Shanghai Bobby is no longer being considered for the Kentucky Derby or the Triple Crown races following his fifth-place finish in the Florida Derby March 30 at Gulfstream Park.
A Starlight Racing release said the 2012 champion juvenile male will be given time off and be pointed to a late summer or fall campaign. The release said that from a physical standpoint, Shanghai Bobby appears to have come out of the Florida Derby in good shape but trainer Todd Pletcher believes the energy level of the Harlan's Holiday colt is 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," Pletcher said in the April 1 release. "He'll be sent to Payton Training Center today and allowed to have the down time that he seems to need right now."
Following the off-the-board finish in the Florida Derby, it appeared doubtful Shanghai Bobby would have enough points to be assured of a spot in the Kentucky Derby under the new points system put in place by Churchill Downs to determine the 20 starters. Previously Churchill had used graded stakes earnings to determine the field -- should more than 20 enter -- and Shanghai Bobby would have been assured of a starting spot under that system.
Last year Shanghai Bobby capped his perfect season with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park. He also won the Foxwoods Champagne Stakes and two other stakes races to complete a five-for-five juvenile campaign and earn the divisional Eclipse Award. Initially campaigned by Starlight Racing, the Coolmore-associated owners of Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith purchased shares in Shanghai Bobby before the Breeders' Cup.
"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," said Starlight co-managing partner Donnie Lucarelli.
This year Shanghai Bobby placed second in the Holy Bull Stakes on Jan. 26 before his fifth-place Florida Derby finish.
"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," said Starlight's other managing partner, Jack Wolf. "It's time to freshen him up and, if all goes well, point for a late summer, early fall campaign."
Shanghai Bobby will be the fourth of the past six champion juvenile males to not start in the Kentucky Derby.