Kentucky Derby 2014 Contenders – Shared Belief Freaks at BHP

Shared Belief burst onto the Kentucky Derby 2014 scene on Sunday, leaving highly regarded returnee Kobe’s Back in the dust in the Grade III Hollywood Prevue Stakes.

Kentucky Derby 2014 logo

Shared Belief also romped in his Golden Gate debut, and he was subsequently purchased privately by Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

In the 7f Prevue at Hollywood Park, he tracked the pace in 2nd, took over in the lane, and drew off to win by almost 8-lengths. The sharp gelding completed his final furlong in 11.76 seconds and earned a 99 BSF.

Kobe’s Back rallied to finish a clear 2nd in his first start in more than four months. He generated buzz after a slow start and fast finish in his June Hollywood debut for Sadler, but he owns a less than stellar route pedigree and sports the look of a late running sprinter at this stage.

At Churchill Downs on Saturday, Almost Famous ran away from a promising allowance crew, including my former top ranked juvenile Purple Sky. The latter was flat as a pancake and never got involved.

Almost Famous was wearing blinkers for the first time and was in complete control throughout. The Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes might be next, and he can join my list with another impressive performance.

On Sunday, Nov. 3 at Aqueduct, Cairo Prince (Pioneerof The Nile – Holy Bubbette, by Holy Bull) earned a solid 90 BSF in his G2 Nashua Stakes at one mile. He will face tougher in the 9f Remsen (G2) and will have every chance to join my list with a big effort in his next start for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2014 Contenders

1. HONOR CODE (A.P. Indy – Serena’s Cat, by Storm Cat)

Trainer: Shug McGaughey – Owner: Lane’s End Racing & Dell Ridge Farm

Latest Workout: 5f bullet in 1:00.20 (1/15) at Belmont Park on 11-10.

Comments: Made up more than 20-lengths in his career debut (Saratoga slop) to score by 4-1/2 lengths at 7f on 8-31 (89 BSF). He rallied to miss by a neck in the G1 Champagne on 10-5. He  skipped the G1 BC Juvenile in favor of the G2 Remsen at Aqueduct on Nov. 30.

New Year's Day horse

New Year’s Day wrapped up his 2yo campaign in the BC Juvenile. Look for him to resurface at SA next year – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

2. NEW YEAR’S DAY (Street Cry – Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union)

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Gary & Mary West

Comments: Rallied for 3rd in his 5.5f Del Mar debut 8-17 and beat next out G1 FrontRunner winner Bond Holder in a one mile maiden race at that same venue 8-31. He came off the bench and showed his talent with a professional score in the G1 BC Juvenile and is an exciting long term prospect.

3. HAVANA (Dunkirk – Missy Turtle, by Kyle’s Our Man)

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Taber, Magnier, and Smith

Comments: Went wire-to-wire in his Saratoga debut on 8-23 and earned a 102 BSF. Put away Debt Ceiling and Grand Arrival early, and held off Honor Code by a nose in the G1 Champagne (93 BSF) at Belmont on 10-5. Stalked and pounced from post 13 in BC Juvenile but could not hold off New Year’s Day.

4. STRONG MANDATE (Tiznow – Clear Mandate, by Deputy Minister)

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas – Owner: Baker & Mack

Comments: Finished 5th in his 7-22 Saratoga bow. He graduated by 4-1/2 lengths at 6.5f at the Spa on 8-17 and cruised by 9-3/4 in the G1 Hopeful at 7f (mud, sealed) on 9-2 (85 BSF). He never got untracked in 7th place Champagne puzzler. He shot to the front from post 14 and finished an improved 3rd in the BC Juvenile.

5. SHARED BELIEF (Candy Ride – Common Hope, by Storm Cat)

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer – Owner: Jungle Racing (Jim Rome)

Comments: Cruised in his 10-19 Golden Gate debut and crushed four rivals in the G3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes on 11-10. The exciting gelding is off to a great start might show up next in the CashCall Futurity.

6. PURPLE SKY (Pulpit – Tessa Blue, by Awesome Again)

Trainer: Al Stall Jr. – Owner: Bruce Lunsford

Comments: 3rd behind Honor Code and Misconnect in Aug. 31 Saratoga debut and raced green that day. He overcame adversity to earn diploma at Churchill Downs (one mile) on 9-28. Never got involved in allowance route at Churchill on Nov. 9. He has talent and it is much too early to give up on him.  Likely to winter at Fair Grounds.

7. MISCONNECT (Unbridled’s Song – Summer Raven, by Summer Squall)

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Repole Stable

Latest Workout: 4f in :51.08 (41/45) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 10-14.

Comments: Battled on the pace throughout and was 2nd best to Honor Code in his 8-31 debut at the Spa. He graduated by a length at Belmont on 9-28 (85 BSF).

8. SCHOOLOFHARDROCKS (Rock Hard Ten – Miss Chapin, by Royal Academy)

Trainer: David Hofmans – Owner: Amerman Racing LLC.

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:00.80 (32/48) at Santa Anita on 9-25.

Comments: It is not easy to win a route race first time out, but he did just at Del Mar on 8-31. Veteran jockey Victor Espinoza is high on this one. “He’s a very talented horse,” Espinoza said of the son of Rock Hard Ten. “I liked him the first time I saw him. I was impressed with how he ran going a mile and winning from the one hole (at odds of 10-1 Aug. 31 at Del Mar). I feel he’ll get even better.” Schoolofhardrocks scratched out of the FrontRunner Stakes. “It’s not too significant,” trainer David Hofmans said of the unrevealed injury. “It’s a problem we’re working on.”

9. GRAND ARRIVAL (Harlan’s Holiday – Grandstone, by Grindstone)

Trainer: Nick Zito – Owner: Ameche Jr., Ameche III, & Prancing Horse Enterprises

Latest Workout: 4f bullet in :47.98 (1/24) at Saratoga on 10-26.

