Shanghai Bobby, last year’s champion 2-year-old male and undefeated winner of the Breeders’ Cup Grey Goose Juvenile, received the high weight assignment of 126 pounds on The Jockey Club’s 2012 Experimental Free Handicap, released Wednesday by The Jockey Club.
Beholder, who won the Breeders’ Cup Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies, was the high weight filly with 123.
Shanghai Bobby and Beholder were also Eclipse Award winners in their respective divisions of 2-year-old male and 2-year-old filly.
Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa's Itsmyluckyday was pronounced to be "110 percent" Sunday morning at Calder by trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., one day after his track record victory in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park over previously undefeated champion Shanghai Bobby.
"We had a good year last year and started this year even better," Plesa said. "In this game, you have to enjoy it when things are going your way and hold on to it because it will come to an end eventually. Right now I would say we'll wait for the Florida Derby for his next start."
Grade 1 CashCall Futurity runner-up Fury Kapcori has suffered a setback that will rule him out of his scheduled reappearance in Saturday's Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita, according to a report in Daily Racing Form.
"He's got a little problem," Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer told DRF Sunday. "It might cost him a little time."
Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa's Itsmyluckyday collared two-year-old champion Shanghai Bobby in the stretch run of Saturday's Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes and went on to a convincing two-length victory, establishing himself as a serious prospect for this year's Kentucky Derby while smashing the track record at Gulfstream Park. The emerging three-year-old colt completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:41 4/5 with jockey Elvis Trujillo, bettering the old mark of 1:42 1/5 for the re-configured nine-furlong oval.
Multiple Grade 3 winner Goldencents and recent acquisition Mudflats each worked six furlongs for Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O'Neill before Saturday's 1ST race on Santa Anita's wet-fast main track. Each horse worked separately with an eye toward the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 9.
Goldencents went in a bullet 1:10 1/5 under regular rider Kevin Krigger, the best of a total of eight works at the distance on Saturday. His fractional times were :22 4/5, :45 3/5 and :57 4/5.
Bern Identity, who will make his three-year-old debut in Saturday's Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park, is generally regarded as the biggest danger to undefeated Shanghai Bobby, the 4-5 morning-line favorite.
Unbeaten champion Shanghai Bobby made a quick jaunt Thursday from his Palm Meadows home to Gulfstream Park, where he schooled in the paddock with promising stablemate Verrazano during the 2ND race. The Todd Pletcher trainee was getting a field trip in advance of Saturday's Grade 3, $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes.
"He hasn't been to the racetrack or anywhere besides Palm Meadows since he ran in the Breeder's Cup (Juvenile on November 3)," Pletcher said. "We wanted him to get familiar with his surroundings here.
D. Wayne Lukas leads all modern-day trainers with four Kentucky Derby wins, the first coming via the front-running filly Winning Colors in 1988, and the Wisconsin native made an incredible mark during the late '80s and '90s, winning a record 13 Triple Crown races. The 77-year-old conditioner is no longer churning out champions like he did in his heyday, but he will look to return to prominence this year with Oxbow, a smashing 11 1/2-length winner of Saturday's Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds.
One week after being officially awarded the 2012 juvenile colt championship, Shanghai Bobby will put his undefeated record on the line and kick off his classic prep season in Saturday's Grade 3, $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park over 1 1/16 miles.
Owners and trainers of 3-year-old Thoroughbreds who dream that their young horses will participate in the 2013 Triple Crown races have only a few days remaining to make their horses eligible during its early nomination period to compete in the coveted series of American classics that includes the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), the $1 million Preakness (GI) and the $1 million Belmont Stakes (GI).
The 139th annual runnings of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum!
Two days after saddling Oxbow to a victory in the Grade 3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas made it a sweep of the holiday weekend's major classic preps when the regally-bred Will Take Charge gutted out a photo-finish victory in Monday's $150,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park.
Undefeated Eclipse champion Shanghai Bobby breezed five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 Sunday morning over the fast dirt at Palm Meadows for trainer Todd Pletcher in his final tune-up as the likely favorite in next Saturday's Grade 3, $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park.
Under exercise rider Patti Krotenko, the three-year-old son of Harlan's Holiday worked in company with impressive debut maiden winner Verrazano, who turned in the exact same time.
"They went head and head and finished evenly," Pletcher said. "It was a nice work for both of them.
Four-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas is back on the trail, after his Oxbow romped by 11 1/2 lengths in Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Lecomte Stakes on "Road to the Derby Kickoff Day" at Fair Grounds. The Bluegrass Hall colorbearer thus threw down the gauntlet for any others considering the subsequent two preps at the historic New Orleans track, the Grade 2 Risen Star on February 23 and the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on March 30.
Fair Grounds' Road to the Kentucky Derby will begin on Saturday when a field of nine sophomores line up in the Grade 3, $200,000 Lecomte going a mile and 70 yards over the Crescent City oval.
A number of contenders will be looking to solidify their status as Kentucky Derby hopefuls, including Avie's Quality and Oxbow as well as maiden winners Golden Soul and Malibu High.
Early Kentucky Derby predictions are fun. Whether you spend an enormous amount of time analyzing the form of two-year-olds and newly-turned sophomores or employ a more casual approach, everybody loves to be on the early bandwagon. The problem is that the Derby winner can emerge from relative obscurity in mid-January.
The Kentucky Derby chase is underway, with last Saturday's Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita offering the first opportunity for points in the New Year, and Sham victor Goldencents hails from the barn of 2012 Kentucky Derby winner Doug O'Neill.
Goldencents, ridden to perfection by Kevin Krigger, came out of his 1 1/2-length victory in Saturday's Grade 3 Sham Stakes in top shape, but no decision has been made on the colt's next race on the Triple Crown trail.
"No plans right now," trainer Doug O'Neill said Sunday morning. "But he ate up great and his legs are ice cold. We'll meet up with the owners over lunch in 10 days and map out an agenda."
Goldencents picked up 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for his Sham score and is the current point leader in the Run for the Roses with 24 overall.
Goldencents completed a sweep of Saturday's major three-year-old stakes by sons of Into Mischief with a workmanlike score in the Grade 3, $100,000 Sham at Santa Anita. Favored at 2-5 in a field of five, Goldencents caught leg-weary pacesetter Manando inside the final furlong and drew off to a 1 1/2 -length victory under Kevin Krigger.
The victory by Goldencents on Saturday came shortly after that of Vyjack, a gelded son of Into Mischief, in the Grade 2 Jerome at Aqueduct.
Doug O'Neill enjoyed a life-changing experience with I'll Have Another in 2012. The 44-year-old trainer conditioned the upstart three-year-old to unexpected victories in three Grade 1 races, the Santa Anita Derby, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, before an 11th-hour tendon injury forced him to abort a Triple Crown attempt in the Belmont Stakes.