Eclipse Award-winning Shanghai Bobby prepared for the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I) at Palm Meadows Training Center on the morning of March 17, breezing five furlongs in company with Palace Malice .
The 2012 juvenile champion, who suffered the first loss of his career in a second-place finish behind Itsmyluckyday in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 26, was timed in 1:00.14, the same time given his stablemate. The Florida Derby, at 1 1/8 miles, is March at Gulfstream Park.
"It went really well," said trainer Todd Pletcher, whose 3-year-olds ran the second fastest times of 26 recorded at the distance. "They finished up well, head and head, and galloped out strong."
Last year, Shanghai Bobby was undefeated in five starts, including a courageous triumph in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park that clinched year-end honors. Favored to win his 2013 debut in the Holy Bull, the son of Harlan's Holiday set the pace before giving way to Itsmyluckyday, who scored by two lengths.
Shanghai Bobby races for owners Starlight Stables, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smtih.
Sunday's workout under John Velazquez was Shanghai Bobby's fifth in preparation for the Florida Derby. He is expected to meet Itsmyluckyday again, as well as Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (gr. I) victor Orb . Rosie Napravnik is slated for the return mount aboard Shanghai Bobby.
"I think he's training as well as he was going into the Holy Bull, maybe better. He's a horse that's always run well, so we're not expecting him to all of a sudden change," Pletcher said. "We're hoping for more of what we've been seeing, and that's what we saw this morning."
Palace Malice, who was ridden by Edgar Prado, is scheduled to run in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds March 30.
Dreaming of Julia, who finished second behind Live Lively in her 2013 debut in the Davona Dale (gr. II) last month, breezed a half-mile in :49.48 in preparation for the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (gr. II) on March 30.
"Dreaming of Julia just went a steady half with a good, strong gallop-out. I thought she went really well," Pletcher said. "She's on schedule."