Returning to the track over which he suffered his only career loss, Shared Belief pushed his earnings over the $2 million mark in winning the Grade 1 Malibu at Santa Anita Park Friday.
Owned by a partnership group that includes sports radio personality Jim Rome and his wife Janet, Shared Belief was making his first start since the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in early November. Sent off as the favorite that day, the 3-year-old dark bay gelding was compromised at the start when Bayern, the eventual winner, veered into Shared Belief’s path out of the starting gate, causing the horse and jockey Mike Smith to check sharply. Shared Belief finished fourth that day, beaten by less than four lengths.
With that loss, Shared Belief also appeared to have lost any chance at end-of-year honors. The win was Bayern’s sixth of the year; finishing third in the Classic was California Chrome, winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.
But the win in the Malibu, the last Grade 1 race of the year, may lead some Eclipse Award voters to reconsider Shared Belief for either three-year-old champion or Horse of the Year.
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