Shared Belief, the champion 2-year-old of 2013, will make his long-awaited sophomore debut on Memorial Day, May 26, at Golden Gate Fields in a six-furlong allowance race.
The undefeated Candy Ride gelding will run in the fourth race on a special holiday program that includes the $100,000 All American Stakes. Post time for the nine-race card is 12:45 p.m. PDT, with Shared Belief's race set for 2:17 p.m. The All American is the seventh race and will be run at 3:55 p.m.
Shared Belief, 3-for-3 in his career, will face four opponents in the $35,000 Onebadshark allowance purse. The race will be Shared Belief's first since Dec. 14, when he ran away to a 5 3/4-length victory in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity, the last graded stakes contested at shuttered Betfair Hollywood Park.
The CashCall victory established Shared Belief as one of the early favorites for the 2014 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands. It capped a short but sweet juvenile campaign that also featured a 7 3/4-length victory in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes at Hollywood Nov. 10, and an impressive seven-length maiden score at Golden Gate Fields three weeks earlier.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Shared Belief's troubled 3-year-old season started in January due to a quarter crack that was slow to heal, followed by an abscess in his right front foot. Officially declared off the Triple Crown trail in March, Shared Belief recovered from his foot ailment at Golden Gate Fields and recorded his first work there (three furlongs in :38 2/5 handily) April 15. Shared Belief has had seven workouts in preparation for his comeback start, including a pair of five-furlong bullet moves (1:00 2/5 handily May 15, and 1:00 4/5 handily from the gate May 8).
"He's running here because I didn't want to ship," said Hollendorfer. "No matter where you run, it (the first start back) is going to be tough." The Kentucky-bred dark bay debuted for owner-breeders Pam and Martin Wygod and trainer Jedd Josephson but was purchased privately after the maiden score by Hollendorfer. The trainer owns the gelding in partnership with Jim Rome's Jungle Racing, Alex Solis II, Jason Litt, KMN Racing, and George Todaro. Shared Belief, who has earned $451,200 in his three races, will break from post 4 and be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze. As the only 3-year-old in the race, Shared Belief gets in with a 114-pound weight assignment.