Del Mar, CA- Shared Belief, 3-year-old gelding by Candy Ride, rose to the top of the horse racing world with an impressive three length victory in the TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar Race Course Aug. 24. Ridden by jockey Mike Smith, Shared Belief did have to survive a steward's inquiry as he ducked in a bit on the second place finisher Toast of New York.
As the runners broke from the gate Mystery Train and Game On Dude sprinted to the lead and set fast fractions for the early part of the 1 1/4 mile race. Shared Belief employed a different tactic from his earlier races as he sat well off the pace in mid-pack. Game On Dude, trained by Bob Baffert, put away his pace foe but the distance proved too much for him as he had tired legs entering the stretch.
The controversy took place as Shared Belief appeared to duck in a bit and impeded the path of British invader Toast of New York. Toast of New York, ridden by 2014 Kentucky Derby winning jockey Victor Espinoza, ran a big race and did run on a bit but the steward's determined he would not catch the eventual winner. Shared Belief opened up on the field and looked like a horse who could continue to run on and improve. Part owner and radio/tv host Jim Rome was asked how he felt when waiting for the decision of the stewards and he said it was the best feeling in the world to hear two words, "no change".
Imperative, once a $50,000 claimer, got a big fist pump from jockey Kent Desormeaux as they crossed the wire. Even though he finished third,the connections were probably looking for a minor prize and got $120,000 for their Imperative's strong effort.
Shared Belief will now be one of the favorites for the Breeder's Cup Classic at Santa Anita Nov. 1, 2014. Should he stay healthy, Shared Belief could take on many of the same contenders including jockey Victor Espinoza. However in the Classic, Espinoza may be on another horse in 2014 Kentucky Derby winner. California Chrome.
On the undercard for the TVG Pacific Classic, Goldencents set a track record in the G2 Pat O'Brien at 7f. Trained by Doug O'Neill, Goldencents may be pointed to the Breeder's Cup Dirt Mile a race he won last year.
Big favorite Obviously,trained by Phil D'amato never looked comfortable in the Del Mar Mile and was beaten by Tom's Tribute, also ridden by jockey Mike Smith.