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Horse racing: Shanghai Bobby went out on top

Saturday, October 5, 2013
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A month ago, Shanghai Bobby was training back from injury and looking strong.

He was coming back from a pelvic fracture that knocked him out of competition for the summer. He made his return for owners Starlight Racing in the Aljamin overnight stakes Sept. 20, winning by a neck.

It seemed like the 2-year-old Eclipse Award winner was back. But he was only back long enough for that one curtain call, as a suspensory injury forced him into retirement Sept. 29. He will stand at Coolmore America’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky.

“That was a blow, especially since we spent the time getting him back to the track, then come up with a completely different injury,” said Duanesburg’s Don

Lucarelli, who co-manages Starlight with Jack Wolf. “But he probably would have had only one or two races, then would have been going to the breeding shed, anyway. But he brought us a lot of excitement and joy last year, and we’re looking forward to seeing how he does as a stallion.

“He’s with the right people, who are going to promote him, and he’ll have every opportunity to get the job done in the breeding shed. He deserves an opportunity now to produces some offspring that can hopefully display his talent and determination as a racehorse.”

Lucarelli and Wolf were with their Bloodstock agent Frank Brothers at the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling Sale when they bought Shanghai Bobby for $105,000. Going 6-1-0 from eight starts, including wins in the Grade I Champagne and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last year, he has earned $1,857,000.

Lucarelli and Wolf always consider horses by Harlan’s Holiday, but they leave it to Brothers to assess the horses’ potential. He was spot-on with Shanghai Bobby.

“He was definitely one of the ones we wanted to take home, from a breeding standpoint and from a confirmation standpoint,” Lucarelli said. “He just looked like he would be a good racehorse on the track. He proved it out, and he’s one of the horses our Bloodstock agent, Frank Brothers, had on his short list.”

Missing the Triple Crown campaign didn’t break Lucarelli’s heart. He admitted to a New York bias when he said he’d rather win the Travers with a rested horse. More disappointing to him was the missed opportunity to run Shanghai Bobby in another Breeders’ Cup race in November at Santa Anita.

“What could have happened, you wonder,” he said. “I just think, myself, that if we went back to the Breeders’ Cup mile, we would have been right in the mix. That’s the part that’s really the downer, that we don’t have the opportunity to show that.

“The fact of the matter is, he went out as a winner, and that’s a good thing. In this business, injuries are going to happen, but we were blessed to have him as a 2-year-old without any incidents. Everybody got to see what kind of horse he is.”

‘INTENSE’ STEP UP

Another Harlan’s Holiday colt owned by Starlight will step up off his Aug. 31 maiden win at a mile at Monmouth to try the Grade I $500,000 Champagne at Belmont Park today, also a mile, but one turn.

Intense Holiday was cross-entered in today’s Grade I $400,000 Futurity at Keeneland, which is 1 1/16 miles. Both races are “Win-and-You’re-In” races for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

When the races were drawn, Intense Holiday was in the No. 9 post in a nine-horse field for the Champagne, and he was on the rail in a 14-horse field for the Futurity.

“We’re taking a shot here,”

Lucarelli said. “There’s no doubt he’ll be long odds. There’s more horses who have shown more talent to date. We’re looking for a chance to show whether he can step up, and to what degree he can step up in this race.”

He is 12-1 on the morning line.

One of the horses to beat in the Champagne is Strong Mandate, favored at 5-2, who was 2-0-0 from three starts at Saratoga, including a slick 9 3⁄4-length romp in the muddy Grade I Hopeful.

Another is Honor Code, the 3-1 second choice, who won with a strong stretch rally along the rail in the Saratoga slop on Aug. 31, advancing from sixth place and eight lengths behind entering the stretch to win by 4 1⁄2 lengths over Misconnect, who won his next time out last Saturday at Belmont.

Saez cleared

The New York State Gaming Commission has concluded its investigation into the allegation that an electrical device was used by jockey Luis Saez during the Travers in August.

Eric Guillot, the trainer of second-place finisher Moreno, alleged that Saez, who rode Will Take Charge to a victory that was decided by a head bob at the wire, was carrying an electrical device during the race in order to shock or jolt the horse into running faster.

The commission’s investigation concluded that Saez was not carrying any sort of electrical device, and that Guillot’s allegation was wholly unsubstantiated.

Big week for juveniles

Beside the Champagne and Futurity, there are five other “Win-and-You’re-In” opportunities for 2-year-olds from today through Wednesday. Today at Belmont, there is Grade I Frizette for fillies going a mile. Sunday at Belmont features the Grade III Miss Grillo for fillies over 1 1/16 miles of turf, and the Grade III Pilgrim at the same length of turf for the boys.

The Grade III Bourbon will also go 1 1/16 miles for males on turf, at Keeneland on Sunday. The Grade III Jessamine at Keeneland on Wednesday will cover 1 1/16 grassy miles for the fillies.

Starlight has entered Candy Kitty, who broke her maiden third time out at Saratoga on Aug. 18 before a fifth-place finish in the P.G. Johnson, in both the Miss Grillo and the Jessamine.

Other stakes

The Grade I $500,000 Jam­aica at Belmont today will carry 3-year-olds over 11⁄8 miles of turf and feature the favored entry of Admiral Kitten and Get in Line at 7-2. Mechanicville native Chad Brown has third-choice Balance the Books at 5-1.

Horses 3 and older will get Breeders’ Cup “Win-and-You’re-In” opportunities in today’s Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship, Grade II Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland and Sunday’s Grade I Spinster at Keeneland.

Reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan is the 2-5 favorite in the Shadwell Turf Mile.

Champion Groupie Doll (winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint) and Gypsy Robin will meet in the six-furlong Thoroughbred Club of America.

Goldencents, who won the Santa Anita Derby in April, then ran in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, will face sprint champion Trin­niberg, winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint, in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship.

Brown’s Dayatthespa is the 9-5 favorite in the Grade I $400,000 First Lady at Keeneland today. He also has Summer Applause in the Spinster.

 
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