11/01/2014 10:19PM

Shared Belief finishes fourth in BC Classic after finding trouble throughout

Debra A. Roma
Shared Belief ran into trouble early and finished fourth Saturday in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park.

ARCADIA, Calif. – To hear Mike Smith tell it, Shared Belief was finished at the start.

Shared Belief, last year’s 2-year-old champion, couldn’t overcome a severe bump at the break, some steadying through the stretch the first time, and a wide trip down the backside as he suffered his first career defeat when finishing fourth in Saturday’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita.

Shared Belief finished four lengths behind the front-running Bayern, who came in at the break from post 7 and bumped Shared Belief into Moreno. The incident had Shared Belief sixth down the lane the first time.

The bumping incident was the subject of a steward’s inquiry immediately following the race, but the stewards deemed that Shared Belief was bothered more by horses that he beat than by Bayern.

“I swear to you – I honestly believe it cost me the whole race. I really believe that,” said Smith, who was not angry when he spoke to the press immediately after the race was made official.

Asked if he felt the incident cost his horse the race, an upset Jerry Hollendorfer, the trainer of Shared Belief said, “What do you think?”

Shared Belief got bumped by Bayern into Moreno, and after that, he was forced to steady behind Toast of New York, who had cut in front of him about an eighth of a mile into the race.

One could see Smith bounce in the saddle as he tried to settle Shared Belief into his stride. Shared Belief was four wide entering the first turn and in sixth position. Down the backside, he raced outside of Moreno, but, according to Smith, but got bumped by that horse and was never comfortable. He launched a mild bid around the turn but never got into contention with the top three, well behind Bayern, Toast of New York, and California Chrome.

“I got hit really hard the first jump, and after that, I kept getting hit,” Smith said. “After the first jump Bayern hit me, it slowed me up enough so the rest of them could finish me off. My colt got up, and he ran really well. Considering all he went through, it was a pretty incredible race. I would have liked to have seen what would have happened if I would have had a fair break.”

It was the second straight race Shared Belief was bothered by horses during the running of a race. He was carried very wide in the Awesome Again Stakes but overcame that to win.

Saturday’s loss likely cost Shared Belief a chance at Horse of the Year and the 3-year-old championship, titles that may now go to Bayern or perhaps California Chrome, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner.

Smith said he does not believe the bumping from Bayern, under jockey Martin Garcia, was done intentionally.

“Nothing you can do. The first jump is the first jump. We all leave there with a loop our rein the first jump,” Smith said. “I can’t say at all it was intentional.”

Hollendorfer said he didn’t believe the bumping was done intentionally either but had little else to say as he walked back to the barn after the race.

“He was wide the whole way. He got bumped around two or three different times,” Hollendorfer said. “I’m not making an excuse. That’s what happened.”

Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
This column reads like a Shared Belief handicapping forum. Thoroughbred investing Not rocket science, folks. No sport is for that matter. No denying the steely-eyed determination displayed by the winner. YES...he could and did get the mile and a quarter.
Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
Great job of conditioning by Bob Baffert. As Mike Smith stated, that jump out of the gate is what it is. The Baffert Stable was perhaps denied a Derby win when drawing the rail inside of horses and being bumped around multiple times (Lookin At Lucky, I believe) several years ago. Racing of any kind carries with such possibilities. Kudos to the runner-up and Art Sherman. Chrome showed up and cannot be ignored when the three year old voting takes place.
Pat More than 1 year ago
Shared Belief "found" trouble. What an utterly misleading headline. David, I always respected you and your reporting, but this article is utter nonsense. Seems to me that the trouble "found" Shared Belief. Did not Bayren come over and hit Shared Belief? Then how in the world can you try to leave the impression by the headline, that was, in at least part, Shared Belief's fault. Shame on you David. Shame on the stewards at Santa Anita. Once again, racing drives another nail into its own coffin.
Ann Maree More than 1 year ago
He didn't write the headline I would bet. Also, the words "found trouble" don't at all imply no such assignment of blame. Might want to sign up for a course in writing.
Ann Maree More than 1 year ago
iPhone blunder with clumsy sentence structure. :-)
Pat More than 1 year ago
Suggest you obtain "The Elements of Style". Obviously, you're in dire need of reading it. Also, always remember in journalism, females under 18 are identified as "girls" and women over 18 are identified as "women". This means, of course, there are no "ladies" in the business. I rest my case. And I suggest you take a really good remedial reading course at a local grade school.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
Your mom should bet southern Cal racing with that loot.; investing on Elvis Trujillo at odds of five to eight to one. What the hell, take nine-to-two also.
Cynthia Kennedy More than 1 year ago
The horse that won yesterday was Shared Belief. That he could get bumped & cut off like that, with Smith having to hold him back & steady him TO AVOID WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A DISASTROUS PILE-UP & still finish 4th, makes him a winner in my book. My money & heart were on Chrome, but I know that Smith is probably one of the most skilled jockeys alive & his horse did not get a fair chance. Bayern should have been taken down.
Lori Ochs More than 1 year ago
As a very disappointed Shared Belief fan I thank you for the nice words!
M More than 1 year ago
Ponzi Anita Park
Armando Olopernes More than 1 year ago
so, any incidents like this will happen again ,,there will be no disqualifications ????????
Terry Mak More than 1 year ago
Big difference between getting pinched at the gate,and mauled at the gate.You need to train the horse better from the gate.
M More than 1 year ago
California horse racing = Pro Wrestling...cue the music (Tony Bennett)..."The Best is Yet to Come"...
erika More than 1 year ago
Should Bayern's jockey, Martin Garcia, be suspended for his ride in the BC Classic?