Photo: Benoit Photos
Wait for it. Wait for it. Now go! If someone thought that any other horse but Shared Belief had a prayer, turning for home in today’s Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue, they had no idea just what Corey Nakatani was sitting on.
Ground control to Major Nakatani, you’re set for lift off. Woosh! With afterburners ignited, Shared Belief treated his competition badly down the Hollywood Park lane to the tune of an 7 ¾ length dismantling of a small field which included the heavily favored, and highly regarded, Kobe’s Back.
Kobe may have been back, but Shared Belief had little worry about the stakes-winning stetch runner. Snatched up by Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing after an eye-catching seven-length debut romp at Golden Gate last month, the dark bay gelding pressed the early fractions set by Papa Turf through opening clips of :22.50 and :46.06. Moving past the early leader as if he was a different bread, it was just a matter if Kobe’s Back would mount any sort of serious challenge. He would not.
Shared Belief put the pedal to the metal, and the race was over. Storming clear with every stride, only the wire could slow the impressive winner. Sent off as the 3-2 second choice, Shared Belief ran his final furlong in 11.73 to stop the timer in a strong 1:22.17 for the seven furlongs. Kobe’s Back was well ahead of the rest for second.
The winning owner of back-to-back editions of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint with Mizdirection, Rome did not have to wait long for his new stable star to come along. Only days after saying goodbye to the big mare at the November Keeneland Sale, the sports news mogul looks to be right back on the fast track with Shared Belief. Purchased from his breeders, Pam and Martin Wygod, Rome’s new star truly could be any kind. A son of Candy Ride, out of the Storm Cat mare, Common Hope, he showed an absolutely electrifying turn of foot when Nakatani pushed the button this afternoon.
The next stop for the new Jerry Hollendorfer trainee will be interesting. A stretch-out in next month’s CashCall Futurity could well mean that his connections believe his talent will translate to longer distances. Jim Rome and his Clones on the Kentucky Derby trail could make next spring a whole lot more interesting. Welcome to the Jungle!