Improbable 'towers over' Del Mar's Shared Belief Stakes field

Del Mar Stable Notes
August 24, 2019 10:49am

Triple Crown series runner Improbable and lightly raced King Jack and are closely listed as the top choices on oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line for Sunday’s $100,000 Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar.

King Jack, undefeated in two starts, drew the No. 3 post and was listed at 8-5.
 Improbable drew the outside No. 6 post and was the even-money favorite.

Run as the El Cajon Stakes from 1973-2015 before being renamed for the 2014 TVG Pacific Classic winner, the one-mile test for 3-year-olds will be presented for the 45
th time. Shared Belief was trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who now conditions King Jack.

With the Shared Belief won in the recent past by standouts like Fed Biz (2012), Accelerate (2016), Battle of Midway (2017) and Tatters to Riches (2018), the Bob Baffert-trained
 Improbable will be making his first start since competing in the first two legs of the Triple Crown and going off as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby.

“We’re looking to bring him back. He’s been away awhile,” Baffert said. “Jerry’s horse is going to be tough in there.”

Improbable, a Grade 1 winner who went favored in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, is in search of his first victory this season. King Jack, meanwhile, will aim to win his second race of the Del Mar meet, making it 2-for-2 in his career with a July 17 allowance optional claiming victory at seven furlongs.

“He’s a big horse and was given time to grow into himself,” Dan Ward, assistant to Hollendorfer, said of King Jack, a $100,000 purchase at the Keeneland September sale of 2017.

Craig Lewis, who trains Shared Belief longshot Seven Scents, doesn't believe Improbable and King Jack are as close as the morning line insists.

Improbable towers over the field," Lewis said. "There’s no question about that. We don’t want to run against the Kentucky Derby favorite, but there’s no other races for him right now.

"We’ve got some, not many, but some later options that we might look into.”

The field from the rail: Street Class (Ruben Fuentes, 20-1), Seven Scents (Jorge Velez, 20-1), King Jack (Mike Smith, 8-5), Stubbins (Doug O’Neill, 10-1), Lieutenant Dan (Abel Cedillo, 4-1) and
 Improbable(Drayden Van Dyke, 1-1).

Post time for Race 8 of 9 on the card is 8:30 p.m. ET.


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