Shanghai Bobby on the rail in Holy Bull, will face 9// Clawback to stretch out// Excuses for Smarty Jones also-rans// Flashback works

Champion Shaghai Bobby will apparently have no cakewalk in his 3-year-old debut—at least on paper.  Todd Pletcher’s #1 prospect will face a graded stakes winner, two graded stakes placed runners, two listed stakes winners, and several other promising sophomores who could be sitting on a big race.  Shanghai Bobby will start on the rail for the Holy Bull (G3), which drew an unexpected field of ten. Full previews and a link to free PPs below// Rick Violette has decided to give recent Jimmy Winkfield Stakes winner Clawback a chance to stretch out. The exact race is undecided, but it very well could be away from New York considering the timing of the Withers (G3) in less than two weeks is not ideal.  Wherever he ends up it’s tough seeing Clawback excel at extra distance. Not that people pay attention to a horse’s dosage index much anymore, but a 7.00 is about the highest you’ll find of any possible Derby participant// Violette also mentioned that Carried Interest, who finished second to Overanalyze in his last race back in September, is gearing up for an allowance in February// Bob Baffert was pleased with Flashback’s workout in company at Santa Anita Wednesday morning. The colt is pointing to the Robert Lewis (G2) in a little over a week// The dust has fully settled from Monday’s Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn, and we now have excuses for several of the disappointing finishers.  Brown Almighty apparently had a “severe lung infection” and will be given another shot on the Derby trail in either the Risen Star (G2) or Southwest (G3).  Officer Alex lost a shoe according to trainer Lynn Whiting, and also suffered a poor break and wide trip.  He’ll give him another stakes try as well.  All of these excuses could be valid, but it’s not enough for me to back the colts in their next race// Always in a Tiz was arguably the most impressive in the Smarty Jones when finishing a hard charging third after ending up stuck behind horses on the rail. Trainer Dominick Schettino noted he galloped out ahead of the field past the wire, but that’s not always what it’s cracked up to be considering a lot of horses are gearing down. Always in a Tiz’s next race plans remain up in the air// more…

Upcoming Points Race:
Holy Bull S. (G3)
Gulfstream Park
1 1/16 Miles
Time/TV: 5:05 ET/TVG
Previews: DRF / Brisnet / Bloodhorse


Flashback- SA- 5F- 58:60- H- 2/33
Belvin- SA- 5F- 58:80- H- 3/33

Quotes and Tweets:
"Flashback worked great today. Running in Robert Lewis next week"- Bob Baffert via Twitter