Before a crowd of 55,123 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Cal., favored Shanghai Bobby fought off a game He’s Had Enough to win the $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) for Louisville’s Jack Wolf, Ed Glasscock and their Starlight Racing Partnership. Wolf and his filly Ashado gave trainer Todd Pletcher his first Breeders’ Cup victory in 2004 with a win in the Distaff (n/k/a the Ladies Classic). Eight years later and Pletcher can add another Breeders’ Cup victory to the list courtesy of Wolf, bringing his total to seven.
Shanghai Bobby, under the guidance of Kentucky Oaks 138 winner Rosie Napravnik, held on to his undefeated record with a head victory over 19-1 He’s Had Enough. With two graded stakes victories under his belt and undefeated in four starts, at odds of 6-5 Shanghai Bobby’s victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was somewhat expected. A determined challenger in He’s Had Enough, was not. The connections of He’s Had Enough have been underestimated in the past. Trainer Doug O’Neill for owner Paul Reddam and jockey Mario Gutierrez teamed last year with Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another.
As the field of nine hit the final turn, Napravnik and Shanghai Bobby made a move on frontrunner Title Contender. He’s Had Enough, who was making his first start on conventional dirt, came up the rail, maneuvered through traffic and seemed to be poised to take down a tiring Shanghai Bobby. However, Shanghai Bobby re-rallied and held off the challenge, taking victory by a head.
“I hope everybody appreciated the excitement, because I didn’t,” said Napravnik immediately after the race. “We were in a great spot. 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 the one horse (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.”
A late-charging Capo Bastone was 2 ¼ lengths behind in third, with Fortify nearly two lengths behind him in fourth. Power Broker, the post-time second choice, finished fifth.
“The number eight (Fortify) rushed out of the gate and I tried to get position, but he went out and pushed me way wide on the first turn,” said Rafael Bejarano, rider of Power Broker. “It probably cost me the race.”
In the past, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile often determined the early favorite for the upcoming Kentucky Derby with a payout that guaranteed the victor a spot at the top of the graded earning list and an entry in the Kentucky Derby. However, under the new Kentucky Derby points system, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile only gets 10 points, the same amount awarded in last month’s Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland and Belmont’s Champagne (G1). Points are awarded to the first through fourth-place finishers in pre-determined races. As the Derby draws nearer, the points per race increase. Shanghai Bobby’s Juvenile victory brings his total points to 20. He’s Had Enough, who finished 11th in the Breeders’ Futurity, gets on the board with 4 points. Capo Bastone earned 2 points for his third-place finish which brings his total to 4. Fortify earned 1 point for his fourth-place Juvenile finish, bringing his current total to 3.
Shanghai Bobby returned $4.60, $3.40, and $2.60. He’s Had Enough paid $12.60 and $7.40 and completed the $1 exacta for $45.40. Capo Bastone paid $5.00 and completed the $1 trifecta for $366.70. Fortify completed the $1 superfecta for $1,862.90. The final time for the 1 1/16 mile race over the fast dirt was 1:44.58.
Photo: Breeders’ Cup