Champion Shanghai Bobby off Kentucky Derby trail

Reigning juvenile champion Shanghai Bobby will be given some time off following his fifth place finish in the Florida Derby on March 30 at Gulfstream Park and is no longer under consideration for the Kentucky Derby, co-owner Starlight Racing announced on Monday.

The son of Harlan’s Holiday appeared to have no obvious physical issues following the Florida Derby but trainer Todd Pletcher reported that the colt’s energy was “not where he’d like for it to be.”

“There’s nothing obviously wrong with him but we will go over him thoroughly and give him some time off to fully recover from his long campaign.  He’ll be sent to Payton Training Center today and allowed to have the down time that he seems to need right now,” Pletcher said in a statement.


Co-managing partner Donnie Lucarelli added, “Obviously we’re disappointed because of the timing but we need to do what’s right for the horse and it looks like he’s ready for a break.”


Shanghai Bobby was unbeaten in five starts last year including his victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He suffered his first career loss when he ran second to Itsmyluckyday during his seasonal bow in the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes on January 26.

Itsmyluckyday ended up running second to Orb in Saturday’s Florida Derby.

“Shanghai Bobby has been at the track for 13 months and his energy level and level of performance has never suggested he needed any time off until now,”  Starlight’s other managing partner, Jack Wolf, added. “It’s time to freshen him up and, if all goes well, point for a late summer, early fall campaign.”