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Published on Sep 8, 2012
With the way Todd Pletcher's 2-year-olds have been performing this summer at Saratoga Race Course, it was only fitting for his charge Shanghai Bobby to close out the meet with a rousing victory over favored Fortify and six other juveniles in Monday's Grade 2, $300,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful.
"We felt like this summer the 2-year-olds were training very well, and we were coming in holding a strong hand," said Pletcher, who saddled 23 juvenile winners among his meet-leading 36 victories. "When some of them start to win and their workmates come up to run, you kind of get a good feel for it. We're not surprised, but we're happy."
The victory, his third in as many starts, gave Shanghai Bobby an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park on November 3 as part of the "Win and You're In" series. Having broken his maiden at Aqueduct Racetrack on April 19, Shanghai Bobby also earned a $100,000 juvenile bonus from The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) in addition to the winner's purse of $180,000. The bonus, instituted this year, is awarded to any 2-year-old maiden winner at Aqueduct or Belmont Park who goes on to win a graded stakes at a NYRA track.
"The purse is $300,000, you get a $100,000 [NYRA] bonus, and I still have shares in [Shanghai Bobby's sire] Harlan's Holiday," said Starlight Racing's Jack Wolf. "I said to my wife, 'This is a pretty big race.' It's nice that NYRA came up with the bonus. It seems to have helped the 2-year-old program."
Ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Shanghai Bobby settled in the middle of the pack as Majestic Hussar set opening fractions of 22.55 and 45.28 seconds with Overanalyze, another Pletcher runner, and Fortify in pursuit. Moving up eagerly three-wide when given his cue on the turn, Shanghai Bobby took command at the head of the stretch and never was challenged as he rolled under the wire 3 ¾ lengths in front of the 8-5 favorite.
The dark bay colt completed the seven furlongs in 1:22.72 and returned $6.30 as part of a 2-1 Starlight Racing entry with Lawn Man.