Shared Belief dominated the opposition in the CashCall Futurity on Saturday at Hollywood Park. (Benoit Photo)
Shared Belief unleashed an explosive turn of foot entering the stretch in the $751,500 CashCall Futurity and blew away the competition by 5 3/4 lengths to cement a late bid for the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male.
It might be tough to overtake impressive Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day, especially given his big win came in December, but it’s tough to challenge Shared Belief’s credentials. He won his first two starts by a combined margin of 14 ¾ lengths, including a 7 ¾-length runaway win in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes. Not only is he undefeated, no horse has even been in the zip code as Shared Belief in the stretch.
At the very least, Shared Belief is a heck of a contender for the 2014 Triple Crown races. He rated just off the early pace under Corey Nakatani and then shifted gears when given his cue and left runner-up Candy Boy toiling in his wake.
By Candy Ride, a stallion very capable of siring a top distance horse, Shared Belief finished the 1 1/16-mile CashCall Futurity in 1:42.16.
Rome raced Southern California turf sprint star Mizdirection, who scored a repeat win in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint in November, but he has not owned a Kentucky Derby starter or an Eclipse Award winner.
“I said after Mizdirection won her first Breeders’ Cup, no matter what happened after that, I was fine,” Rome said. “The second one was amazing and today was obviously a really incredible day.”
Runner-up Candy Boy also is by Candy Ride. He finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of third-place finisher Tamarando.
Shared Belief is trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, who swept the top three spots in the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes two races earlier and also trains Tamarando. Hollendorfer owns Shared Belief in partnership with Rome, longtime associate George Todaro, Alex Solis II and Jason Litt.
The weekend at Hollywood also featured the debut of another very nice 2-year-old in Midnight Hawk.
The Midnight Lute colt, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, won by 6 ¼ lengths on Friday in a visually impressive performance. He is owned by a partnership that includes breeder Mike Pegram and Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings as well as Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville and former NFL head coach Mike Tice.
For an Equibase chart of the CashCall Futurity, click here.
Jim Rome (center) celebrates Shared Belief's win with jockey Corey Nakatani and Alex Solis II (right). (Benoit Photo)