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Itsmyluckyday Surprises Shanghai Bobby

Itsmyluckyday with Elvis Trujillo up sets a new track record in winning the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park. Hallandale Beach Florida. 01-26-2013
The result of the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) had nothing to do with luck Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Itsmyluckyday earned his two-length decision over previously undefeated Shanghai Bobby fair and square.

A week after being honored as the Thoroughbred sport’s champion 2-year-old of 2012, Shanghai Bobby was the even-money favorite to win his sixth straight race in the Grade 3 stakes for Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby hopefuls. The Todd Pletcher-trained champion seemed to be well positioned in the No. 1 post to make a victorious 3-year-old debut in the 1 1/16-mile stakes, but the Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained Itsmyluckday unleashed an impressive performance that broke the favorite’s undefeated streak, as well as a Gulfstream track record.

“Words can’t describe it. It’s something everybody should feel. Anybody in this game deserves to have this feeling. I wish them all to have this feeling sometime….just not today,” said Plesa, a longtime South Florida-based trainer following his fourth stakes victory of the 2012-2013 meeting.

Itsmyluckyday, the 9-2 third choice who captured the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby on New Year’s Day, ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.81 to eclipse Endorsement’s 2012 record of 1:42.35.

“The winner was very good today. We were second best. We got a good trip and didn’t expect to break the track record by three-fifths of a second in order to win,” Pletcher said. “I was happy. We got the trip. We got the trip we anticipated.”

Shanghai Bobby, who concluded his 2012 campaign with a victory in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita, broke alertly from his inside post to grab the early lead in the short run to the first turn under jockey Rosie Napravnik. Itsmyluckyday also broke well from the No. 7 post under Elvis Trujillo to gain a stalking position behind Shanghai Bobby and Clearly Now without losing too much ground on the first turn. That trio continued to show the way in the 10-horse field along the backstretch before Trujillo sent his mount after the pacesetter on the final turn. The son of Lawyer Ron pulled alongside Shanghai Bobby leaving the turn into the stretch and steadily drew away from the game pacesetter to the finish.

“I’m very thankful for Mr. Plesa, who gave me the opportunity to ride Itsmyluckyday,” said Trujillo, who rode the Kentucky-bred for the first time Saturday after Paco Lopez honored a commitment to ride troubled fifth-place finisher Bern Identity. “This was the trip Mr. Plesa and I hoped for.”

Trujillo heeded Plesa’s pre-race advice to a ‘T.’

“I told Elvis, ‘If you’re seven-wide on the first turn and four-wide heading for home, you’re not going to win the race.' I just wanted the best horse to win the race; I believe that’s what happened today. I didn’t see anybody that had any big excuses as far as wide trips. That’s what I wanted for our horse; I wanted a fair chance to win the race,” Plesa said.

Shanghai Bobby easily finished second, 11 ½ lengths ahead of Clearly Now and jockey Luis Saez.

“He ran well. He was relaxed on the lead and went right to the front today,” said Napravnik, who has been aboard Shanghai Bobby in all his starts. “When the other horse came to him, he tried really hard.”

Joshua’s Comprise, the longest shot at 132-1, finished fourth, followed by second choice Bern Identity, Frac Daddy, Dewey Square, Sr. Quisqueyano, Tulira Castle, and Fredricksburg.

Itsmyluckyday, who earned $240,000 for his victory, is owned by Plesa’s wife, Laurie and Trilogy Stable (Marion Montanari and David Melin).

“We’ll see how he comes out of the race, but I’d lean toward the Florida Derby (March 30),” said Plesa of the Gulfstream’s $1 million 3-year-old showcase. “But he’s going to tell me what he wants to do. Then I’ll sit down with our partners and we’ll discuss it.”

The Holy Bull victory makes Itsmyluckyday a high profile 3-year-old on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

“Everybody’s excited because of the Kentucky Derby. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in that,” Plesa said. “I know (for) Marion Montanari and David Melin, this is on their bucket list.”

Bern Identity, a multiple graded-stakes winner, and Dewey Square, who had finished third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) in his last start, both had excuses that compromised their performances.

“We put in a lot of hard work coming into this race and then it turns out it was all for naught because of the trouble right out of the gate,” said trainer Kelly Breen, whose colt was bumped repeatedly by Sr. Quisqueyano. “We’ll just go back to the drawing board and regroup.”

Romans said his colt didn’t handle dirt hitting him in the face.

“I know we have a good horse and we’re just going to stay the course,” trainer Dale Romans said.


 

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Older Comments about Itsmyluckyday Surprises Shanghai Bobby...

I call them that, too, icy, 'til I get used to the new year, plus most are just officially three years old.
you would have made more in an ex... you really didn't think SB was ging to finish worse than 2nd did you? I thought the #7 hole would take to much energy out of him to beat Sb, but SB was the one pressured the whole mile. wish I used my usual 2/1 ratio in this, instead I used a 4/1. would play it the same again so np here. it was just a saver.
  • impeachthespeaker · no but i seem to lose every exotic bet I make and I knew I had a winner because of conditioning but wasnt sure about SB. Ive seen many dead favorited and undeafeted horses run out of the money before. im satisfied with my results and the fact that I shared this winner with all here. · 570 days ago
It was a saver bet Mary, I didn't think IMLD could beat SB from the #7pp as I thought he would be floated wide 1st turn by the #3. I didn't see anything else here but those two, so I had to reverse for less though. only bet a few dollars, 2yos are tough.
At least I think you had the first two, in that order, icy.
Good job on the Holy Bull, icy !!
look at rosies face, she's like OH! they're passing
and I made some very good money on the win hole.
Anyone on this site can look up my posts: I told you so!

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