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Breeders' Cup 2017

Rival Trainers Impressed With Shared Belief

Racing fans across the country are filling up the bandwagon following Shared Belief’s dazzling victory in the Grade I CashCall Futurity Dec. 14.

But it’s not only racing enthusiasts that are following the Candy Ride gelding.  Horsemen who have raced against him are also heaping praise on the 2-year-old trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer.

“I thought he was the best 2-year-old in the country before the Futurity,” said trainer John Sadler, whose two horses finished a distant second (Candy Boy) and tenth (Kobe’s Back).

“I saw nothing to change my mind.  The only question left is if he can do it on dirt.”

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who has won the CashCall Futurity a record six times, echoed that sentiment.  “He’s really good for a horse coming on this late,” observed Baffert, who saddled Tap It Rich for an 11th place finish in the CashCall.  “Let’s see if he can duplicate his form on dirt.”

Trainer Ken McPeek, whose Sheikinator and Rankhasprivileges finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the CashCall, knows a few things about young horses.  The trainer shipped Pure Fun to Betfair Hollywood Park to capture the Grade I Hollywood Starlet in 2012.

“He (Shared Belief) was extremely impressive,” stated McPeek.  My two horses are pretty good and he just showed them his tail.  I liked the way he rated and it didn’t bother him when (Candy Boy) passed him.”

For his part, Hollendorfer knows how many pitfalls there are between now and the first Saturday in May and refuses to get too excited. He doesn’t like phrases such as “Derby trail” and “prep races.”

Hollendorfer is keenly aware that Shared Belief must prove himself on dirt.

“He’s never been on it since I’ve had him,” he said. “I don’t know what he did before I got him.

“It’s a long, hard road ahead. We’ll just do the best we can.”

 

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