Shared Belief Crushes Santa Anita Handicap Field

Shared Belief easily beat his 12 foes in the Santa Anita Handicap (The Associated Press)
Shared Belief easily beat his 12 foes in the Santa Anita Handicap (The Associated Press)

Shared Belief Crushes Santa Anita Handicap Field

Shared Belief delivered the performance that he was expected to give on Saturday. Without much urging he won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap by 4 1/4 lengths to push his career record to 10 for 11.

As expected, Moreno went straight to the lead with Catch A Flight (ARG) pressuring him from the outside. Sr. Quisqueyano was third with Shared Belief in great position in fourth only 2 lengths off the lead. Crimson Giant was fifth, Bronzo (CHI) was sixth, Diamond Bachelor was seventh, and Cool Samurai was eighth. Dynamic Sky sat back in ninth position early, Hard Aces was tenth, Patrioticandproud was eleventh, You Know I Know was twelfth by 10 1/4 lengths, and Imperative was last of the thirteen horses.

Moreno continued to lead the field through on the backstretch with Sr. Quisqueyano now pressing his way into second with Crimson Giant into third and Catch A Flight back in fourth. Shared Belief continued to sit two and a half lengths back in fifth. Hard Aces began to move up as well from tenth at the opening quarter to fifth by the one mile marker.

As the horses began their run into the far turn, Moreno was pushed for home by jockey Santiago Gonzalez. Shared Belief was pushed by Mike Smith on the far turn and took over at the top of the stretch. Moreno continued to run on with Catch A Flight also running in third in the stretch. Hard Aces was well back in fourth battling with Bronzo in fifth.

In the final eighth of a mile Mike Smith just hand rode Shared Belief to the wire to win by 4 1/4 lengths. Moreno stayed on for second by a head over Catch A Flight. It was another 2 lengths back to Hard Aces in fourth and Bronzo in fifth.

The remaining order of finish was Dynamic Sky, You Know I Know, Imperative, Sr. Quisqueyano, Cool Samurai, Patrioticandproud, Diamond Bachelor, and Crimson Giant. The Equibase chart can be found here.

Shared Belief went off as the heavy, heavy favorite as expected. He was the 3-10 favorite and paid $2.60 to win. He is by Candy Ride out of the Storm Cat mare Common Hope. He is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and owned by Jungle Racing LLC. Jungle Racing is run by Jim Rome.

Shared Belief ran the one mile and one quarter in 2:00.67.

There are no plans beyond the Santa Anita Handicap for Shared Belief. He earned $600,00 for his win in this Grade 1 race to push is lifetime earnings to $2.932 million.

Dortmund Wires San Felipe Stakes

Dortmund (#3, blue saddle towel) wins the San Felipe Stakes (Zoe Metz/Eclipse Sportswire)
Dortmund (#3, blue saddle towel) wins the San Felipe Stakes (Zoe Metz/Eclipse Sportswire)

Dortmund Wires San Felipe Stakes

Dortmund moved his record to 5 for 5 in his career with an easy win in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes. His gate-to-wire performance as the 4-5 favorite guarantees him a spot in the Kentucky Derby.

Dortmund went straight to the lead and set a moderate pace. Sir Samson pressed him from the outside with Lord Nelson protecting the rail position and Bolo in fourth about a length and a half off the lead. Kenjisstorm was fifth, Prospect Park was sixth, Ocho Ocho Ocho was seventh, and Pulmarack was eighth. The Gomper was ninth by 5 lengths with Pain and Misery last by 7 lengths.

There was not much change in the running of the race as Dortmund went through a quarter mile in 23.12, a half mile in 46.98, and six furlongs in 1:11.30. On the far turn, Dortmund was pushed by Bolo who making a strong bid for the lead. Dortmund led by a head at the stretch call over Bolo with Prospect Park making his way into third.

Dortmund continued to pull away from Bolo while Prospect Park came flying up to second to miss by a length and a quarter. Bolo was third and Lord Nelson ran an even race while finishing fourth.

The remaining order of finish was The Gomper in fifth, Pulmarack in sixth, Pain and Misery in seventh, Ocho Ocho Ocho in eighth, Sir Samson in ninth, and Kenjisstorm was last in tenth by 38 lengths. The official chart can be found here via Equibase.

For his first place finish, Dortmund earned 50 to bring him to a total of 70 points and is currently third on the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. Prospect Park earned his first 20 points, Bolo earned his first 10 points, and Lord Nelson earned 5 points to bring his total to 6.

Dortmund is by Big Brown out of the Tale of the Cat mare Our Josephina. He was ridden by Martin Garcia and is trained by the venerable Bob Baffert. He ran the one mile and one sixteenth in 1:41.65.

Dortmund and Prospect Park will most likely come back in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, April 4. That race is worth 100, 40, 20, and 10 points to the top four finishers.

