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Aug 29, 2014

Shared Belief moves into second behind Wise Dan


New York, NY ( - Champion thoroughbred Shared Belief jumped five places in the latest NTRA Thoroughbred Poll after his eye-opening victory in Sunday's Pacific Classic.

Trained by co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer, Shared Belief rocketed from seventh to second in the rankings, not unlike his winning move in the 1 1/4-mile stakes at Del Mar.

The 3-year-old gelding climbed right behind leader Wise Dan off his 2 3/4- length win which also reserved him a spot in this year's Breeders' Cup Classic.

Wise Dan, the defending two-time Horse of the Year, remained first but had his lead drop to 22 points over Shared Belief. The six-time Eclipse Award winner received 16 top votes and 353 points versus Shared Belief's nine first-place votes and 331 points.

"He's a special horse," Shared Belief's jockey Mike Smith said. "I heard someone say this might be the coming out of a super star. I think now this horse deserves that accolade. I'll tell you what: he's as good a young horse as I've sat on in a while."

California Chrome, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, keeps in third with eight first-place votes and 311 points. The 3-year-old colt, trained by Art Sherman, is slated to start in the Pennsylvania Derby on Saturday, Sept. 20.

Leading female Close Hatches won Friday's Personal Ensign at Saratoga and picked up an additional top vote to remain fourth in the balloting. The 4-year-old filly, trained by Bill Mott, has two first-place votes and 278 points.

"It was a good race for her. She's a nice filly with a long stride. I'm not surprised she went that fast," said Joel Rosario who rides the filly.

Dropping from second to fifth is Palace Malice with five top votes and 256 points. The 4-year-old colt lost four first-place votes and 67 points.

Although he finished second in the Travers on Saturday, Wicked Strong picked up 49 points to 127 and landed in sixth-place passing probable Woodward favorite Moreno who garnered 96 points. The colt lost by a nose to stablemate V. E. Day.

"It sure was something. It seemed like the last two strides, he (V. E. Day) really lengthened his stride and reached out to win," said Jimmy Jerkens who trains both 3-year-olds. "You don't favor one horse over the other - I guess it's like your kids, you don't favor one over the other."

Leading 3-year-old filly Untapable moved from 10th to eighth with 75 points followed by Will Take Charge (49) and Main Sequence (48).

The National Poll continues through the Breeders' Cup on Nov. 1.

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