Shanghai Bobby Breezes for Return in Besilu Stables Florida Derby
Eclipse Award-winning Shanghai Bobby prepared for the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) at Palm Meadows Training Center Sunday morning, breezing five furlongs in company with Palace Malice.
The 2012 juvenile champion, who suffered the first loss of his career in a second-place finish behind Itsmyluckyday in the $400,000 Holy Bull (G3) on Jan. 26, was timed in 1:00.14, as was his stablemate.
“It went really well,” said trainer Todd Pletcher, whose 3-year-olds ran the second fastest times of 26 recorded at the distance. “They finished up well, head and head, and galloped out strong.”
Last year, Shanghai Bobby was undefeated in five starts, including a courageous triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita that clinched year-end honors. Favored to win his 2013 debut in the Holy Bull, the son of Harlan’s Holiday set the pace before giving way to Itsmyluckyday, who scored by two lengths.
Sunday’s workout under John Velazquez was his fifth in preparation for the Florida Derby, in which he’s expected to meet Itsmyluckyday again and Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth victor Orb. Rosie Napravnik is slated for the return mount aboard Shanghai Bobby.
“I think he’s training as well as he was going into the Holy Bull, maybe better. He’s a horse that’s always run well, so we’re not expecting him to all of a sudden change,” Pletcher said. “We’re hoping for more of what we’ve been seeing, and that’s what we saw this morning.”
Palace Malice, who was ridden by Edgar Prado, is scheduled to run in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds March 30.
Dreaming of Julia, who finished second behind Live Lively in her 2013 debut in the Davona Dale (G2) on Feb. 23, breezed a half-mile in 49.48 seconds in preparation for the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) on March 30.
“Dreaming of Julia just went a steady half with a good, strong gallop-out. I thought she went really well,” Pletcher said. “She’s on schedule.”
Other Pletcher-trained horses likely to run on Florida Derby Day include Travelin Man and Soaring Stocks in the $75,000 Sir Shackleton; Seanchai in the $150,000 Orchid (G2); and Ciao Bella and Authenticity in the $150,000 Rampart (G3).