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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

Shanghai Bobby Returns Friday at Belmont

Shanghai Bobby BC 615 X 400
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 race.
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 stress fracture.
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. 


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Older Comments about Shanghai Bobby Returns Friday at Belmont...

Dmaged goods a la I Want Revenge, Pioneer ofthe Nile, the fortunate Patyner (up to a point...I would like to see this one ALIVE at the end of its career)
It is interesting that today it is usually miler types that are 2 year old champions, I know there are exceptions, Lookin at Lucky for example, but still most of the top 2 year olds in this century have been milers. Contrast this to the champions from the 1970's almost all had great success stretching out to classic distances as 3 year olds. I hope Shanghai Bobby is starting a good run of races but this looks like a pretty tough race. He will have to be ready and run well to win.
  • Ruffianlover · I completely agree Mike. He will have to run a damn good race to win- but at least they are giving him the chance to come back slowly and not forcing him immediately into the Kings Bishop. And at least he is coming back- and not being whisked off to the breeding shed like so many others. The thing about Bobby is he kept improving and growing every race. Every time people said he wouldn't get the distance- but he fought on dramatically in the Juvenile when he refused to be passed by He's had enough. Whether he was tired and just fought back or whether he was immature and Lost concentration- he still didn't give up. Yes he got beat in the Holy Bull but it was by a flawless Run by itsmyluckyday and Bobby still beat the track record plus crushed the rest of the horses in the field by eleven lengths. He was just the second best horse that day. But I still think he ran his race and have up nothing in defeat. Florida derby he was hurt and not the same horse at all so I would call that a throw out. Bottom line is- this horse has talent and yes he may not be a classic distance horse but that doesn't mean he can't be a good horse. Look at Wise Dan. Let the horses do what they're good at! · 1490 days ago
Limitations because he wasn't in shape. If they get him properly fit he could be a monster on dirt at a mile or less. He is all heart too- which is why he was too stubborn to give up the BCJuvenile
Although excited to see him back he always had his limitations and his competition will be markedly improved than what he faced as a two year old.
I'll be rootin for him, I'd really like to see him win after what he's been trough. jlp
Talented with so much heart!
Yes! Finally! I can't wait to see him get back to his winning ways. This horse is so talented and I hope they stay smart with him and put him in the right races. The champ is back!
I welcome back the Juvy Champ with open arms ... now let's see what he can do!

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


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