New Year's Day may have won the 2013 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), but any popping of champagne corks to celebrate an Eclipse Award may be premature. On Dec. 14 Shared Belief ran away with the final edition of the CashCall Futurity (before 2007 the Hollywood Futurity, gr. I) at Betfair Hollywood Park for the partnership of trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Jungle Racing, KMN Racing, Jason Litt, Alex Solis II, and George Todaro. In doing so, the gelding defeated as strong a field as has been assembled for any 2-year-old race this year and put in his bid to become the first juvenile champion to skip the Breeders' Cup since Declan's Moon—also a Hollywood Futurity winner—in 2004.
Bred in Kentucky by Pam and Marty Wygod, Shared Belief is by Lane's End stallion Candy Ride , who has enjoyed a good year in 2013 with 13 stakes winners as of Dec. 15. Currently 13th on the general sire list and 10th on the juvenile sire list, Candy Ride has also been represented in 2013 by grade II winners Kettle Corn and Clubhouse Ride and by grade III winner Looking Cool . Shared Belief is his eighth grade I winner and his fourth from mares from the Storm Cat male line.
A scion of a Classic-producing Argentine family, Candy Ride represents a somewhat offbeat branch of the Mr. Prospector sire line via Fappiano and his good staying son Cryptoclearance. Cryptoclearance is probably best remembered now as the sire of 1998 Triple Crown spoiler Victory Gallop, whose nose victory in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) turned the tables on Real Quiet after second-place finishes to that rival in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Another Cryptoclearance son, Ride the Rails, proved a useful sire in Argentina, and Candy Ride is arguably the best of his three champions and 23 stakes winners, having toyed with top-level opposition in both Argentina and the U.S. in a brief but unbeaten career.
Shared Belief is the second graded stakes winner produced by the Storm Cat mare Common Hope, also the dam of 2011 Iowa Oaks (gr. III) winner Little Miss Holly (by Maria's Mon). A winner of one of her five starts, Common Hope is a half sister to 1995 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) winner Key Phrase (by the multiple grade I winner and good sire Flying Paster), who may be founding a nice little family of her own. The dam of stakes winner and sire Yankee Gentleman (by Storm Cat) and grade III-placed Key Deputy (by Deputy Minister), Key Phrase is the granddam of 2010 Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIIT) winner Khancord Kid (Lemon Drop Kid—Confidently, by Storm Cat) and 2007 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint Championship Handicap (gr. II) winner Half Ours .
Sown, the dam of Common Hope and Key Phrase, is also the dam of Tribal Rule, a winning son of Storm Cat who currently stands second on the California sire list and was runner-up to leader Unusual Heat as California's top sire in 2011 and 2012. A daughter of Irish group II winner Grenfall (by Graustark out of 1962 champion older female and 1978 Broodmare of the Year Primonetta), Sown is a winning half sister to Pirate's Bounty, a stakes-winning son of Hoist the Flag who had a long and honorable career as a regional sire in California. She is also a half sister to multiple stakes producer Seed Case (by the Never Bend horse Never Tabled).
Sown and her siblings were produced from Bad Seed (by the Nashua horse Stevward), the only stakes winner produced by 1957 English champion juvenile filly Rich and Rare II (by Rockefella) but a half sister to Dottys Dream (by 1960 Wood Memorial winner Francis S.), dam of 1973 champion steeplechaser Athenian Idol (by Alcibiades II). Further back, this is the family of 1938 St. Leger Stakes winner Scottish Union (by 1931 English Derby winner Cameronian) and 1934 July Cup winner Coroado (by 1926 Two Thousand Guineas winner Colorado), both produced from the Bachelor's Double mare Trustful.
As Trustful's produce record indicates, this is a family that has shown a fair amount of versatility through the years, though its strong suit leans more towards speed than stamina. This could also be said of Candy Ride's other grade I winners produced from Storm Cat line mares, as Capt. Candyman Can (out of Stormy Way, by Storm Creek) and Evita Argentina (out of Jealous Wildcat, by Forest Wildcat) were both sprinters.
Sidney's Candy (out of Fair Exchange, by Storm Cat), from a more stamina-oriented family, stayed well enough to capture the 2010 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) over nine furlongs but found 10 furlongs to be beyond his scope. That does not bode particularly well for Shared Belief's chances as a potential Classic candidate in 2014, but until somebody manages to beat him, he has to be considered among the top prospects thus far.