Carpe Diem Has No Trouble In Tampa Bay Derby

Carpe Diem easily won the 2015 Tampa Bay Derby (SV Photography)
Carpe Diem easily won the 2015 Tampa Bay Derby (SV Photography)

Carpe Diem Has No Trouble In Tampa Bay Derby

Despite not racing for over 4 months, Carpe Diem did not appear to miss a beat winning the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. He is now in great position to make the Kentucky Derby the first Saturday in May.

Divining Rod took control of the race from the rail with My Johnny Be Good pressuring him from the outside. Moonlight Bandit was close in third while Carpe Diem was fourth about 2 lengths off the lead. Second choice Ocean Knight was in fifth, Danzig Moon was in sixth, Ami’s Flatter was in seventh, and Great Stuff was trailing in eighth.

Divining Rod continued to lead on the back stretch and into the far turn while My Johnny Be Good started to throw in the towel. Carpe Diem was still right behind the leader and began making his move. Ami’s Flatter was into fourth, Ocean Knight was struggling in fifth, Danzig Moon was in sixth, Great Stuff was up to seventh, and Moonlight Bandit was in last.

As they hit the stretch, Carpe Diem was well on his way to victory opening up 2 lengths by the stretch call. Divining Rod was back in second and Ami’s Flatter was third. It would be an easy romp home for Carpe Diem as he won by 5 lengths over Ami’s Flatter and Divining Rod in third. Danzig Moon was in fourth by 12 1/2 lengths.

The remaining order of finish was Great Stuff in fifth, Moonlight Bandit in sixth, Ocean Knight in seventh, and My Johnny Be Good in last. Souper Colossal scratched prior to the race. The Equibase chart can be found here.

Carpe Diem was ridden by John Velazquez and is trained by Todd Pletcher. Carpe Diem is by Giant’s Causeway out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Rebridled Dreams. He ran the one mile and one sixteenth in 1:43.60 while paying $4.00 as the even-money favorite.

For the win, Carpe Diem received 50 points for the win to bring his total to 64 points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. He sits in fourth place after the three Road to the Kentucky Derby races on Saturday.

Ami’s Flatter earned his first 20 points while Divining Rod earned his first 10 points. Toasting Master also earned his first 5 points towards the Kentucky Derby.

The next Kentucky Derby Prep race is the Rebel Stakes on Saturday, March 14 at Oaklawn Park.

El Kabeir Shows New Dimension In Gotham Stakes

El Kabeir closed in the slop to win the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes (NYRA)
El Kabeir closed in the slop to win the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes (NYRA)

El Kabeir Shows New Dimension In Gotham Stakes

Despite never trailing by more than six and a half lengths at any call in his previous 7 races, El Kabeir showed he can close well off the pace in winning the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes. El Kabeir rallied from 12 lengths off the lead to win by 2 3/4 lengths in the end.

The race began with Toasting Master and Blame Jim tangling for the lead with Tiz Shea D and Uninfluenced behind the top duo. Further back in fifth was Dontbetwithbruno followed by Classy Class, Tencendur, Lieutenant Colonel, El Kabeir, and Combat Diver. The trailing group of six were at least eight and a half lengths off the lead at the first call.

The top four remained unchanged until the far turn when El Kabeir began to make headway and closed within 4 lengths. He switched out on the turn and found more room entering the stretch when he took over by 2 lengths with an eight of a mile to go.

While no one was getting to El Kabeir, there was a race to get the second, third, and fourth spots. Tiz Shea D had a good stakes debut and got up by a head for second over Classy Class. Fourth place was even closer with Toasting Master barely hanging to fourth place by a nose over Tencendur. One length covered second through fifth place.

The remaining order of finish was started by the Todd Pletcher trio of Dontbetwithbruno, Uninfluenced, and Blame Jim in sixth, seventh, and eighth respectively. Combat Diver was ninth and Lieutenant Colonel finished last by 21 3/4 lengths. The results can be found here via Equibase.

El Kabeir earned 50 points for his victory, bringing his Kentucky Derby Points to a total of 75 and is the top-ranked horse on the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. Tiz Shea D earned his first 20 points while Classy Class earned 10 points to bring him t0 13. Toasting Master earned his first 5 points.

El Kabeir is by Scat Daddy out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Great Venue. He was ridden by Charles Lopez and is trained by John Terranova II. He paid $4.60 to win as the 6-5 favorite. The final running time for the Gotham Stakes was 1:45.56 over a muddy track.

It is safe to assume that El Kabeir will be back at Aqueduct for the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes on Saturday, April 4. That race is worth 100, 40, 20, and 10 points to the first, second, third, and fourth place finishers of that race respectively.

The next Road to the Kentucky Derby race is on Saturday, March 14 with the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.