win at any cost and will take the whole industry down as long as they win and make a buck,they fight laws to make the sport honest and call themselves sportsmen?.these horse owners are the the biggest hypocrites and are the principal reason racing is as rotten as it is,after all who pays for the drug treatments and all the medication?.who sends their horses to miracle trainers with shady records?.im sure the trainers are not incurring theses costs out of pocket .the owners pay for all the nonsense and then complain about what they created.this guy in the article above is for race day lasix for 2yos,where do you go from there?.
Frog Juice! Look it up!
Don't hate the player, hate the game!
They should put that idiot and Barry Irwin in a room to discuss Lasix! I don't care if he shows up or not. The horse that wins the BC will most likely get the division championship. The dude wants to risk that because his horse has too weak of a constitution to run with juice. Cool. Owners like this and trainers like Pletcher are the reason we will never see another Secreteriat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, John Henry, Forego, Exceller. Hey Todd, where is Uncle Mo & Stay Thirsty. Too much lasix if you ask me.
Guaranteed if they both run on BC day Fortify turns the tables. While he will accustomed to running without lasix Shanghai Bobby will be gasping for air. Why anyone with a serious 2 year old would lasix their horse now that they can't use it on BC day is beyond me !!!
On another side note... Starlight Stable is a reason why horse racing is as horrible as it is today. When you literally know nothing about horses you should let the trainer train and you do what all good owners are suppose to do pay your bills and stop playing trainer/conditioner/condition book readers.
I 100% totally agree with Ray Sousa! Saratoga will always be second best when you compare it to the Bluegrass of Kentucky and KEENELAND! It's a shame that the Breeders Cup has destroyed Keeneland's Fall Meet for the most part but even with that said Keeneland without a doubt makes April and October very special months if your a horse racing fan! If you never attended then you have no idea what your missing!! I can not wait to make that short drive to Lexington and see "racing as it should be" at beautiful majestic Keeneland Race Course...
how the heck is someone a staunch supporter of race day lasix for 2yo horses?,what is the matter with these idiots why would they be in favor of this?,oh yes its a diuretic that helps rid the body of any remnants of doping .i keep forgetting that detail.hey if the stable is winning every 2 yo race at the meet why would you want to mess up a good thing .what is their % with2 yos at saratoga i think they have won about 70% of the races they entered.
Thank god its over,never thought id be saying those words about saratoga but this year something up there smells fishy more so than usual.its cured me of my saratogaditis a disease that causes you to think that saratoga is special.