Shanghai Bobby battled gamely to turn aside He's Had Enough in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Saturday at Santa Anita Park. (Photo courtesy of Horsephotos.com)
By Jack Shinar
Undefeated Shanghai Bobby wrapped up an Eclipse Award Nov. 3 with a gutty head victory over 19-1 outsider He's Had Enough in the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park.
Jockey Rosie Napravnik earned her first Breeders' Cup victory aboard the 6-5 favorite, a son of Harlan's Holiday trained by Todd Pletcher for owners Starlight Racing and Coolmore partners Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith. The Coolmore connections purchased a half-interest privately from Jack Wolf's group in a deal announced Oct. 30.
Shanghai Bobby, winner of the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park Oct. 6 by five lengths, improved to 5-for-5 in his young career and becomes the early favorite for next year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
“It’s great to have an undefeated 2-year-old and go all the way from April to November; it’s pretty hard to do," Pletcher said. "It’s a real feather in his cap. He has got everything you want. He’s fast and he’s courageous. He has handled everything we’ve thrown at him, from 4 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. He just keeps coming.”
Taking the lead from pacesetter Title Contender after stalking the leader in second into the far turn, Shanghai Bobby was in command at the quarter pole and took a two-length lead into the stretch. He had to battle in the final eighth of a mile, however, as He's Had Enough angled off the rail and nearly caught the winner before they hit the wire.
Shanghai Bobby, a $105,000 Keeneland September yearling buy bred in Kentucky by Stonehaven Steadings, ran the 1 1/6-mile distance in 1:37.78. He is out of the Orientate mare Steelin'.
He's Had Enough, ridden by Mario Gutierrez, finished second by 2 1/4 lengths over Capo Bastone and Joel Rosario.
Bettors could see just two horses in the nine-horse Juvenile field, but 2-1 second choice Power Broker, winner of the FrontRunner Stakes (gr. I), formerly the Norfolk, at Santa Anita, was carried wide on the clubhouse turn by Fortify and was never a factor.
Title Contender, leaving from the rail, dueled with Shanghai Bobby and Speak Logistics for the early lead with Fortify fourth on the outside as they reached the first turn. Title Contender gained a one-length advantage after clipping off an opening quarter-mile in a swift :22.28 and continued to maintain the advantage over Shanghai Bobby up the backstretch as they went :45.55 for the half.
Napravnik allowed Shanghai Bobby to cruise up on the outside of He's Had Enough entering the far turn, and the dak bay colt was soon in control, reaching the six-furlong point in 1:10.28. It appeared there would be no catching the new leader as they left the bend and set down for the drive. But He's Had enough, able to save ground for Gutierrez, had something left and angled off the rail to challenge Shanghai Bobby.
Gutierrez pointed the longshot to toward Shanghai Bobby in deep stretch. He's Had Enough kept pressing as they approached the wire but ran out of time.
Shanghai Bobby, who paid $4.60, $3.40, and $2.60, began his career at Aqueduct Racetrack in April, beating maidens by four lengths. His next start, in the Track Barron Stakes at Belmont, produced a one-length victory.
Shanghai Bobby missed some time with an illness, causing Pletcher to skip the Saratoga Special (gr. II), but the colt returned to action Sept. 3 with a 3 3/4-length triumph in the Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course. He was much the best as the favorite in the Champagne, in which he defeated five opponents.
Napravnik has ridden Shanghai Bobby in all of his starts. Shanghai Bobby has now earned $1,687,000 with the winning purse of $1,080,000.
“We were in a great spot," Napravnik said. "As a matter of fact, down the backside, I was having déjà vu of the Kentucky Oaks (win aboard Believe You Can) and being in that golden spot. He outran (Title Contender) way too early because once he gets to the lead, he gets a little bit lost.
"I was worried at that point, because he just came to a walk. I was hoping those horses would come up to him sooner than later. They did, and he kicked on again. He’s a terrific horse.”
Reddam Racing's He's Had Enough, the third-longest shot in the field after finishing 11th in the Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland last out for trainer Doug O'Neill, returned $12.60 and $7.40. He completed a $90.80 exacta. Capo Bastone paid $5 to show.
“He ran very good, but we did get shut off twice on each turn,” Gutierrez noted of the runner-up.
Fortify ran fourth, followed by Power Broker.
For an Equibase chart, click here.
SHANGHAI BOBBY (inside) FOUGHT OF HE'S HAD ENOUGH TO WIN JUVENILE
Photo Courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire