Shared Belief became the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby and is now in the mix for the Eclipse Award after a strong effort winning the $75,000 CashCall Futurity (G1) on Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park, the last Grade 1 race to be run at the racetrack, which closes on Dec. 22.
The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee remained undefeated with his 5 ¾ length win and has not really been tested in his three career starts.
The colt broke his maiden at Golden Gate Fields in his debut winning by seven lengths, and then won the Hollywood Prevue (G3) by 7 ¾ lengths in his first start against winners.
On Saturday, the money came in from the clones, as the gelding is owned in part by radio personality Jim Rome, the nickname for his loyal listeners. The colt was sent off as the even money favorite.
Under jockey, Corey Nakatani the gelding got a perfect trip, stalking the early pace while in the three-path and kicked clear in the stretch under a hand ride, returning $4.00 to his backers.
Longshot Candy Boy made a strong middle move to take over the lead on the far turn and headed for home with the lead but drifted in and was no match for the winner.
Privately purchased by his current connections (Jim Rome’ Jungle Racing LLC, KMN Racing LLC, Jason Litt, Alex Solis II and George Todaro) after his maiden score on Oct. 19 at Golden Gate Fields, Shared Belief completed the 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track in 1:42.16. It was the fastest CashCall Futurity since Pioneerof the Nile went 1:41.95 in 2008.
The Daily Racing Form assigned the gelding a 106 Beyer Speed Figure for his victory.
SHARED BELIEF’S 106 CashCall Beyer Speed Figure the highest 2yo number since Uncle Mo’s BC Juvenile of 2010 (108).
— Dan Illman (@DRF_DanIllman) December 15, 2013
The gelding was listed at 30-1 at the Wynn Race & Sportsbook as of Dec. 8 but certainly will be much lower. At Sportsbook.ag the he was at +1500 on Saturday night but by Sunday morning was down to the betting favorite at +700. Honor Code was the previous favorite at +1100.
“Wow!’’ said Nakatani. “My horse has a pretty high cruising speed and when (Candy Boy) made that early move, I couldn’t go at that time. I’m just very thankful to Jerry Hollendorfer and his team, (assistant trainer) Dan Ward, and, obviously, (Solis II) for finding this horse and buying him. He did all the work and I was just a quiet passenger on him. Wow!’’
The biggest disappointment came from the Bob Baffert trained Tap It Rich, who was sent off as the second choice. The colt bore out in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in a fifth place finish and Baffert noted they would be using a new bit to try to straighten the colt out.
It did not work as the colt was off poorly, was rank while getting out wide on the first turn and down the backstretch and was eased ion the stretch.