It was trainer Eddie Plesa’s lucky day when Itsmyluckyday took down Two-Year-Old Eclipse Champion Shanghai Bobby in the $400,000 Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla. Itsmyluckyday earned 10 points for the victory and is now on the board in Churchill Downs’ new Road to the Kentucky Derby points system for entry into the Kentucky Derby. Plesa, a Florida-based trainer, has only had one Kentucky Derby starter in his 33-year career—Third Ring, who finished 19th in 1999.
“Words can’t describe it,” said Plesa. “It’s something everybody should feel. Anybody in this game deserves to have this feeling. I wish them all to have this feeling sometime….just not today.”
The race started as many expected with Todd Pletcher’s Shanghai Bobby taking the early lead down on the rail. The even money favorite set the pace with longshot Clearly Now and Itsmyluckyday staying just off his lead while Bern Identity and Frac Daddy were content to settle in mid-pack.
As the field turned for home, Itsmyluckyday made his move from third and quickly overcame Clearly Now with his eyes set on Shanghai Bobby. As the pair dueled into the stretch, they quickly pulled away from the field, leaving the others nearly 12 lengths behind them. Itsmyluckyday gained the advantage on Shanghai Bobby, giving the colt his first defeat in six starts. Joshua’s Comprise trailed the field in the early going and looked to be well-defeated before making a driving effort into the stretch to finish fourth.