Champion Shared Belief Lands Classic Spot

After overwhelming rivals in the TVG Pacific Classic Stakes (gr. I) in his first stakes start against older horses, Shared Belief appears poised to make a run at history.


Shared Belief Dominated the Pacific Classic - Benoit Photo

The Candy Ride gelding reserved himself a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) with his 2 3/4-length victory in the Pacific Classic, which is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race to the Classic. He joins Bayern as the first two 3-year-olds to win Challenge races to the Classic this season.

Suddenly Shared Belief’s storyline is one of the most interesting going into this year’s Classic where he will try to become the first champion 2-year-old male to win the 1 1/4-mile race.

A top run in the Classic this season by Shared Belief would be special. The only previous 2-year-old champion to place in the Classic at age 3 was Easy Goer, who finished second by a neck to rival Sunday Silence in the 1989 Classic.


Easy Goer finished 2nd to Sunday Silence in the 1989 Breeders' Cup Classic. - Tony Leonard Photo

It is rare for a champion 2-year-old to even start in the Classic as only nine have tried since its 1984 launch. After Easy Goer’s close second, the best finishes have been registered by Lookin At Lucky (2009), Street Sense (2006), Macho Uno (2000), Fly So Free (1990), Forty Niner (1987), and Chief’s Crown (1984), who all finished fourth.

Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing, George Todaro, Jerry Hollendorfer, Alex Solis II, and Jason Litt’s Shared Belief also will try to become the first 3-year-old to sweep the Pacific Classic and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Of the four previous 3-year-olds to win the Pacific Classic, General Challenge finished 10th in the 1999 Classic, a placing Came Home matched in 2002. Best Pal didn’t race in the 1991 Classic and Dullahan opted for the Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT), where he finished ninth.

Still, the Pacific Classic has launched a 3-year-old to the Classic winner’s circle as Tiznow finished second in the 2000 edition before edging Giant’s Causeway in the first of his two Breeders' Cup Classic wins. After the Pacific Classic, Tiznow registered wins in the Super Derby (gr. I) and the Goodwood Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. II) before his Classic run.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is leaning toward one more start before the Classic for Shared Belief, who is eligible for a $1 million bonus should he win the Classic thanks to his victories in the Los Alamitos Derby (gr. II) and Pacific Classic.

Shared Belief also finds himself in position to knock dual classic winner California Chrome off as champion 3-year-old male, although a win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic would likely be a requirement to secure that title. A Classic win also would put Horse of the Year in play for Shared Belief.

Rightfully so, Triple Crown races carry a lot of weight in the 3-year-old division. The past dozen dual classic winners have been named champion 3-year-old male. The most recent dual classic winner to not receive champion 3-year-old male honors was Preakness (gr. I)-Belmont (gr. I) stakes winner Tabasco Cat in 1994 who lost out to Holy Bull, who won five grade I races that season including wins against older horses in the Metropolitan Handicap and the Woodward Stakes.

 

Stallion news

The first two stallions to have multiple horses earn “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup bids this year are Galileo and Hard Spun.

Galileo boasts Darley Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I) winner Tapestry, who punched her ticket to the Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT); and Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) automatic qualifier Australia, who earned that bid with his Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I) victory.

READ MORE: Automatic bids by state or country bred

Hard Spun, who finished second to Curlin in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Monmouth Park, has seen his first two 2014 qualifiers secure bids to the Turf in Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT) winner Hardest Core and Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) winner Big John B.


Hard Spun (right) finished 2nd to Curlin in the 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic - Eliot J. Schechter Photo

Close Hatches, by First Defence, is the first horse this year to win a pair of Breeders’ Cup Challenge races: the Personal Ensign (gr. I) and Ogden Phipps (gr. I) stakes.

 

Upcoming

After a busy stretch, there’s just one Breeders’ Cup Challenge race this weekend: the Forego Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 30 at Saratoga Race Course. The winner of the seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds and older will earn a berth in the XpressBet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I). The race will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network in a 6 p.m. show that also will include the Woodward Stakes (gr. I).

READ MORE: Automatic bids currently earned

 

18 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Rachel best 3 yr old filly ever

what a year Hard Spun is having! He is proving to be a top notch stallion. He is producing everything from turf, to sprints, to routers and top quality fillies as well. Shared Belief is trying to duplicate his daddy being undefeated as a 3 yr old entering the BCC. I cannot wait for this race. I also hope Australia shows up in the BCTurf. He will be my pick to win it.  

26 Aug 2014 4:35 PM
Ranagulzion

Shared Belief has everyone believing but California Chrome is not chopped liver. Very interesting races ahead.

26 Aug 2014 6:26 PM
Eric Rickard

I love Shared Belief. Had him for the Derby before his injury. But, let's not forget California Chrome. They both are push button. If, and I believe he will, come back as good as ever…. What a race we will have..

26 Aug 2014 6:58 PM
Tiz Herself

I read that a match up between Shared Belief and California Chrome could happen in the Pennsylvania Derby, anyone else salivating at that possibility? Between that and a possible round two between Australia and Kingman.... that's as good as it gets for horse racing in my world!

26 Aug 2014 7:56 PM
Gerry L

Tiz Herself: I agree.  I 'd love to see them hook up in the PA. Derby. I think its 4 weeks away. Looks like a natural set up. I was always sorry that Rachel and Zenyatta never hooked up.  Would love to see SB and CC hook up before the BC Classic.

26 Aug 2014 10:00 PM
Coldfacts

Why is there so much anticipation to see the matchup between two California based horses? California Chrome won a very slowly run Derby and prevailed in the Preakness by 2 1/2L then finished 4th in the Belmont.

The gap between CC and the other top 3YO colts has closed. It appears he has maxed out the potential of his less than stellar pedigree.

With the blinkers added to Wicked Strong he appears to be an improved horse. I am of the opinion the blinker need to be removed from Tonalist as he is not extending in the stretch.

New colt on the block V E Day is an unknown quantity but has the distinction of being the only top 5 colt that has won its graded staked debut in a G1 and over 10F. Despite the impressiveness of Shared Belief, his graded stakes debut was in the G3 Hollywood Prevue.

The quality of V E day’s first victory in a graded stakes is unmatched by those recoded by Wicked Strong, California Chrome, Tonalist and Shred Belief.

He defeated four G1 winners, a G3 winner and the runner up in the Derby. Despite the composition of the Travers field Shared Belief’s Pacific Classic victory has left people giddy.

V E Day has to be a more appealing matchup for Shared Belief. He has defeated two horses that CC was unable to defeat in his last start.

The focus should be on V E Day and not Shared Belief.

27 Aug 2014 1:20 PM
Ranagulzion

Coldfacts:

Without detracting from V E Day's victory I the Travers, he does not yet have the body of work or consistent speed figures to be put on the same level as Shared Belief and California Chrome ...those are the cold facts. V E Day got up in a head bob over Wicked Strong, one that also ranks ahead of him my friend ...don't get carried away.

27 Aug 2014 2:36 PM
Coldfacts

Ranagulzion,

“he does not yet have the body of work or consistent speed figures to be put on the same level as Shared Belief and California Chrome”

I do not place a lot of emphasis on speed figures in my evaluations. Tonalist defeated CC in the Belmont. CC dead heated with Wicked Strong for 4th. Both those colts were defeated by V E Day in his graded stakes debut. Tonalist & WS had a combined 9 graded stakes starts with 2 victories each. V E Day did not have the BOW and speed figures to defeat them but he did.

You totally missed why this colt was a class act heading into the Travers despite my detailed analysis. You latched on to Bayern because he had the BOW and speed figures and he finished last. Where did those two important evaluation factors get him?

V E Day is not an ordinary horse and you are still viewing him through to the lens of BOW and speed figures. Let me enlighten you on what you are missing.

His first 2 start were of 9F. He covered 18F in first 2 starts whilst CC cover 20F in his first 4 starts. He finished 2nd in his 2nd start over 9F and has recorded 4 consecutive victories on 4 different surfaces since. CC did not win his 4th race until his 8th start and the longest race he contested was 8.5F. In 6 starts VED has contested four 9F, one 10F and an 8F race. CC won his 1st G1 in his 10th start whereas VED won his in his 6th and 1st attempt and over 4, G1 winners

VED is clearly a superior athlete to CC as per his BOW of work. Speed figures are irrelevant as WTC won the Travers in 2:02 and was beaten by a whisker in 2:00 at SA. That final time was 2 seconds faster. Class will compensate for speed every time.

Shared Belief did not contest a 9F race until his 5th start. He won 10F in his 6th start against a weak field receiving weight. VED likewise won 10F in his 6th start sitting level with 4, G1 winners. Whereas GOD backing up in the stretch when SB went by Wicked Strong kicked for home and VED had to pull out all the stops to wear down a talented colt that was not coming back to the field.

If you focus on BOW and speed figures for CC and SB you will miss the pertinent cold facts.

27 Aug 2014 6:49 PM
The Barn Cat

The best thing about Shared Belief is that he is a GELDING.  As long as he stays sound and healthy, we'll get to see him race!

I love geldings, they're the best thing for racing because they don't disappear off to stud as soon as they show how good they are.

28 Aug 2014 2:01 AM
Coldfacts

Two major G1, 10F races were contested last weekend i.e., Travers and Pacific Classic. One was restricted to 3YOs and the other was for 3YOs and older. The Pacific Classis was won by 3YO Shared Belief and the Travers by V E Day. The victories of both horses could not be more different.

Shared Belief was the 4-5 ML favorite to win the Pacific Classic and his 4th graded stake. V E Day had a ML of 15-1 to win his graded stakes debut in a G1 race competing against 4, G1 winners. There can be no doubt which horse had the greater challenge.

En route to victory, Shared Belief passed the tiring 7YO Game On Dude like he was glued to the ground and just had to be kept up to his work. VED had to pull out all the stops to defeat a fellow talented 3YO and multiple graded stakes winner that had kicked wickedly for home and was not coming back to the field.

As a 3YO Shared Belief was in receipt of 6lbs from his older opponents. V E Day picked up 7Lbs from his last start and was at level weights of 126lbs with his opponents. If the Travers were an handicap race V E Day would have been in receipt of 8lbs or more.

Shared belief scored his expected Pacific Classic victory and has since been the talk of the town. Those caught up in the euphoria of his victory and potential greatness have missed the unprecedented occurrence in the Travers and its unlikeliness.

The record books have to be extensively searched to reveal the last time a winner of the G1 Travers used the race as its graded stakes debut. The record books will have to be turned upside down to find the number of times a 3YO made its graded stake debut in a G1 over 10F.  

V E Day was ignored in the Curlin and won at 9-1. He was again ignored in the Travers and won at 19-1. The historic nature of his unlikely and unprecedented Travers victory is again being ignored and overshadowed by Share Belief’s Pacific Classic victory. A victory that was no different from the others recorded by 3YOs undefeated or not.

A sign of greatness is denoted in the magnitude of the challenges that are overcome against all odds. Sometime greatness is right under our eyes and there is no need for us to look in the West as the further one looks the lesser on sees.    

28 Aug 2014 8:20 AM
Rammer

Cali Chrome is a shoo-in for 3 Year Old Champ UNLESS he has a giant hiccup in the PA Derby. But I see him going right to the front there and wiring the field. They are NOT going to look ahead to the BC Classic as they want to secure the 3 Year Old title first, plus of course the cash. If he wins then they'll turn their attention to the Classic, and that's why I'll be rolling the wheelbarrow to dump it all in on Cali Chrome come the PA Derby... - RAMMER

28 Aug 2014 9:55 AM
Rammer

Cali Chrome is a shoo-in for 3 Year Old Champ UNLESS he has a giant hiccup in the PA Derby. But I see him going right to the front there and wiring the field. They are NOT going to look ahead to the BC Classic as they want to secure the 3 Year Old title first, plus of course the cash. If he wins then they'll turn their attention to the Classic, and that's why I'll be rolling the wheelbarrow to dump it all in on Cali Chrome come the PA Derby... - RAMMER

28 Aug 2014 9:55 AM
Ranagulzion

Coldfacts:

There is no doubt that V E Day is a talented late developing colt on the rise, running up a nice winning streak but you should be careful about underestimating the talent of the dual classic winner California Chrome and of writing off the likes of Bayern.  

28 Aug 2014 4:40 PM
Coldfacts

“You should be careful about underestimating the talent of the dual classic winner California Chrome”

Why?

I have outlined the reason why I think his talent does not compare to that of VED.  One was unplaced in his graded stakes debut the other won his. One won his 1st G1 race in his 10th start the other in his 6th and 1st attempt in a graded race.

When CC was busy contesting  4 1/2F & 5 1/2 races VED was learning how to manage the effects of lactic acid with 4 starts over 9F.

CC is a nice colt but nothing special.

28 Aug 2014 6:36 PM
Secreteriat

I don't want to take anything from V E Day. He got the money.

He was able to get up because the last quarter of a mile was run in 26.33 seconds. Wicked Strong and Tonelist were spent from being used the way they were early. I do not know if that was the jock's or the trainers decision to that knowing Beyern could not get the distance. Bottom line Wicked Strong and Tonelist ran better races!

28 Aug 2014 9:48 PM
Secreteriat

I don't want to take anything from V E Day. He got the money.

He was able to get up because the last quarter of a mile was run in 26.33 seconds. Wicked Strong and Tonelist were spent from being used the way they were early. I do not know if that was the jock's or the trainers decision to that knowing Beyern could not get the distance. Bottom line Wicked Strong and Tonelist ran better races!

28 Aug 2014 9:48 PM
Coldfacts

Secreteriat,

The track at Saratoga was upgraded from good to fast. It had a lot of moisture. VED was covered with mud at the end of the race.

How is it possible for the losers to run better races than the winner? I do not understand that logic.

I could understand if there was an incident in the race but it was incident free. VED closed  at least 10L off the pace to win on a track that was not kind to closers.

2013 Travers: 24.40,48.88,1:13.43,1:37.47,2:02.68

2014 Travers: 23.74,47.31,1:11.27,1:36.60,2:02.93

From the above you will note that the 2014, 6F split was 2 seconds faster than the 2013. The 8F split was faster as well. The split for the last two furlongs were as a result of the fast internal fractions.

VED is the real deal.

V E Day had the most energy in the last 2F.

28 Aug 2014 10:34 PM
ruled off

The Derby isn't a win and your in?

As for SBelief, two races is hardly a sweep. Chrome and SB with Tapiture will make for a nice PA Derby.  History doesn't look great for SB to place in the Classic.

Looking back, as much of a gray darling Holy Bull was and is...Tabasco Cat should have had HOY.  

Nice article.

29 Aug 2014 12:32 PM

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