02/03/2015 1:41PM

Shared Belief ready for San Antonio

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Benoit & Associates
Shared Belief (above) will meet California Chrome and Hoppertunity in the San Antonio on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Shared Belief has completed his serious preparation for Saturday’s $500,000 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita.

On Tuesday at Golden Gate Fields, Shared Belief worked a half-mile in 50.80 seconds under his regular work rider, Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze.

“I told Russell to go in 49 or 50 seconds,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. “This horse has always been really consistent. He doesn’t show me anything but the same consistency. He looks good.”

Hollendorfer said Shared Belief was scheduled to be vanned to Southern California early Wednesday, allowing time for training at Santa Anita on Thursday and Friday.

The Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes, at 1 1/8 miles, is the most anticipated race of the young season. Shared Belief, the champion 2-year-old male of 2013, will face 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome. This will be their second meeting. California Chrome and Shared Belief were third and fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic here in November.

Both have since won Grade 1 races. California Chrome won the Hollywood Derby on turf at Del Mar on Nov. 29. Shared Belief won the Malibu Stakes at seven furlongs Dec. 26.

The San Antonio Stakes is likely to have a field of at least seven. The track is presenting the race as an invitational and selected 12 horses to run. Aside from California Chrome and Shared Belief, the probable starters are Alfa Bird, Bronzo, Hoppertunity, Tonito M., and You Know I Know.

Trainer Mark Casse said on Tuesday that Dynamic Sky, who was invited to the San Antonio, will start in Saturday’s $200,000 San Marcos Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita. The Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes is expected to include Majestic Harbor and Quadrivium, who were invited to the San Antonio.

Trainer Bob Hess Jr. said that Blue Tone, also invited to the San Antonio, will run in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.

Hoppertunity, trained by Bob Baffert, won the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 28 and the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 10.