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Shanghai Bobby: Two-Year-Old Champion & Kentucky Derby Contender

Updated on March 5, 2013

Shanghai Bobby burst on to the scene in 2012 by winning his first five races on his way to becoming the Eclipse Award winner as the top male juvenile of the year. As is often the case, being a champion as a two-year-old doesn’t always translate into Triple Crown success. In 2012, Hansen looked like a horse that could sustain his speed out front, but as the competition got tougher he came back to the pack and wound up running ninth in the Kentucky Derby.

Todd Pletcher has a solid stable of Derby contenders for 2013 and according to Horse Racing Nation he has three of the top ten including Shanghai Bobby. Shanghai Bobby is the offspring of Harlan’s Holiday, who was a top contender for the 2002 Kentucky Derby. Harlan’s Holiday won two consecutive grade I races leading up the Derby, taking both the Florida Derby and Bluegrass Stakes. The breeding seems to be there for “Bobby” and he’ll try to duplicate his father’s success if he runs in the Florida Derby as expected, later in March.

Shanghai Bobby won his maiden race of 4 ½ furlongs at Aqueduct and then was stretched just a bit to 5 ½ furlongs in the Track Baron at Belmont two months later, where he won again. From Belmont, Pletcher took the upstart colt to Saratoga for an upgrade in competition as Shanghai Bobby won the Grade II Hopeful Stakes, with fellow Derby hopefuls Fortify and Bern Identity finishing second and third respectively. For his fourth start, he would go back to Belmont to run his first contest at a mile in the Grade I Champagne Stakes, where he won impressively taking out Doug O’Neill’s Goldencents in a race where he pulled away from a six horse field down the stretch.

His next start would see him continue to stretch out, as he went into the Breeders’ Cup as a favorite to win the male juvenile contest. He had a strong run in the 1 1/16 mile race, but had to get something a little extra in the last 100 yards to hold off the surging He’s Had Enough. The Breeders’ Cup would be his last race as a two-year-old and he went into 2013 atop the point standings for the Derby Championship Series. His first start in 2013 also resulted in his first defeat as he just didn’t have enough to overtake Eddie Plesa’s Itsmyluckday in the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes.

Shanghai Bobby will likely make his next start in the Florida Derby. This will easily be one of the most anticipated races of the Derby season as quality colts such as Orb, Bern Identity, Revolutionary, and Itsmyluckday are expected to be at in the starting gate at Gulfstream Park on March 30th. It’s been six years since the two-year-old champion also won the Kentucky Derby (Street Sense, 2007) and that’s a trend that Shanghai Bobby will try to put an end to this year.

Shanghai Bobby Wins Breeders' Cup Juvenile!


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