Shanghai Bobby strutted his stuff to the tune of a five-length victory in Saturday's $400,000 Champagne S. (G1) at Belmont Park. The 2-year-old Harlan's Holiday colt is the leading earner this year for his sire, and has propelled the WinStar stallion to second on the 2-year-old Sire List.
Shanghai Bobby stalked pacesetter Goldencents through a quarter mile in 23.55 seconds and a half in 47.45, took command turning for home, and drew off under Rosie Napravnik’s vigorous hand ride to prevail with room to spare. The final time for one mile was 1:35.55
“He broke real sharp and we sat real comfortable outside of the horse that was on the lead (Goldencents),” said Napravnik. “He was taking me to the lead before I wanted to go, but he was full of it and did it as easy as could be. He’s just gotten better and more mature with every start and I think he’s just going to continue to grow and exceed our expectations.”
Owned by Starlight Racing, Shanghai Bobby is unbeaten in four starts. His previous stakes wins came in the 5 ½-furlong Track Barron S. at Belmont and a 3 ¾-length victory in the Grade 2 Three Chimneys Hopeful on Sept. 3 at Saratoga. Shanghai Bobby’s victory, worth $240,000, lifted his career earnings to $607,000.
“He’s shown the adaptability to stalk, and yet he has tactical speed to keep pressure on someone, keeping them from getting loose,” said winning trainer Todd Pletcher. “He’s tenacious. He has all of the tools.”
The Champagne is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) on November 3 at Santa Anita.
“This was such a great field,” said Starlight Racing founder Jack Wolf. “You could (have made) a case for any of the horses in here and I’m very proud of the way he performed against this bunch. We’ll talk to Todd (about the Breeders’ Cup) and see how the horse comes out.”
Wolf bought Shanghai Bobby out of the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale, going to $105,000 for the Stonehaven Steadings consignment.