Itsmyluckyday pounced on champion colt Shanghai Bobby in the stretch to capture Saturday's $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park. It's the second stakes win for the 3-year-old colt in less than four weeks.
Ridden for the first time by Elvis Trujillo, Itsmyluckyday got a quick start from the gate and settled into third behind Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby. The Eclipse Award winner set the pace in the 1 1/16-mile stakes with Rosie Napravnik in the saddle.
Shanghai Bobby, the even-money favorite in the 10-horse field, had the lead into far turn as Itsmyluckyday moved into second on the outside. Trained by Ed Plesa Jr., Itsmyluckyday took the lead at the head of the stretch and easily passed the favorite.
Sent off at 9-2, Itsmyluckyday posted a two-length victory over Shanghai Bobby and set a track record of 1:41.81 for the distance. Holding on for third was 42-1 longshot Clearly Now followed by Joshua's Comprise, Bern Identity, Frac Daddy, Dewey Square and Sr. Quisqueyano. Tulira Castle and Fredericksburg offered nothing down the stretch and were both distanced.
"I told Elvis, 'If you're seven-wide on the first turn and four-wide heading for home, you're not going to win the race.' I just wanted the best horse to win the race; I believe that's what happened today. I didn't see anybody that had any big excuses as far as wide trips. That's what I wanted for our horse; I wanted a fair chance to win the race," Plesa said.
Itsmyluckyday, a son of Lawyer Ron, garnered $240,000 for the win coming off a New Year's Day victory in the Gulfstream Park Derby. The colt has five wins in nine career starts for $425,600 and is owned by Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa, the trainer's wife.
"We'll see how he comes out of the race, but I'd lean toward the Florida Derby (March 30)," said Plesa. "But he's going to tell me what he wants to do. Then I'll sit down with our partners and we'll discuss it.
"Everybody's excited because of the Kentucky Derby. It's hard not to get wrapped up in that. I know (for) Marion Montanari and David Melin (Trilogy Stable partners), this is on their bucket list."
Itsmyluckyday returned $11.40, $4.40 and $3.80. Shanghai Bobby paid $3.00 and $2.80, and Clearly Now paid $11.40 to show.