Champion Shanghai Bobby continues to train forwardly for a scheduled
start in the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby at Gulfstream on
March 30. The son of Harlan’s Holiday hasn’t started in a race since
suffering his first career loss in the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream on
“The horse is training really well. We’ve had a plan mapped out
after the Holy Bull and everything’s been going to plan so far,” said
Pletcher, whose colt breezed five furlongs in 1:00.90 on Sunday. “We
still have a ways to go, but he’ll continue on a weekly work schedule
until the race.”
Shanghai Bobby entered the Holy Bull as the early favorite for this
year’s Kentucky Derby on the strength of an undefeated juvenile season
that included Grade 1 victories in the Champagne at Belmont and the
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita. The buzz surrounding
Kentucky-bred colt has subsided considerably since the Holy Bull, in
which he finished two lengths behind Itsmyluckyday and more than 11
lengths clear of third-place finisher Clearly Now.
“People are looking at the Holy Bull as a pretty strong race.
Itsmyluckyday naturally got a lot of respect from that and the race was
flattered a bit when Clearly Now came back to win the Swale the other
day,” Pletcher said. “I think it’s probably due to the fact that neither
Shanghai Bobby nor Itsmyluckyday has run since the Holy Bull the
everybody is looking at the horses that are running at the moment.
Hopefully, the Florida Derby will put him back on the scene.”
The Pletcher-trained Verrazano has replaced Shanghai Bobby atop a
majority of 3-year-old polls while earning favoritism in the Churchill
Downs’ first Kentucky Derby Future wager.
The son of More Than Ready, who has created a buzz at Gulfstream
with a pair of dazzling victories to launch his career, is scheduled to
make his stakes debut in Saturday’s Tampa Bay Derby (G2).