Itsmyluckyday took a huge step up on the national list of 3-year-olds on Saturday when he routed a strong field in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (Grade 3) and set a Gulfstream Park track record.
Itsmyluckyday beat Shanghai Bobby, last year’s 2-year-old champion, by two lengths. He was ridden by Elvis Trjujillo and ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.81.
That broke the record of 1:42.35 that Endorsement set last year in an allowance race.
The victory came less than a month after Itsmuluckyday won the Gulfstream Park Derby, in the fast time of 1:34.39 for a mile.
The two wins put Itsmyluckyday, if he stays healthy, on a path toward the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, on May 4
“It’s a 3-year-old,” said Eddie Plesa Jr., the trainer of Itsmyluckyday. “Everybody’s excited because of the Kentucky Derby. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in that.”
Laurie Plesa, the trainer’s wife, owns Itsmyluckyday in a partnership with Trilogy Stables. David and Olga Melin, who live in Sunny Isles Beach, and Marion Montanari, who lives in the Ocala area, own Trilogy.
Shanghai Bobby, trained by Todd Pletcher, won all five of his races last year — including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 3
He was the even-money favorite, even though some handicappers were concerned that he had not raced in almost three months.
He was in second place, a half-length behind Shanghai Bobby entering the final turn. He took the lead at the top of the stretch and edged away for his fifth win in nine career starts.
Plesa said he might give his star colt a break from racing until the Florida Derby (Grade 1) at 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream on March 30.
“He’s going to tell me what he wants to do,” Plesa said. “Then I’ll sit down with our partners and we’ll discuss it.”
Said Pletcher: “The winner was very good today. We got a good trip and didn’t expect to break the track record by three-fifths of a second in order to win. I was happy.”
This and that
• In Saturday’s $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes (Grade 2) for 3-year-old fillies, Kauai Katie beat My Happy Face by 5 1/2 lengths.
Kauai Katie, the 3-10 favorite, was ridden by John Velazquez and won the seven-furlong dirt stakes in 1:22.13.
• On Sunday, Gulfstream will have the $100,000 Sweetest Chant Stakes, at one mile on turf for 3-year-old fillies. Mystic Love is the likely favorite in an eight-horse field.