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Breeders Cup 2015

Shanghai Bobby set for return at Belmont

Shanghai Bobby Champagne 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Shanghai Bobby, the 2012 Champion Two-Year-Old Male, will make his first start in more than five months when he competes in the $100,000 Aljamin overnight stakes on Friday at Belmont Park.


The Aljamin, race 3 on the card, will be contested at 6 ½ furlongs and is restricted to 3-year-olds.


Unbeaten in five starts as a 2-year-old, including a win in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Shanghai Bobby seeks his first victory of 2013. He was second in Gulfstream Park's Grade 3 Holy Bull in January and fifth in the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 30, and in April he was diagnosed with a pelvic stress fracture that forced him to miss the Triple Crown.


With a strong performance on Friday, Shanghai Bobby could target November races like the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita or the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack, trainer Todd Pletcher said.


"We're very pleased with the way he has been coming back," Pletcher said of Shanghai Bobby, who has been training at Saratoga Race Course. "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."


The Aljamin will be Shanghai Bobby's first sprint start since his victory in the 2012 Grade 2, seven-furlong Hopeful.


Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will ride Shanghai Bobby for the first time in the Aljamin. Owned by Starlight Racing, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, Shanghai Bobby drew post position 3.


Shanghai Bobby's competition includes stakes winners Purple Egg and Whiskey Romeo, as well as stakes-placed runner Tenango.


"Even though it's an overnight stakes, it drew a competitive field," said Pletcher. "There are several nice horses in the race, and I hope [Shanghai Bobby] is not rusty and that he's ready to go."


The field also includes Slan Abhaile and Dads Caps.


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