HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Itsmyluckyday won the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes on Saturday, overtaking heavily favored Shanghai Bobby in the stretch and breaking the Gulfstream Park record for 11/16 miles.
Ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Itsmyluckyday won by two lengths, finishing in 1:41.81 and paying $11.40, $4.40 and $3.80 in the Grade 3 Kentucky Derby prep race.
Shanghai Bobby lost for the first time in six career starts.
Shanghai Bobby returned $3 and $2.80 in his season debut. Clearly Now paid $11.40 to show.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Shanghai Bobby entered the race as the early Kentucky Derby favorite. He won the Eclipse Award as 2-year-old champion at Gulfstream a week earlier.
“The winner was very good today, we were second-best,” Pletcher said. “We got a good trip. You just don’t expect you’re going to have to break the track record by 3/5 of a second in order to win the first trip of the year. I was happy with it.”
Itsmyluckyday, trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., won the Gulfstream Park Derby by six lengths on New Year’s Day.
Shanghai Bobby broke well from the rail and grabbed the early lead. He set the pace in the backstretch until being challenged nearing the quarter pole. That’s where Itsmyluckyday went to the leader’s outside, shook free at the eighth pole and drew clear in the final sixteenth.
It was Itsmyluckday’s fifth win in nine career starts after racing at Monmouth Park, Calder and Delta Downs last year. The son of Lawyer Ron was purchased by for $110,000 at the Ocala Breeders Sales’ March 2-year-old sales by Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa.
“I’m not going to say he’s the best 3-year-old, I’m going to say he was the best 3-year-old here today,” Eddie Plesa Jr. said.
Earlier at Gulfstream, 1-5 favorite Kauai Katie went wire-to-wire to win the Grade 2, $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes. The Pletcher-trained filly won for the fifth time in six career starts.
Kauai Katie ran seven furlongs in 1:22.13 to finish 51/2 lengths ahead of My Happy Face.
Also, Cerro, a 3-year-old colt partly owned by 18-time Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps, won the $54,500 third race. Phelps and his former coach, Bob Bowman, share an ownership interest in the Ireland-bred colt, which runs in the colors of Team Valor International. Cerro is trained by Graham Motion, who oversaw 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.
AQUEDUCT: In New York, Twice the Lady overcame a stewards’ inquiry and two objections to win the $71,250 Affectionately Stakes for fillies and mares.
Spooked by a shadow on the track in deep stretch, Twice the Lady shied into the path of Withgreatpleasure. Jockey Cornelio Velasquez quickly got Twice the Lady straightened away, and she kicked clear to a two-length victory.
The stewards blinked the inquiry light and David Nunn and Travis Dunkelberger, the trainer and jockey of runner-up Withgreatpleasure, both filed objections.
After a video review, the order of finish stood. Trained by Tony Dutrow, Twice the Lady ran 11/16 miles in 1:44.05, paying $7.20 and $4.40.
SANTA ANITA: In Arcadia, Calif., Fiftyshadesofhay won the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by 53/4 lengths.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Fiftyshadesofhay ran 11/16 miles in 1:42.89. She paid $14.40, $4.80 and $2.40 as the 6-1 fourth choice.