04/07/2015 1:16PM

Shared Belief heavy favorite in Charles Town Classic

Benoit & Associates
Santa Anita Handicap winner Shared Belief will have few opponents in the Charles Town Classic April 18.

The field for the April 18 Charles Town Classic is coming together, with Shared Belief a heavy favorite in a short field. On Tuesday, Bob Baffert confirmed that he will not be sending Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern.

“The race was never on my radar,” Baffert said.

Bayern was slowed by a quarter crack early this year but has had six works since March 14, including a bullet seven-furlong drill in 1:23.60 at Santa Anita on Tuesday.

According to Erich Zimny, vice president of racing operations at Charles Town, the other expected Classic runners are Moreno, Vyjack, Imperative, Street Babe, and Looking Cool.

Shared Belief is 10 for 11 lifetime, with his only loss coming last fall in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, where he was bothered twice soon after the start. The 1 1/8-mile Charles Town Classic will be his first start outside of California.

Moreno looks to be the top challenger. Trained by Eric Guillot, he was beaten 4 1/4 lengths by Shared Belief when second in the Santa Anita Handicap two starts back. He finished a close third in the New Orleans Handicap in his most recent start.

Vyjack, trained by Rudy Rodriguez, tired to finish fifth last time out in the Stymie at Aqueduct following a three-month layoff. His most recent win came in the Grade 2 Kelso at Aqueduct last September.

Imperative upset Game On Dude and Moreno to win last year’s Charles Town Classic for trainer George Papaprodromou. He is winless in eight starts since.

Street Babe, a 4-year-old Street Sense gelding, has made only three starts. Trained by Michael Dilger, he won the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap at Fair Grounds in his last race Feb. 21.

Looking Cool was claimed for $62,000 by Peter Walder out of a second-level optional-claiming race at Gulfstream Park on March 14.

There are three different participation incentives built into the purse of the Classic. Shared Belief will receive $100,000 for winning the Pacific Classic. Moreno will receive $50,000 for his win last summer in the Grade 1 Whitney. Under this scenario, the total purse open to all entrants would be $1.35 million.

The bonuses are split evenly between a horse’s owner and trainer.

