Shanghai Bobby's gutsy victory in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) capped off a perfect 2-for-2 season, simultaneously proving the son of Harlan's Holiday the best 2-year-old colt of 2012.
Harlan's Holiday is the nation's leading sire of 2-year-olds in 2012, with more than $2.5 million in progeny earnings. He also leads the category with five stakes winning juveniles this year.
Coming into the Juvenile off his five-length victory in the Grade 1 Champagne S. at Belmont, Shanghai Bobby was sent off the 6-5 favorite. Rosie Napravnik secured the second spot coming out of the gate, while Title Contender set a lively half-mile pace of :45.55. The dark bay colt moved to the front on his own about three furlongs from the wire, but then He's Had Enough made his run at the lead. Shanghai Bobby dug in and refused to let his foe by, getting the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.58.
“It’s great to have an undefeated 2-year-old and go all the way from April to November; it’s pretty hard to do," winning trainer Todd Pletcher said. "It’s a real feather in his cap. He has got everything you want. He’s fast and he’s courageous. He has handled everything we’ve thrown at him, from 4 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. He just keeps coming.”
“We were in a great spot," said Napravnik, who earned her first win in a Breeders' Cup race. "As a matter of fact, down the backside, I was having déjà vu of the Kentucky Oaks (win aboard Believe You Can) and being in that golden spot. He outran (Title Contender) way too early because once he gets to the lead, he gets a little bit lost.
"I was worried at that point, because he just came to a walk. I was hoping those horses would come up to him sooner than later. They did, and he kicked on again. He’s a terrific horse.”
Shanghai Bobby, a $105,000 Keeneland September yearling buy bred in Kentucky by Stonehaven Steadings, has now earned $1,687,000 with the winner's purse of $1,080,000. He is owned by Starlight Racing, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.