A Tribute to Shared Belief

The sport of horse racing received some very sad and shocking news today with the passing of Shared Belief due to a bout with colic. Shared Belief was a tremendous talent and a super star that the sport needed heading into 2016. He currently ranked 4th in the Longines World’s Best Horse Racehorse rankings-the 2nd best dirt horse in the world behind American Pharoah. He was ranked #1 in the world before being sidelined with injury in April.

His jockey Mike Smith was devastated by the news, posting this on his Facebook page: “I can’t stop crying right now. 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. I am so thankful that I got to be part of his life. My thoughts and prayers go out to the connections as I know they are hurting too. RIP Champ.”

Jim Rome, part of Shared Belief’s ownership group, posted this: “Thoroughbred racing is a sport filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Some of the most thrilling and surreal moments of our entire lives have occurred in this sport. Unfortunately, today we have suffered our most devastating. We are all absolutely devastated. Shared Belief was a once in a lifetime horse. A champion, fighter and unbelievable talent who impacted and changed all of our lives. He loved to compete and run, and as heartbreaking as today is, we consider ourselves so fortunate to have been a part of this amazing animal’s life.”

Shared Belief’s career numbers: 12 Career starts, 10 wins. The winner of the American 2 Year Old Male Eclipse Award in 2013. He had the top Beyer Speed Figure for 2 year-olds in 2013 (106), the top Beyer Speed Figure for 3 year-olds in 2014 (115). And his 111 Beyer Speed Figure in the Santa Anita Handicap (his last win) was the top Beyer Speed Figure for all horses at the time when was he was sidelined from racing after the Charles Town Classic in April.

I was totally shocked and saddened by this news. I had to read the news bit twice as I was in disbelief. I was looking forward to his return to racing in 2016 and beyond. I was hoping to see him defend his Santa Anita Handicap Championship in person next March. I think he should win the 2015 Eclipse Award for Older Male Horse-this would be the most fitting way to remember him. The sport has lost a tremendously bright star.

Here is Shared Belief’s first start of his career–an impressive win. Even the announcer took note of his talent.

Here is his Awesome Again Stakes win that really demonstrated his fighting spirit.

Here is his biggest win of 2014, the TVG Pacific Classic where he posted a career best 115 Beyer Speed Figure.

The 2015 San Antonio Stakes deemed as “The Clash of the Titans” that saw him beat the 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome,

And Shared Belief’s last win, probably the biggest of his career–the 2015 Santa Anita Handicap.

And a great tribute video:

RIP Shared Belief. A CHAMPION that will be dearly missed by many.









Dortmund highlights Another Big Derby Trail Weekend

Tomorrow, March 7th, there are three important races on the Kentucky Derby Trail that will feature 10 of the 23 horses listed in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #3. I have bold fonted these horses in the text below. Also the Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park will feature the Bob Baffert-trained Daredevil who is coming off a long layoff but this race is non-points paying. For the 4 year-old race fans,  Shared Belief highlights the Santa Anita Handicap and the San Carlos Stakes features the Bob Baffert sprinter Chitu.

1) Swale Stakes – 7 furlongs at Gulfstream Park. Race #6 2 PM CST: Here are the key horses with their Morning Line odds: Daredevil 4/5, X Y Jet 4/1, Ready for Rye 9/2 and Bluegrass Singer 8/1. I think Daredevil is going to wire this field. I would plunk down a $20 Place bet on Daredevil (horse #1) just in case he is rusty coming off a long layoff.

2) Gotham Stakes – 1 1/16th Mile at Aqueduct. Race #9 at 3:50 PM CST: The two morning line favorites are El Kabeir 8/5 and Classy Class 7/2. Todd Pletcher has three horses with 5/1 Odds: Blame Jim, Dontbetwithbruno and Uninfluenced. Blame Jim is probably the best out of these three. The Chad Brown-trained horse Lieutenant Colonel is also 5/1 odds and is coming off a maiden win at Gulfstream Park in February.

Overall, I don’t feel good about betting on this race, too many fresh faces from the Pletcher barn. If I bet anything it would be a Show Bet on El Kabeir. If the Daredevil place bet wins in the Swale, take all the earnings from that race and put it on El Kabeir (horse #4) to Show.

3) Tampa Bay Derby – 1 1/16 Mile at Tampa Bay Downs. Race #11 at 4:23 PM CST: The two key horses in this race with the ML odds are: Carpe Diem 8/5, Ocean Knight 2/1. Danzig Moon starts on the outside post and is 12/1 odds. I like a $10 Boxed Exacta (2-3) on Carpe Diem and Ocean Knight.

4) San Felipe Stakes – 1 1/16th Mile at Santa Anita Park. Race #7 at 4:57 PM CST: This race features five horses who were listed in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #3. These horses with their ML Odds are: Dortmund 8/5, Ocho Ocho Ocho 4/1, Lord Nelson 4/1, Prospect Park 4/1 and Bolo 6/1.

Overall, the only horse I feel that might be capable of beating Dortmund is Ocho Ocho Ocho. However, he is coming off a 105 day layoff so you never know if a horse like this will have improved by leaps and bounds or be rusty. Interesting to note, both Dortmund and Ocho Ocho Ocho are undefeated. Prospect Park is another fast horse with Kent Desormeaux as his rider. This will be Dortmund’s biggest test to date. I like Dortmund again and I would place $50 on him (horse #3) to win. I would also consider placing a $10 Boxed Exacta 3-6 (Dortmund and Prospect Park).

5) San Carlos Stakes – 7 Furlongs at Santa Anita Park. Race #9 at 6:07 PM CST: Chitu (2/1) will battle Conquest Two Step (5/2) and WIld Dude (3/1) and Bob Baffert’s other entry Midnight Hawk (6/1). I think Chitu will wire this field.. So I would place a $20 Win bet on Chitu (horse #1).

6) Santa Anita Handicap – 1 1/4th Mile at Santa Anita Park for 4 Year-Olds & Upwards. Race #11 at 7:17 PM CST: Shared Belief is listed a 3/5 ML Odds and his main competition will come from Moreno who is 6/1 ML Odds. I feel real good about this one and I generally don’t like betting on 4 year-olds. However, I would place a $50 win bet on Shared Belief (horse #5) and I would place it every time so long as Bayern or California Chrome aren’t competing against him. It will probably only pay you back $60 but this is as sure of a 20% ROI you will find this year. If California Chrome couldn’t beat Share Belief back in January, I don’t expect any horse in this field to beat him either.