Champion colt Shanghai Bobby returned Friday to the races with a victory to mark his return after a six month absence.
Trained by Todd Pletcher for owner Starlight Partners, Shanghai Bobby won a 6 1/2-furlong sprint at Bemont Park in his first start since finishing fifth in the Florida Derby on March 30. He was diagnosed with a slight pelvic stress fracture.
"He ran really well off the layoff," said Pletcher. "I thought he ran well enough today to put us in the mix for the Breeders' Cup Sprint or the Dirt Mile, but we'll see how he bounces out of it."
Shanghai Bobby won the sprint in an excellent time of 1:15.79 as the 3-5 favorite under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.
"It was my first time riding him, but I had watched his previous races, and what he does is get to the lead and wait," said Velazquez. "I didn't want to make a premature move and get to the lead too quickly; then, I waited too long and it took him a long time to get going. Finally, when he got to the lead, he started waiting again. His gallop out was really good. He's a tough horse to read."
Shanghai Bobby won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita last November to secure the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old of 2012. He was undefeated in five starts last year, but winless in two earlier starts in 2013, including a second to Itsmyluckyday in the Holy Bull Stakes.