Frank More than 1 year ago
he is pure poetry in motion. This is a truely special horse. Enough of these bogus news lines about CC -- Shared Belief is the real deal and deserves all the press!
mike More than 1 year ago
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Sorry but Charlestown doesn't deserve any press. They are lucky they can pony up a million to lure one horse of quality in. Otherwise they are as irrelevant after their big day , as Churchill.
Walter More than 1 year ago
Looking forward to seeing SB stay healthy and competing for years to come! It's nice to have talented horses in the Handicap division. We have had too many years of handicap races with little talent all over the country. SB, Bayern, Palice Malice, and many others keep on racing!!
B More than 1 year ago
That is true, but it would be nice if they would face each other. He faced nothing in the SAH and this is just as bad, though the track configuration and the fact that this is his first start outside of California make this a bit more of a challenge for him. Maybe. Baffert says this race was never on Bayern's calendar. Not many will be that have Shared Belief in the field. SB probably needs to lose a race to encourage other top horses to compete against him, but not sure that is going to happen in a fairly run race.
Walter More than 1 year ago
It was nice to see SB run against Cal Chrome a couple of months ago, we should have some good matchups upcoming since there are many good horses in training. They all cannot avoid each other until the BC. Let's hope!
Rosemarie Cola More than 1 year ago
Another easy win for my favorite boy. I just wish he 'd come to Pa, NY or NJ at some point so I could see him run.
saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
Charles Town is actually within reason of all the above.
Lori Ochs More than 1 year ago
He's my favorite Boy too!! I love this horse!!!
Mark Oleary More than 1 year ago
Should be a coronation for the plucky gelding. Such a talented and gifted animal!
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Why don't the awesome east coast contingent travel to West Virginia to get a piece of this West Coast slouch?He's ripe for the picking.Ya,Didn't think so.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Not even stalls to put horses !!! It's a small track!!!
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
There isnt any older dirt horses with an A listing. Belief, bayern chrome and lea have B. There isnt any As or Bs in the oaklawn handicap either. Hopefully palace, code and inclusion will improve. The plague hit 2014 hard.
Joe Thomas More than 1 year ago
Why does SB get $100,000 bonus and Moreno only $50,000? Aren't they both grade ones?
Cimarron More than 1 year ago
It depends on the G1 race (per the DRF article link below): The connections of a Kentucky Derby or Breeders’ Cup Classic winner will receive a bonus of $200,000 for running the course in the Charles Town Classic. Connections of horses who have won the Preakness, Belmont Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Distaff, or Pacific Classic will be eligible to receive $100,000. The connections of any other Grade 1 winner who runs in the Classic will receive $50,000. http://www.drf.com/news/charles-town-ties-bonuses-classic
Vince Piscitelli More than 1 year ago
His race after this is the Met at Belmont. Vince P
tommy More than 1 year ago
If he goes to Belmont for met mile, I expect private zone, wicked strong, valid, and transparent to tear him apart !!
Rosemarie Cola More than 1 year ago
are we sure he is going to NY, cause I have to get my tickets now!
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
None that you mention could warm him up tommy. Its Honor Code you failed to mention. Only horse in the U.S. that would give him a race...............
gary Potter More than 1 year ago
It will be interesting to see how SB does outside of California. If his connections really want to prove his stock he will be at Saratoga this summer to go against the best. My guess is g hat he will stay in California with the 5 horse fields
Scott More than 1 year ago
Gary, prior to California Chrome's odd move to England, the best horses in America were pretty much all running in California (for a change): Shared Belief, California Chrome, Bayern (hasn't ran yet, but is in California) and then you have the likely Derby Favorites coming from there: Dortmund and while American Pharaoh is running in the East, he's a West Coaster too. Seriously, until Palace Malice proves he's back to his top form, who is running back East in the older horse division that is in this class. Constitution couldn't come close to Hoppertunity (another West Coaster) who couldn't come close to either CC or SB. Lea couldn't beat Constitution and wasn't close to CC in the Dubai World Cup. There is a serious dearth of talent in the East right now. I can't remember a time in recent years where this happened.
gary Potter More than 1 year ago
Scott, The west Coast horses had a good year last year, but CC was 1 for 3 on the East Coast. SB never having run east of the Mississippi. Lets see how he does in Virginia and lets see what happens in May and beyond. One year doesn't mean much when most of it is completed in one state. I do like Dortmund, so we will see what he has at Churchill
mike More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the comic relief.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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mike More than 1 year ago
I'm jealous,bet your life is wonderful living in a dingy trailer and stealing from your mom's purse. The quicker you learn the better,you don't own this blog. How's your job working out as a rodeo clown?
Dick Brasher More than 1 year ago
Charles town is a track where he can get away with running on the juice.Why do you think he didn`t go to Dubai?He beat chrome easily the last time,and doesn`t go for a 9 million purse?
Tom F More than 1 year ago
as long as Shared Belief gets on the plane, he will run huge, as always. Also, SB isn't a really big horse but he's filled out well the past year. Saw him close up in the Malibu and he looked very impressive. And if you can see him run in person, you'll realize how athletic he is. Awesome runner!!
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Beautiful machine like stride when you see close up.They don't run forever,but this guy oozes class.6–12 furlongs on ANY surface.Like the great ones.
avlamal More than 1 year ago
street babe will be a serious horse beware dont discoumt
Laurie Sampson Brooks More than 1 year ago
Coming off a strong win, being lightly raced, Street Babe (to me) should figure in the running. But there is no reason to think that Shared Belief shouldn't continue to put forth a consistently strong effort. which should be good enough to beat these horses handily once again.