DEL MAR, Calif. (Aug. 24, 2014) -- Emulating his sire, Candy Ride, victor in Del Mar’s signature race in 2003, three-year-old Shared Belief showed he is the “real deal” Sunday with a brilliant triumph in the 24th running of the Grade I $1million TVG Pacific Classic.
Giving Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith his fourth win of the afternoon and his fourth success in the Pacific Classic, 6-5 favored Shared Belief won by 2 ¾ lengths over Toast of New York, with 37-1 Imperative nosing out 5-2 second choice Game On Dude, the 2013 winner, for third money in the field of ten horses. Frac Daddy was scratched.
Like Candy Ride, Shared Belief came into the Pacific Classic sporting a perfect 5-for-5 record. And he came through in a memorable way.
Positioned in mid-pack by Smith in the early going, Shared Belief launched a strong rally entering the stretch, passing Toast of New York and a faltering but courageous Game On Dude. He drew out in the final furlong to be a convincing winner in a fast 2:00.28 for the mile and one-quarter.
The inquiry sign was posted after the race as Del Mar’s stewards studied an incident involving Shared Belief who bore in while passing Toast of New York in the upper stretch. They ruled that the winner had sufficient clearance and a disqualification was not warranted.
Shared Belief, owned by the partnership of nationally prominent sportscaster Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing LLC, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and George Todaro, earned $600,000 to push his bankroll past the million mark to $1,372,200. He also clinched a spot in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 1 at Santa Anita since the Pacific Classic is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier.
A solid betting choice in the Pacific Classic, Shared Belief paid $4.40, $3.20 and $2.80. Toast of New York, who was piloted by Victor Espinoza in a valiant effort, returned $5.20 and $4.60, while Imperative paid $8.40 to show.
Shared Belief is the fifth three-year-old to win the Pacific Classic, following Best Pal, General Challenge, Came Home and Dullahan. According to weight-for-age conditions, he carried 118 pounds, as did Toast of New York, also a three-year-old. Older horses carried 124 pounds.
Attendance Sunday was 28,290.