Shanghai Bobby set for Holy Bull Stakes

2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion Shanghai Bobby seems happy at Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is training well for his highly anticipated 2013 debut in the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26. “Everything’s going according to plan so far. He’s still on schedule for the Holy Bull,” trainer Todd Pletcher said.

Shanghai Bobby was a lock to be named top 2-year-old of 2012 at the Eclipse Awards ceremony at Gulfstream. His 2013 Kentucky Derby prep races may include just two races: the Holy Bull and the $1 million Florida Derby on March 31.

“That’s what we’ve got in mind now, but things change,” said Gulfstream’s nine-time defending training champion. “We’ll see how the first one goes and decide after that.”

That schedule is subject to change due to Churchill Downs’ new qualifying points system for the Derby, should Shanghai Bobby not dominate his 3-year-old debut as expected. There’s a possibility, at least, that, a third prep could be added. See our blog at

In the old system that was based on graded-earnings, Shanghai Bobby would already have qualified for the 20-horse Derby field. With the new point system, 2-year-old earnings do not really count so Shanghai Bobby needs more earnings.

“In some ways it’s not dramatically different than the old one, other than the 2-year-old form isn’t being considered at all,” said Pletcher, who has stated that the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner should have an automatic berth in the Derby. “It’s easy for me to say that now because we’ve got the Juvenile champion, but I said that before. I thought it was the obvious flaw in the program. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner shouldn’t have to worry about gaining points. But the rule is the rule, and everyone knows about it before the game starts.”

Pletcher couldn’t be happier with Shanghai Bobby, who went undefeated in five starts last year. Pletcher couldn’t be happier with Shanghai Bobby, who went undefeated in five starts.

We hope that Rosie Naprovnik will retain the ride on Shanghai Bobby. If Shanghai Bobby keeps his win record going, Kentucky Derby Tours would be another part of history and see the first female jockey win the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

Wouldn’t it be great to see an undefeated horse win the Derby again? Last time that happened was Smarty Jones in 2004. Let’s hope that the connections of Shanghai Bobby are soon looking for 2013 Kentucky Derby tickets at Churchill Downs.