ARCADIA, Calif. - Shanghai Bobby had to work harder for his Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile win than he had in his previous four victories, but the hard-fought win earned Starlight Racing and partners $1,080,000, favortism for next year’s Kentucky Derby, and a certain Eclipse Award as champion older male.
“It’s great to have an undefeated two-year-old go all the way from April to November,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “It’s pretty hard to do and a real feather in his cap.”
Pletcher’s next job for his owners will be to get Shanghai Bobby from November to May and the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Shanghai Bobby’s sire, Harlan’s Holiday, was the 2002 Derby favorite who finished second in the 2003 Dubai World Cup at 1 ¼ miles. Pletcher trained Harlan’s Holiday as a four-year-old and spoke effusively of Shanghai Bobby’s natural talent.
He’s Had Enough threw everything he had at Shanghai Bobby in deep stretch of the Juvenile, rallying ferociously on the outside, but Shanghai Bobby would not be denied under Rosie Napravnik, who became the second woman to win a Breeders’ Cup race. Earlier this year Nepravnik became the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Oaks.
“Other horses came up to him, and he kicked on again,” Nepravnik said. “He’s a terrific horse.”
He’s Had Enough is from the same team that campaigned this year’s Kentucky Derby winner, I’ll Have Another. Trainer Doug O’Neill and jockey Mario Guiterrez were left wondering what could have been after their colt’s rally came up short following a troubled trip.
“To overcome all that trouble, he ran dynamite,” O’Neill said. “Right to the end, I was still thinking he was going to get there. He got beat by a nice horse.”
Title Contender set the pace early through fractions of :22.28 and :45.55 before giving way to Shanghai Bobby on the far turn. The eventual winner covered six furlongs in 1:10.28 and a mile in 1:37.78 before completing the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.58.
Most of the discussion in the aftermath of Oxbow's Preakness victory involved either explaining away why Orb lost or downplaying why Oxbow won. But Oxbow was plenty impressive.
Trainer Shug McGaughey is still thinking Belmont Stakes for his Kentucky Derby winner after Orb galloped a mile Thursday morning at Belmont Park.