HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) – 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 1 1/16 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.
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.
The victory was Itsmyluckday’s fifth 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.
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 5 1/2 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 for Team Valor.