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Shared Belief’s Most Memorable Wins

Shared Belief’s Most Memorable Wins: Colic claimed former champion two-year-old horse and multiple Grade I winner Shared Belief two days ago. The star gelding had recently returned to Golden Gate Fields and was in the midst of training for a comeback.

Shared Belief Malibu Stakes 2014

Co-owner Jim Rome kisses Shared Belief after winning the the Grade I, $300,000 Malibu Stakes, Friday, December 26, 2014 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA. with jockey Mike Smith.
Photo: Benoit

His connections include trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Jungle Racing (owned by media personality Jim Rome) and jockey Mike Smith. Smith shared his thoughts on Shared Belief’s passing through Facebook.

“Shared Belief was one of the greatest and most special horses that I have ever ridden. Every day I woke up looking forward to being reunited with him,” the Hall of Fame jockey wrote in memory.

Deaths are part of horse racing. While nothing can reverse the situation, Shared Belief left his connections and fans with life-lasting memories. Below are Shared Belief’s top wins and why they looked impressive.

2014 Awesome Again Stakes

Shared Belief simply did not want to lose this race at Santa Anita Park. Good horses win with help from perfect trips all the time. The special ones know how to face adversity and still reach the wire first.

What went wrong? Start with the initial turn. Victor Espinoza on Sky Kingdom floated out Shared Belief. On the straightaway, Espinoza never let Shared Belief tuck inside. When Shared Belief moved, Sky Kingdom moved. This remained the case until Sky Kingdom became tired from the suicide mission and eased.

On the final turn, Shared Belief went wide again and needed to put away Fed Biz, a decent horse trained by Bob Baffert. Coincidentally, Baffert trained Sky Kingdom too.

The final winning margin of a neck for Shared Belief turned off some observers. Handicappers tend to put too much emphasis on blowout wins, but this win showed more than those victories.

2015 San Antonio Invitational

Fans received one of their ultimate wishes: Shared Belief vs. California Chrome at Santa Anita. The two standouts put on a show, with California Chrome taking control turning for home and Shared Belief mowing him down late.

Just over a length came between the two rockstars, while over six lengths came between California Chrome and third-place finisher Hoppertunity. Those numbers only show the different stratosphere Shared Belief and California Chrome competed on. Shared Belief admittedly showed himself as the better horse though.

While it is depressing they will never face each other anymore, this race will be played repeatedly for a long time. In horse racing today, fans are lucky if two rivals meet each other at all. For example, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta were constantly compared during their careers, yet never actually competed in the same event.

2014 Pacific Classic

Shared Belief received a good trip in this one. Yet, he receives points for beating older horses for the first time and winning in style. Again, when the field spreads thin, this generally indicates a quality race because horses cannot keep pace with the faster tempo. Roughly 50 lengths came between Shared Belief and the last-place finisher!

The run-off horse Mystery Train likely affected the “need-the-lead” veteran Game On Dude and his chances early on. However, Game On Dude held an uncontested lead going into the second turn and faded.

Toast of New York fought his way into second and went on to earn the runner-up position again in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI), proving the quality of Shared Belief’s win at Del Mar.

Of course, fans will read this article and hold their own ideas of which races were best. The topic certainly brings a healthy debate and helps carry on his memory. Shared Belief is gone. His accomplishments will be remembered.