Shanghai Bobby, Violence on track for classic preps
|Shanghai Bobby could have as few as two starts before the Kentucky Derby
(Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)
Shanghai Bobby, who is expected to be named champion juvenile colt of 2012,
has adapted to his surroundings at Palm Meadows Training Center and is training
well for his highly anticipated 2013 debut in the Grade 3 Holy Bull at
Gulfstream Park on January 26.
"Everything's going according to plan so far. He's still on schedule for the
Holy Bull," trainer Todd Pletcher said.
The schedule for Shanghai Bobby includes just two races as preparation for
this year's Grade 1 Kentucky Derby: the Holy Bull and the Grade 1 Florida Derby
on March 31.
"That's what we've got in mind now, but things change," Gulfstream's
nine-time defending training champion said. "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
three-year-old debut as expected. There's a possibility, at least, that, a third
prep could be added.
In the old system that was based on graded-earnings, Shanghai Bobby would
already have qualified for the 20-horse Derby field. However, little weight is
placed on two-year-old earnings, putting the son of Harlan's Holiday pretty much
on the same footing with far less accomplished colts.
"In some ways it's not dramatically different than the old one, other than
the two-year-old form isn't being considered at all," said Pletcher, who has
stated that the Grade 1 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
Pletcher, though, couldn't be happier with Shanghai Bobby, who went
undefeated in five starts last year.
"He's not a huge horse, but he's filled out nicely and grown up a bit," he
|Violence showed his versatility winning at Hollywood over Cushion Track
Pletcher has set the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on February 23 as the next
start for Violence, the undefeated winner of the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at
Hollywood Park last month.
The son of Medaglia d'Oro shipped to the West Coast to defeat 10 rivals on
December 15 in his first start over a synthetic racing surface. He captured his
career debut despite a hesitant start at Saratoga on August 19 before scoring by
two lengths in the Grade 2 Nashua at Aqueduct on November 4.
"I've been impressed with all three of his races, actually," Pletcher said.
"For a maiden to run as well as he did first time out at seven-eighths at
Saratoga, I was impressed with that. He had a break, then came back to step up
to a mile in the Nashua , then flew all the way to California and ran on a
synthetic track for the first time. He's been very impressive so far."
There's still a lot of upside for the Black Rock Thoroughbred LLP's
"He's a big, leggy colt who is starting to fill out and grow into himself,"
Pletcher said. "He's got a wonderful disposition and a great mind. He's an easy
horse to train."
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