Gulfstream News & Notes
Itsmyluckyday ‘110 Per Cent’ Following Holy Bull Win
Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa’s 3-year-old Itsmyluckday was pronounced to be “110 percent” Sunday morning at Calder by trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. in the wake of his track record victory in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park Saturday over Starlight Stable and partners’ previously undefeated 2012 Eclipse champion Shanghai Bobby.
“We had a good year last year and started this year even better,” said Plesa. “In this game you have to enjoy it when things are going your way and hold on to it because it will come to an end eventually. Right now I would say we’ll wait for the Florida Derby for his next start.”
Ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Itsmyluckyday was timed for the 1 1/16 mile in 1:41:81, shaving three-fifths of a second off the track mark. The son of Lawyer Ron, a $110,000 OBS March 2-year-old sales purchase, had won the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby on New Year's Day by 6 3/4 lengths at a mile.
Itsmyluckyday has now won five of nine starts with a second and a third and earned 10 points toward a berth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) with Saturday's victory under the new points system in place this year. The $1 million Florida Derby will be run at 1 1/8 miles on Saturday, March 30.
Shanghai Bobby ‘Great’ After First Loss in Holy Bull
Shanghai Bobby, who suffered his first career defeat to Itsmyluckyday in Saturday’s $400,000 Holy Bull (G3), came out of his second-place finish at Gulfstream Park in fine order.
“He came back great, really good. We’re not only pleased with his performance but how he came out of it,” Trainer Todd Pletcher said Sunday afternoon.
Owned by Jack and Laurie Wolf’s Starlight Racing and Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrrick Smith, Shanghai Bobby set a strong pace before falling by two lengths to Itsmyluckyday. The winner set a track record for 1 1/16 miles with a 1:41.81 clocking. Shanghai Bobby finished 11 ½ lengths clear of third-place finisher Clearly Now.
“We’re not making any excuses. We felt like we ran great – 12 lengths clear of the third horse and three-fifths off the track record,” said Pletcher, whose colt was ridden by Rosie Napravnik. “It was a huge effort. We were second best on the day, but we were really happy with his effort.”
Pletcher said Shanghai Bobby, who was honored with an Eclipse Award after going undefeated in five races during this 2-year-old season, would likely run next in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream on March 30.
“I talked to Jack Wolf a little bit this morning. We’re not going to make any decisions yet, but at the same time, we don’t see any reason to deviate from our original plan,” Pletcher said.
Hutcheson Highlight of Next Weekend’s Gulfstream Action
The $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs on Saturday will be the high point of racing action as the 2012-13 Gulfstream Park season hits the mid-point . The $75,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint will be run the same afternoon at five furlongs.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sent out Thunder Mocassin to score in the Hutcheson last year after a run of five straight victories in the race from 2003-07. Pletcher has five nominated for the 61st renewel and is expected to be represented by Perretti Racing Stable LLC’s Forty Tales.
A son of Tale of the Cat, Forty Tales has won both of his career starts beginning with his debut at Aqueduct by 2 ¾ lengths on Nov. 24 and an ‘a other than’ allowance at Parx by 3 ¾ lengths on Jan. 5 before shipping down to Palm Meadows for the rest of the winter.
Also expected in the Hutcheson line-up are Bruce Chandler, Robert McKee and James Glavin’s Merit Man, Swifty Farms’ Pataky Kid, Joseph Bucci’s Honorable Dillon. Herman Van Den Broeck’s Singanothersong, James Covello and Newtown Anner Stud’s Falling Sky, Red and Black Stable’s Weekend Hideaway and possibly Nancy and Richard Kaster’s Really Sharp.
Merit Man may rule the favorite for trainer Bob Hess, Jr. after a game victory by three-quarters of a length in the six-furlong Spectacular Bid Stakes here on New Year’s Day. The son of With Distinction won his first two starts last year at Del Mar and Santa Anita and suffered his only defeat when second by a nose as the favorite in the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
Merit Man tuned up for the Hutcheson working five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 Sunday morning at Gulfstream