Comments: Distant 3rd in his 7-22 Saratoga debut (Strong Mandate 5th). Romped by 6-1/4 lengths as the 3-2 favorite at that same venue at 7f second time out on 8-31 (sloppy, sealed). Attended pace and retreated to 8th in Champagne. He should get better with age.

10. KENDALL’S BOY (Sky Mesa – Golden Damsel, by Gold Token)

Trainer: Tom Amoss – Owner: Jerry Namy

Latest Workout: 4f in :48.80 (8/44) at Churchill Downs on 10-14.

Comments: Clearly second best to Havana in his 8-23 debut (94 BSF) at the Spa and rolled by 5-1/4 lengths at 6f under the Twin Spires on 9-13. He never appeared comfortable on synthetic footing and was not persevered with in 11th place Breeders’ Futurity effort.

11. GIVE NO QUARTER (Tiz Wonderful – Roadtohanna, by Not for Love)

Trainer: Graham Motion – Owner: Sagamore Farm

Latest Workout: 5f bullet in 1:02 (1/8) at Fair Hill on 11-7.

Comments: Two races at Presque Isle with a clear place finish in his 5.5f bow on 8-15 and a 22-length romp at one mile on 9-17 (85 BSF). He was eased without an apparent excuse in the G3 Grey Stakes at Woodbine on Oct. 6. From Graham Motion’s Twitter account: @GrahamMotion – I’m afraid I can’t give an explanation for Give no Quarter’s poor performance at Woodbine today. He seems to have cooled out fine.

Pedigree Spotlight: Shared Belief

shared belief

Shared Belief’s sire Candy Ride (Ride the Rails – Candy Girl, by Candy Stripes) went 6-for-6 in 2002-03 and ended his brief career with a victory in the G1 Pacific Classic. He has been a smashing success at stud, siring stakes winners Clubhouse Ride, Kettle Corn, Misremembered, Sidney’s Candy, and Twirling Candy, among others. His versatile offspring typically handle any distance on dirt, synthetic, and turf. He stands for $35,000.

shared belief pedigree

Ride the Rails (Cryptoclearance – Herbalesian, by Herbager) was on the Kentucky Derby trail in 1994, finishing 3rd in the G2 Fountain of Youth, 2nd in the G1 Florida Derby, and 4th in the G2 Arkansas Derby. In addition to Candy Ride, he sired 22 stakes winners before his death in Uruguay in 2010.

Cryptoclearance (Fappiano) earned more than $3 million from 1986-89, capturing such prestigious races as the G1 Florida Derby and G1 Donn, and placing in the G1 Preakness, G1 Belmont Stakes, and G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Shared Belief’s dam Common Hope (Storm Cat – Sown, by Grenfall) raced five times in 2000-01 with a maiden win at Del Mar to her credit. She is also the dam of 2011 Iowa Oaks (G3) winner Little Miss Holly. Her siblings include successful California sire Tribal Rule (Storm Cat – Sown, by Grenfall) and G1 Santa Monica winner Key Phrase (Flying Paster – Sown, by Grenfall)

Grade I winner Storm Cat (Storm Bird – Terlinga, by Secretariat) captured 4 of 8 lifetime starts and was 2nd in the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at the Big A. The legendary stallion stood for 20 years and sired more than 100 graded stakes winners. He died earlier this year at age 30 and is buried at Overbrook Farm.

Storm Cat’s sire Storm Bird (Northern Dancer) was a European champion. He sired 63 stakes winners (Summer Squall, Bluebird) before his death in 2004 at age 26.

Shared Belief has only competed on all-weather ground but is bred to handle any footing. Two turns should not be a problem and ten furlongs could be within reach on the first Saturday in May.

Advertisements

8 responses to this post.

  1. Love your work. Great info! Who in your opinion has the best bloodlines to be this years derby winner?

    Reply

    • From the horses currently on my list, Honor Code and Strong Mandate have very appealing pedigrees. Havana has speed/raw talent but will probably struggle in legitimately run races at classic distances.

      Reply

      • What about Tapiture, Bond Holder and the Commissioner?

      • There are many promising juveniles not mentioned here. Bond Holder needs to step it up a bit. Tapiture is going the right way and Commissioner (AP Indy – Flaming Heart, by Touch Gold) certainly has the pedigree. Many twists and turns remain with more than four months to the Derby.

  2. A race where 1/2 mile was run in 57 & change, 6f in 117 really the kind of race to get all fuzzy about – deeming this horse a stand out / a major player. I do NOT! Let’s see if he can win in a star studded field. Like either the Tampa bay, Santa Anita, Arkansas or the Florida Derby that has a full 12 field and 5 to 6 potential contenders in it. Then maybe consider him to be legit! In a sometimes 24 horse field in the Kentucky Derby, NOT always the best horse wins.

    Reply

    • I assume that you are talking about the Remsen in regards to 6f in 1:17, not the fast throughout CashCall. Honor Code and Cairo Prince must still prove themselves in a legitimately run 2-turn race. They are both well-bred, well-connected, talented juveniles with plenty of upside. As for Shared Belief, he is much faster on numbers than any other juvenile, but each of his races were on synthetic, and he must prove himself on conventional dirt next year. It is true that the best horse does not always win the 20-horse Derby cavalry charge.

      Reply

      • Cash call was 7 furlongs, I believe. Doesn’t count in my humble opinion if we are talking a measuring point for going 1 1/4. A distance that will be 2 turns and the farthest these 2 yr olds will probably be asked to run. Provided they win the derby there is the Belmont just a little longer to be run.

      • CashCall Futurity was a mile and a sixteenth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: