Shared Belief eyes Charles Town

Shared Belief will make his first start outside of California in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic April 18, co-owner Jim Rome said March 25.

"Shared Belief's going on a plane for the first time," Rome tweeted Wednesday night. "We're headed to West Virginia for the Charles Town Classic."

Considered by many to be the best horse in the country, the son of Candy Ride trained and co-owned by Jerry Hollendorfer hasn't proven he can ship outside of the Golden State, something he would have to do for a potential run in the Breeders' Cup at Keeneland this year. Hollendorfer had previously expressed interest in the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap April 11 for Shared Belief's next race.

A winner in 10 of his 11 career starts, the gelding owned by Rome's Jungle Racing, Jason Litt, Alex Solis II, George Todaro, KMN Racing, and Hollendorfer, has just less than $3 million in earnings after a commanding win in the Santa Anita Handicap March 7.

The 1-1/8-mile race at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races hasn't lacked West Coast flavor in recent years, with the last two winners -- Imperative (2014) and Game On Dude (2013) -- both being based at Santa Anita Park.

Bayern, who defeated Shared Belief but had to survive an inquiry into the start in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic, is also nominated for the Charles Town Classic and has been working steadily at Santa Anita.

After a six-furlong breeze in 1:13 2/5 March 26, trainer Bob Baffert said he'd like the son of Offlee Wild to log a "couple more works" before he considers a landing spot for his return to racing.