Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
He won his first start as
a two year-old in April at Aqueduct by four lengths at odds of 11-10.
In his second start, at the
end of June, he won the Track Barron at Belmont Park.
In the seven furlong Hopeful at Saratoga, he was victorious
by a margin of well over three lengths.
It was back to Belmont for
his first grade one win in the one-mile Champagne. This time, the margin of
victory was five lengths.
In the World Championships
at Santa Anita he finished his perfect season by winning the two-turn mile and
a sixteenth Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by head in what was one of the gutsiest
performances of 2012.
Of course we are talking
about Shanghai Bobby, who went five
for five winning three graded stakes and $1,687,000 and the Eclipse Award for
Best Juvenile Male. Shanghai Bobby returns to the races in the Aljamin, an
overnight stake for three year-olds at Belmont to be run as Friday’s third
Remember the call from
Breeders’ Cup track announcer, Trevor Denman, when at the top of the stretch he
said, “Shanghai Bobby is exhausted.” Yet nearing the finish he had to quickly
change his tune and say, “Shanghai Bobby came back
remarkably, and Shanghai Bobby, a tenacious all heart winner.”
On one hand, Shanghai Bobby
began 2013 as the first favorite on the road to the Kentucky Derby. On the other hand, his ability to succeed as a three year-old was questioned by many because
of the slow time in the Breeders’ Cup.
His first race back in
2013 came against a field of 10 in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park when he
tasted defeat for the first time against the very impressive Itsmyluckyday. Shanghai Bobby never got
a chance to prove himself when he came out of the Florida Derby with a pelvic
With the fracture healed
Shanghai Bobby returned to Todd Pletcher’s barn in Saratoga in June and resumed
training. Since then he has breezed five times and according to Pletcher, "We're
very pleased with the way he has been coming back. He's grown up a bit, and
it'd be good to get him started on a positive note. The first thing we need to
see is a solid run from him on Friday."
After spending most of the summer out of the
spotlight, which had shone so brightly on him for most of his career, Shanghai
Bobby has the opportunity to add to his already impressive record.
In the Aljamin, the Harlan’s Holiday colt faces a
field of six that includes stakes winners Purple Egg and Whiskey Romeo and the
stakes placed Tenango. An impressive
victory in this race could have Shanghai Bobby’s connections thinking about the
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct.