Shared Belief and jockey Mike Smith following the Breeders' Cup Classic.
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Shared Belief and jockey Mike Smith following the Breeders' Cup Classic.
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Chad B. Harmon

Rome on Classic: 'Garbage Result' Ruined Race

Talk show host said he has moved on but remains frustrated over outcome.

Syndicated sports show host Jim Rome, whose Jungle Racing owns part of beaten Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) favorite Shared Belief, said he has moved on from the Nov. 1 loss but is frustrated by the stewards' decision not to change the order of finish given the interference at the start of the 1 1/4-mile race at Santa Anita Park.

Rome devoted much of his "Jim Rome Show" on CBS Sports Radio Nov. 3 to the topic. Shared Belief, the champion 2-year-old male of 2013 and undefeated going into the Classic, took the worst of the contact when both Bayern , the eventual winner, and Toast of New York, the second-place finisher, both veered in from posts 7 and 9, respectively. Shared Belief, who broke from post 6, as well as V. E. Day  and Moreno, who started from posts 5 and 4, respectively, also were bothered.

Shared Belief, a 3-year-old gelded son of Candy Ride , finished fourth in the Classic behind third-place finisher California Chrome , who wasn't involved in the out-of-the-gate bumping.

Santa Anita stewards unanimously agreed the interference didn't cost any horse a chance to reasonably finish better than it did.

"I'm calm but very frustrated," Rome told his listeners. "My horse got wiped out, so believe me, I'm not as calm as you think. This was a kick in the junk."

Rome said he didn't contact the stewards after the race. The decision to not disqualify at least the winner generated a storm of protest on social media and in various columns.

Rome discounted comments from listeners who claimed "the fix was in" and that Shared Belief was targeted by Bob Baffert and Martin Garcia, the respective trainer and jockey of Bayern. He did, however, call it a "garbage result" that ruined the $5 million championship race in light of the stewards' decision.

Rome, who owned two-time Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT) winner Mizdirection, also noted the inconsistency with comments made by Mike Smith, who rode Shared Belief, and the California Horse Racing Board stewards. Smith, who didn't claim foul, said after the Classic the incident cost Shared Belief the race; the stewards claimed Smith told them he wasn't sure it affected the outcome.

As for the racing rule, one listener suggested if the stewards are going to ignore serious contact made at the start of race, they should give bettors advance notice.

"The message is pretty much that you can commit a foul at the beginning of a race," Rome said. "But that (message) can be extremely dangerous to horse and jockey. The question is, 'When is a foul a foul? The message is, 'Take any edge you can get.' "

"I'm living with this decision," said Rome, who noted Shared Belief would have earned a $1 million bonus had he won the Classic. "But we will live to fight another day. He will be back."