03/25/2015 8:40PM

Shared Belief headed for Charles Town Classic

Benoit & Associates
Shared Belief has won the Santa Anita Handicap (above) and the San Antonio Stakes this year.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Shared Belief, winner of two major stakes for older horses this year at Santa Anita, will make his next start in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic in West Virginia on April 18.

Alex Solis II, a member of the partnership that owns the 4-year-old gelding, said on Wednesday evening that a decision was finalized on Shared Belief’s next start earlier in the day.

The Charles Town Classic and the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap in Arkansas on April 11 had been considered as options for Shared Belief's next start by the partnership and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

“This gives us another week between starts,” Solis said.

Earlier this year, Shared Belief won the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes on Feb. 7 and the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7.

Later this year, Shared Belief is expected to run in the $1.25 million Metropolitan Mile Handicap at Belmont Park on June 6, part of the undercard of the Belmont Stakes. Shared Belief is unlikely to run between the Charles Town Classic and the Met Mile.

“There will be plenty of time to come back for our beginning-of-the-summer goal,” Solis said.

Shared Belief’s presence in the Charles Town Classic will continue a string of leading California older horses participating in West Virginia’s richest race. In 2013, the California shippers Game On Dude and Clubhouse Ride were first and second. Last year, Californians Imperative and Game On Dude were first and second.

Shared Belief was the champion 2-year-old male of 2013, and has won 10 of 11 starts and earned $2,932,200. His only loss was a fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita last November when he was severely bumped shortly after the start by eventual winner Bayern.

Bayern has not raced since the BC Classic because of foot problems earlier this year, but has had two workouts since mid-March.