Photo: Don August
The long awaited three-year-old debut of Shared Belief
at Golden Gate Fields on Monday was supposed to be a test against a quality field of older horses, but as soon as the gates opened and the champion two-year-old Eclipse Award winner broke away from the gate, it turned it into a glorified workout.
The unbeaten gelding led at every call, pulling away down the stretch for an easy 4 1/2 length win over the Tapeta surface, traveling the six furlongs in 1:09.78.
Anyone who wondered if he was completely recovered from the foot issues that sidelined him since the Cash Call Futurity last December, put those thoughts to rest as he crossed the line under a tight hold by jockey Russell Baze
"This horse is very intelligent and easy to ride, " Baze said. " He has real good tactical speed you can put him anywhere. In the mornings he is very lackadaisical, very laid back, it's surprising he shows this kind of speed in the afternoons. I had a lot more horse left at the end. I told Jerry if Corey (Nakatani) has anything else to ride that I'm available."
had two horses in the race, with Moonshine Bay expected to be the pace setter. But when he didn't show his customary early foot, Baze went on with it.
"I didn't want this horse on the lead, I don't expect he will run like that, but when Moonshine Bay didn't go, Russell did what he had to do, " Hollendorfer said. "He's a good horse, (Hollendorfer continued about Shared Belief), he just had an unfortunate turn of events earlier in the year. Our plan was to get this horse running and do something in the middle and end of the year so if we can do real well at the end of the year we will be just as happy as if he would have done something in the beginning."
Shared Belief went off the 1/5 favorite and paid $2.40 on the win.
Hollendorfer had three wins on the afternoon, also supplying the top two finishers in the sixth and seventh races. The seventh was the $100,000 All American Stakes and he ran 1-2 with Summer Hit just beating Longview Drive.