Champions Shanghai Bobby, Beholder top Experimental Free Handicap

Jockey Club press release

Shanghai Bobby, last year’s champion 2-year-old male and undefeated winner of the Breeders’ Cup  Juvenile, received the high weight assignment of 126 pounds on The Jockey Club’s 2012 Experimental Free Handicap, released today by The Jockey Club.

Beholder, who won the Breeders’ Cup Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies, was the high weight filly with 123.

Shanghai Bobby and Beholder were also Eclipse Award winners in their respective divisions of 2-year-old male and 2-year-old filly.

All Experimental Free Handicap weight assignments, as well as past performances for those horses, are available within the Publications and Resources section of jockeyclub.com at jockeyclub.com/experimental.asp.

The Jockey Club Experimental Free Handicap, published annually since 1935, is a weight-based assessment of the previous year’s leading 2-year-olds, with the weights compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt.

The weighting committee of racing secretaries was once again composed of P.J. Campo of the New York Racing Association, Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs and Keeneland, and Thomas S. Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

The committee weighted a total of 125 males and 117 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all 2-year-olds of 2012 that finished among the top four in graded or listed stakes races run in the continental United States. Listed stakes in 2012 were those with a value of $75,000 or more available to all starters, and no restrictions other than age or sex.

Shanghai Bobby won all five of his starts last year by a combined 14 lengths and earned $1,687,000. In addition to a maiden allowance race and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Shanghai Bobby won the Grade I Champagne Stakes, the Hopeful Stakes, and the Track Barron Stakes. He was bred in Kentucky by Stonehaven Steadings and is owned by Starlight Racing, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor, Michael B. and Derrick Smith, Derrick,

Beholder won three of her five starts and was second by a nose in the Del Mar Debutante Stakes with total earnings of $1,215,000. She was bred in Kentucky by Clarkland Farm and is owned by Spendthrift Farm.

Among sires of Experimental horses, Harlan’s Holiday leads the list of colts and geldings with five representatives; Any Given Saturday and Street Hero have four each.

City Zip and Malibu Moon head the fillies’ list with five representatives each. Broken Vow and Kitten’s Joy have four each.

Combining the two lists, Harlan’s Holiday, Kitten’s Joy and Malibu Moon are the leading sires with six each, followed by Broken Vow, City Zip, Henny Hughes and Unbridled’s Song with five each.

Kentucky, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania produced the largest number of horses in the 2012 Experimental Free Handicap. Of the 242 juveniles weighted, 152 were bred in Kentucky, 31 in Florida, 11 in New York and nine in Pennsylvania.