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Calder-Based Colt Beats Champ in Holy Bull; Sets Track Record

Tags: Racing News | January 26, 2013

Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa’s Itsmyluckyday, winner of the $100,000 Foolish Pleasure Stakes and the $75,000 Fasig-Tipton Dash at Calder in 2012, positioned himself as a top contender for this year’s Kentucky Derby after defeating Eclipse Award champion Shanghai Bobby in the $400,000 Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday while setting a new track record of 1:41.81 for the 1 1/16-mile distance.

“I just wanted the best horse to win the race; I believe that's what happened today,” winning trainer and three-time leading Tropical Meet conditioner Eddie Plesa, Jr. said after the race.

Ridden skillfully from post seven by former Calder leading rider Elvis Trujillo, Itsmyluckyday always raced within striking distance of the heavily-favored Shanghai Bobby through splits of :23.34, :46.68, and 1:10.69 before drawing on even terms with 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner in mid-stretch and then sprinting away from the deposed champ to prevail by two lengths.

“When we got to about the five-eighths pole, the half-mile pole, I felt real good, because I know he has a good kick,” Plesa continued. “He couldn't have been training any better or doing any better, so I was pretty confident that we were going to be right there.”

Having trained at Calder for much of the spring before launching his racing career at Monmouth Park in June, Itsmyluckyday returned home to south Florida in August for a two-race tilt at Calder, winning the Fasig-Tipton Dash by four lengths before successfully stretching out around two turns for a three-length victory in the Foolish Pleasure.

From there, the son of Lawyer Run was a bit disappointing when sixth in the $1 million Delta Jackpot, but that effort was soon forgotten as a respectable fourth on turf in the Dania Beach led to a 6 ¾-length triumph in the Gulfstream Park Derby, a race that proved a precursor to Saturday’s winning run.

“We’ll see how he comes out of the race,” Plesa said when questioned about the next step for the colt. “I’d lean toward the Florida Derby, 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."