After expressing some reticence about running undefeated Shanghai Bobby in the Breeders’ Cup, Starlight Racing will send their star 2-year-old colt to Santa Anita to run in the Juvenile.
He ran his record to 4-for-4 by winning the Grade I Champagne at Belmont Park last week.
After Shanghai Bobby won the Grade II Hopeful at Saratoga Race Course, Starlight co-managing partner Don Lucarelli of Duanesburg said they weren’t sure if they wanted to race Shanghai Bobby without Lasix, the drug that mitigates exercise-induced bleeding in the lungs.
For the first time, the Breeders’ Cup will not allow raceday Lasix for its juvenile races, with the goal to eliminate Lasix for all of the championship races next year.
Last Friday, before the Todd Pletcher-trained Shanghai Bobby finished five lengths ahead of
Goldencents in the Champagne, Lucarelli said they were more inclined to go ahead the Breeders’ Cup, and Starlight’s other co-managing partner, Jack Wolf, said in a statement this week that Shanghai Bobby will run.
“Todd and I discussed our options this morning,” Wolf said on Monday. “The colt came out of the race in great shape and has given us every indication that he belongs. He’s done everything that’s been asked of him and more. We are very excited for our partners and team and feel fortunate to have such a talented colt headed to the World Championships.”
According to Lucarelli, Pletcher said Shanghai Bobby isn’t a bad bleeder, anyway.
Starlight also markets itself as a partnership group that aims for the big races, and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile certainly falls in that category.
Shanghai Bobby, a son of Harlan’s Holiday out of the Orientate mare Steelin’, has already banked $607,000.
Trainer Chad Brown, a Mechanicville native, bolstered an already very strong hand for the Breeders’ Cup by sweeping the Grade III Pilgrim with Noble Tune and the Grade III Miss Grillo with Watsdachances at Belmont Park on Monday.
The Pilgrim is a “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup qualifier for the Juvenile Turf, and the Miss Grillo is a qualifier for the Juvenile Fillies.
Brown told the New York Racing Association that he will send both to Santa Anita.
He also won a juvenile turf stakes at Keeneland, the Bourbon, with Balance the Books last weekend.
Noble Tune, a son of Unbridled’s Song, was a debut winner at Saratoga at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf.
On a yielding turf at Belmont, he beat Mike Repole’s Notacatbutallama under Ramon Dominguez in the Pilgrim.
“[The Pilgrim] was much like his debut,” Brown said. “I thought he was very professional. He did some things you see experienced horses do. It’s always encouraging to see a horse with this much class who has the sense to maneuver around, slip inside, slip outside, accelerate and switch off early in the race.”
Watsdachances won the Miss Grillo by 21⁄4 lengths after racing well off the pace in eighth along the backstretch under Javier Castellano.
“She’s amazing,” Castellano said. “She’s a pretty tiny horse, pretty short and small, she runs with her head down, but she has real heart. She split horses, she went through a little tight hole and she took off. I know the pace kind of helped my filly. I feel they went quick enough and my horse sat behind the mid-pack. Turning for home I had to [decide] which way to go and I decided to wait. Turning for home she split horses and did it the right way.”
“This filly was very professional, ran super,” Brown said. “Javier gave her a terrific ride. To be that patient and wait for a seam on the inside . . . Javier made a big difference today. He rode her with a lot of confidence and made good decisions out there.”
Watsdachances began her career in Ireland, breaking her maiden at Navan in April in her second start before she was imported by new owners Michael E. Kisber and Bradley Thoroughbreds. She is unbeaten in the U.S., having won the P.G. Johnson by a neck on Aug. 29.
“Peter Bradley found this filly in Europe and was adamant about buying her,” Brown said. “He put a group together, including Michael Kisber and some of the other partners. They all put a lot of work into it, too, trying to find these horses, and they found a real good one here.”
Among Brown’s other Breeders’ Cup prospects are undefeated Awesome Feather, one of the top contenders for the Ladies’ Classic, Grade I-winning turf filly Zagora and Dream Peace, who is the 7-2 morning-line second choice in the E.P. Taylor at Woodbine on Sunday.
That race is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and Your’re In” for the Filly and Mare Turf.
Brown also has two very good 3-year-old turf fillies, Dayatthespa and Samitar.
They’re top contenders in today’s Grade I Queen Elizabeth II at Keeneland.
Besides the E.P. Taylor, Sunday’s card at Woodbine is the richest and biggest of the calendar year at the Toronto track, highlighted by the
$1 million Canadian International at a mile and a half on the turf.
The International, E.P. Taylor and Grade I Nearctic, for 3-year-olds at six furlongs on the turf, are Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifiers.
The International favorite, Imperial Monarch, is the only 3-year-old in the field.
While the other 10 horses in the field have each raced at least 11 times, Imperial Monarch has run just four times, but he’s a two-time group winner, most recently in the Group 1 Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.
The field includes 5-year-old Joshua Tree, who won the International in 2010 and was second to the filly Sarah Lynx last year, and Wigmore Hall, who won the Nothern Dancer over the same trip at Woodbine on Sept. 16.
The U.S. contingent includes the Bill Mott-trained Al Khali, second to Point of Entry in the Sword Dancer at Saratoga, and the Shug McGaughey-trained Air Spport, who was third on a yielding course in an optional claiming race at Saratoga before winning the Bowling Green at Belmont on Sept. 8.
JACKSON BEND RETIRED
Two-time Grade I winner Jackson Bend, trained by Nick Zito and owned by Robert LaPenta and Fred Brei, was retired this week.
His last race was a seventh in the Grade I Forego at Saratoga, which he won last year, after having been involved in a collision on the Oklahoma training track in August.
Jackson Bend was 9-6-4 from 28 starts for over $1.6 million in earnings.
After winning the In Reality at Calder as a 2-year-old, he went 12 straight races without a win, including a 12th in the 2010 Kentucky Derby and a hard-fought third in the Preakness.
He got back to the winner’s circle last year by sweeping the James Marvin and Forego at Saratoga.