Saturday, December 14, 2013
Shared Belief wins CashCall Futurity to go 3-0
INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Shared Belief romped to a 5 3/4-length victory as the even-money favorite in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity on Saturday, the last Grade 1 race to be run at Betfair Hollywood Park before the 75-year-old track closes for good next weekend.
Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Shared Belief ran 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track in 1:42.16 in his first two-turn race and paid $4, $3.60 and $2.80. The 2-year-old dark bay gelding's co-owners include sports talk host Jim Rome and Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
"He did all the work and I was just a quiet passenger on him," Nakatani said. "Wow!"
Shared Belief improved to 3-0, having won his first two career starts by a combined 17 3/4 lengths. His impressive showings make him a leading prospect for next year's Kentucky Derby.
A year ago, the CashCall was worth 10 points to the winner under the new system used by Churchill Downs to determine the 20-horse starting field for the Derby. But it got dropped from the points list for the 2014 Derby.
"I don't like to put them on the Derby trail, but we'll see what happens," Hollendorfer said. "If you're going to go to the Derby the horse takes you there, you don't take him there."
Rome recently sold two-time Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint champion Mizdirection for $2.7 million. But now he's got another winner on his hands, and this one has a star on its forehead.
Shared Belief won his debut by seven lengths at Golden Gate Fields on Oct. 13.
"Today was obviously a really incredible day," Rome said. "I haven't owned horses very long and I don't have the background that a lot of people have, but I've only seen two other horses break their maiden like he did up north -- Mizdirection, who I bought in right after, and Turbulent Descent, who I had a chance to buy into and didn't and regretted that forever."
Rome bought into Shared Belief on the advice of bloodstock agent Alex Solis II, the son of jockey Alex Solis.
"I just went with (Alex) when he said to get in," Rome said. "Alex is an extremely disciplined buyer. He says no to most things."
Candy Boy, who shot to the lead on the backstretch, returned $15 and $8.40 at 26-1 odds. Tamarando, also trained by Hollendorfer, was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $3.20 to show.
"He's a big, long-striding colt and I'm looking forward to riding him on the dirt," said Gary Stevens, who rode Candy Boy.
There was a stewards' inquiry after Kobe's Back shifted out near Candy Boy, but after a video replay they made no changes to the order of finish. Kobe's Back finished 10th for trainer John Sadler, who also saddled Candy Boy.
Shared Belief's victory capped a good day for Hollendorfer, who had a 1-2-3 finish in the $150,000 Native Diver Stakes after Blueskiesnrainbows beat 2-1 favorite Hear the Ghost by a half-length in front of 7,010.
Hollendorfer's other entry, Rousing Sermon, was another half-length back in third.
Ridden by Martin Pedroza, Blueskiesnrainbows ran 1 1/8 miles on Cushion Track in 1:50.07 and paid $8.40, $3.80 and $3 in his first start since finishing second in the Breeders' Cup Marathon last month.
"When I was thinking about this race and discussing it, we thought that if Blueskiesnrainbows was on the lead in the lane, he'd be hard to get by," Hollendorfer said. "He's been running better and better. If he keeps it up, he looks like a good prospect for the coming year."
Hear the Ghost returned $4.20 and $3, while Rousing Sermon paid $3.20 to show.
It was Hollendorfer's second win in the 35-year-old race; Heatseeker took it in 2007. The trainer's trifecta was worth $59.30.
"I've run 1-2-3 before in the El Camino Real Derby (in Northern California), but you don't ever expect to do it in Southern California," he said. "I'm a very fortunate guy."
Drill, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, finished fourth, extending the 4-year-old colt's losing skid to nine races this year. Blueskiesnrainbows was previously trained by Baffert.
In the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup, Lucayan rallied in the stretch to win by a half-length over 7-5 favorite Temeraine.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Lucayan ran 1½ miles in 2:26.14 and paid $5.40, $2.80 and $2.40 as the 8-5 second choice in the last graded stakes race on the turf before the track goes out of business on Dec. 22.
Temeraine returned $2.80 and $2.20, while Segway was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third after leading most of the way in the Grade 2 race and paid $2.60 to show. The field of six equaled the smallest number of horses to run in the 31-year-old race.
France-bred Lucayan ended a six-race skid in North America with the win for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale.