Nationally prominent sports talk show host Jim Rome is part owner
of Shared Belief, the unbeaten (five-for-five) morning line 5-2
favorite for Sunday’s $1 million TVG Pacific Classic. While vacationing
last week in Europe with his family, Rome responded to some emailed
questions from Del Mar officials. Here’s Part I of the correspondence
with Part II to come Friday.
Question: What’s your “take” on a guy getting into
the horse business and catching lightning in a bottle with a mare like
Mizdirection (two-time Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winer), then following
that up with a lightning storm in a 50-gallon drum like Shared Belief!?
Answer: “It looks like my wife Janet and I jumped
into the game and that it's the easiest thing ever. Of course, nothing
could be further from the truth. I've always said it: ‘Throughbred
racing is a kick in the ass and a punch in the face. And prior to Miz, I
was getting my face caved in. Repeatedly. For years. But then the Big
Mare saved my racing life. I thought she was a once in a lifetime horse.
So to find Shared Belief just as Miz went to auction was a miracle. To
this day, I still can't believe we're a part of Team Shared Belief.”
Question: Your trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, is one
of the hardest-working and most intense guys in the business. What’s it
been like for you in your dealings with him?
Answer: “Jerry Hollendorfer is a Hall of Famer in
every sense of the word. A pro's pro. And the King is calling all the
shots here. Jerry has handled Shared Belief beautifully and I just stay
the hell out of his way.”
Question: How does it make you feel that one of the
great money riders in the history of the game, Hall of Famer Mike Smith,
chooses to get off Game On Dude – who won this race by a record 8 1/2
lengths last year – and instead ride Shared Belief?
Answer: “Obviously, I'm a huge Mike Smith guy. He
won us two Breeders’ Cup trophies on Mizdirection and is one of the best
big race riders in the game. And for him to leave Game On Dude for
Shared Belief in this spot tells you what he thinks of our horse,
because I know he loves the Dude. It was a huge vote of confidence for
our horse and our group. He told me a few years back in an interview,
‘I'd really like to ride one of yours one day, Rome.’ And I said, ‘I'd
love for you to, Mike.’ while privately wondering if we'd ever have one
good enough to get his attention.”
Source: Del Mar