Another Lucky Day for the son of Lawyer Ron
Philadelphia, PA (Sportsbooks) - Shanghai Bobby won the Eclipse Award as last year's top 2-year-old colt, but a certain 3-year-old might have eclipsed the Todd Pletcher-trained champion.
Itsmyluckyday came into this past Saturday's Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park as the 9-2 third choice but the son of Lawyer Ron handed the heavily- favored Shanghai Bobby his first career defeat. In doing so, the March foal also broke the 1 1/16-mile track record, running the 8.5 furlongs in 1:41 4/5 seconds.
Trained by Edward Plesa Jr., Itsmyluckyday defeated Shanghai Bobby by two- lengths. It was another 11 1/2-lengths back to the third-place horse, Clearly Now.
This was Itsmyluckyday's second consecutive stakes win and fourth in his last five starts on dirt. His only blemish during that stretch was a sixth-place finish in the Delta Downs Jackpot last November.
As is the case with almost every stakes-winning 3-year-old, it is up to the public to judge if the horse is Kentucky Derby material, and by the looks of his performance in the Holy Bull, Itsmyluckyday has moved squarely into the mix.
However, there are some question marks.
Even though he knocked off a stellar field, all four other playable horses were coming off two-month layoffs. Itsmyluckyday also got a perfect trip in the 3- path sitting just off the two early pacesetters.
Furthermore, he veered out a bit through the stretch from jockey Elvis Trujillo's left-handed whipping. He also ran his final 1/16 in a slow 6 4/5 seconds. Finally, his pedigree is not 100 percent conducive for 10-furlongs.
As for the rest of the field, it's hard not to be impressed with Shanghai Bobby's performance. After a visually-poor victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, the previously unbeaten star needed to show the form that made him untouchable as a 2-year-old.
He ran exceptionally well considering this was his first start since Nov. 3. Don't forget, he defeated everyone but the winner while losing to a horse that had a race over the track on New Year's Day. Look for an improved effort next time out.
Bern Identity had finished 5 1/2-lengths in front of Itsmyluckyday the last time the two colts met. This time around, his rival dusted him by 14 1/4- lengths. A bad start cost the son of Bernstein valuable ground and the late kick shown in Louisiana was nowhere to be found in Florida. Expect a much better race from the bay colt in his following start.
The lack of firepower from Frac Daddy and Dewey Square could be chalked up to not having raced since finishing second and third, respectively, in the Nov. 24 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. Nevertheless, it also could mean that the race was not as strong as it appeared two months ago.
In addition, Frac Daddy's trainer Ken McPeek said the horse grabbed a quarter during the running of the Holy Bull so that could explain why his charge finished up so poorly.
Overall, the top two colts clearly stamped themselves as horses to watch, but winning on the first Saturday in May at 10-furlongs might be a different story.
GULFSTREAM PARK'S OTHER 3-YEAR-OLD RACES
A pair of 1 1/8-mile allowance races took place earlier on the card with Cerro taking the first division in 1:50 1/5 while Orb needing 1:51 to win the second division. Even though Cerro's time was faster, Orb had the much tougher trip and has license to improve.
Trained by Shug McGaughey, Orb defeated Duke of the City by a length to win his second straight start. (He broke his maiden by two-lengths beating the well-regarded Revolutionary back in November at Aqueduct.)
The one-paced closer was in tight quarters in the back of the pack, running against the grain of the track around the first turn. After the slow beginning, he traveled his next three quarter-mile's in 24 1/5, 24 1/5 and 24 seconds, respectively, followed by a respectable 13 2/5 final eighth.
It's been a long time since McGaughey has had a legitimate Kentucky Derby contender but Orb could be the real deal.
THE JEFF FRANK "DIRTY DOZEN"
1) Normandy Invasion - Has breezed four times since Jan. 6
2) Violence - Breezed four in 48.09 (4/43) this past Sunday
3) Flashback - Has as much upside as any other horse
4) Verrazano - Same could be said for this colt
5) Itsmyluckyday - Keeps on proving the naysayers wrong
6) Overanalyze - Breezed four in 47 4/5 on Jan. 27
7) Shanghai Bobby - Was not disgraced at all in Holy Bull
8) Goldencents - Working well for next start in March
9) Integrity - Needs to carry his speed around two turns
10) Uncaptured - Might make his next start in the Rushaway
11) Palace Malice - Don't forget about this one
12) Orb - Will make his stakes debut next time out
January 28, 2013, at 09:23 AM ET
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