Shared Belief

Shared Belief

Benoit Photography

Tentative Derby Plan Set for Shared Belief

Runaway CashCall Futurity winner may run in San Felipe, Santa Anita Derby in spring.

Undefeated Shared Belief, runaway winner of the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) Dec. 14, is likely to make two starts this spring prior to an anticipated start in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Winner of the Hollywood Prevue (gr. III) by nearly eight lengths prior to the CashCall for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Shared Belief is now 3-for-3 in his career. All of his races, won by a combined 20 1/2 lengths with his 5 3/4-length win Saturday, have come on synthetic tracks in California.

“He’ll ship to Santa Anita next week and then we’ll see how he trains on dirt,” said long-time Hollendofer assistant trainer Dan Ward the morning of Dec. 15. "The logical races to run in are the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), and then if everything goes well, on to Kentucky.”

Never one to put the cart before the horse, Hollendorfer pointed out other options. “There are a lot of 3-year-old races at the beginning of the year,’’ the Hall of Fame trainer said. “We’ll probably stay in California but we’ll also look elsewhere.”

Ward suggested that Shared Belief came out of the race better than he went in. “He came back perfect,’’ he said. “He’s not a huge horse, but he’s growing all the time.”

“I think he deserves the Eclipse (as champion 2-year-old male),” added Ward. “He was never asked and I think this race was easier on him than the other two. His time was fast and he beat a really good field.”

Hollendorfer was a bit more reserved on the subject. “I think the other side (referring to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner New Year's Day ) would have a different argument,’’ he said.

Purchased privately following his debut maiden win Oct. 19 at Golden Gate Fields, Shared Belief is owned by a partnership that includes his trainer, television and radio personality Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing, KMN Racing, Jason Litt, Alex Solis II, and George Todaro.

Ward said that Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) and Real Quiet Stakes winner Tamarando, who finished third, seven lengths behind his stablemate, also returned well and would be pointed for Californi- bred races at the upcoming Santa Anita winter/spring meet, which begins Dec. 26.

The CashCall completed a great day for the Hollendofer barn, which also swept the top three spots in the $150,000 Native Diver Stakes (gr. III) with Blueskiesnrainbows , Hear the Ghost, and Rousing Sermon, respectively.

An honorable mention in the CashCall goes to Candy Boy, who finished second at 26-1 after breaking his maiden by 8 1/4 lengths Nov. 22. The John Sadler trainee gave the sire Candy Ride  an exacta sweep.

“The winner was impressive, but my horse ran very well,” observed Sadler. “He was clear of the third-place finisher and well clear of the fourth horse. I think he’s a Derby-type horse.

“He came back well, but Kobe's Back  had a superficial cut on his ankle.”

Kobe’s Back finished 10th after clipping heels on the backstretch.

Tap It Rich, the 5-2 second choice in the Futurity, finished 11th and was unmanageable for much of the race.

“He’s fine this morning,” said Mike Marlow, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. “After his first race, he’s become real aggressive and has been lugging in and out fighting the rider. He’s a project.”