Oct 03, 2014
Shared Belief keeps streak alive with Awesome Again win
By: SPORTS NETWORK
Arcadia, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Eclipse Award winner Shared Belief overcame his most difficult competition yet to win Saturday's $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Already secured of a spot in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, the 3-year- old gelding won his second "Win and You're In" race of the year heading to the 1 1/4-mile Classic on Nov. 1.
Co-owned and trained by Hall of Fame member Jerry Hollendorfer, Shared Belief was the 1-5 favorite in the seven-horse field for the 1 1/8-mile stakes. Ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, the gelding was forced to race wide most of the race until the final turn.
The champion ranged into contention from the outside coming out of the turn and drew even with 6-1 second pick Fed Biz entering the stretch. The two battled through the stretch until Shared Belief stuck his neck out for the victory.
"They tried to use some tactics on me which made the win today even sweeter," Smith said. "They just kept taking me wide, taking me wide, and I believe if you want to press the pace or take me out a little bit, OK. But doing it at all costs just to get me beat isn't the way it should be done. It was to the extreme, I thought it was ridiculous. You just don't do that."
Finishing third was Footbridge followed by Majestic Harbor, Imperative, Mystery Train and Sky Kingdom. Bird E House was a scratch.
Shared Belief covered the Awesome Again in 1:48.58 on a fast track.
"It's not the worst thing in the world to have a tough race and be double-fit for the Breeders' Cup. That race will be tougher so we'll need to be tougher, too," Hollendorfer said.
Perfect in seven career starts, Shared Belief garnered $180,000 for the win to raise his bankroll to $1,552,200.
Shared Belief missed the Triple Crown races and began his season with an allowance victory at Golden Gate Fields on May 26. He rolled to victory on July 5 in the Los Alamitos Derby and defeated older horses for the first time in Del Mar's Pacific Classic on Aug. 24.
As a 2-year-old in 2013, Shared Belief was perfect in three starts, including the Hollywood Prevue and CashCall Futurity, both at Hollywood Park.
Shared Belief returned $2.40, $2.20 and $2.10. Fed Biz paid $3.60 and $3.20, and Footbridge paid $5.80 to show.
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