Even with high stakes and a loaded field, Shared Belief emerged as the winner of the 2014 Pacific Classic. With the victory, the gelding earned a berth into the Breeders' Cup Classic along with the large purse.
TVG provides a look at the final result in Del Mar:
Now THAT was impressive. How about this gelding?! He's a superstar! @SharedBelief went off as your 6/5 favorite and validated that support— TVG (@TVG) August 25, 2014
There was a bit of controversy near the end of the race with an inquiry taking place. Shared Belief was coming down the stretch and questions were raised about the finishing order.
Steve Andersen of Daily Racing Form provides information on the controversy:
The stewards are conducting an inquiry into stretch run of Pacific Classic. 2nd Toast of New York took up in the stretch. #delmar— Steve Andersen (@DRFAndersen) August 25, 2014
Nothing would come of the inquiry as Shared Belief was eventually named the winner. The favorite coming in looked every bit the part as he ran away from the field down the stretch.
Andrew Hawkins of the South China Racing Post provides a look at the final finish:
As for Game On Dude, the defending champion missed out on taking the Pacific Classic in consecutive years. Though he put on a valiant effort, the stallion fell short of Shared Belief and finished fourth on Sunday.
The rest of the field was simply attempting to catch up to Shared Belief, with Toast of New York and Imperative battling for second. Toast of New York, who came in with issues prior to the race, came away with a strong run.
Here's a look at the full results from the Pacific Classic:
|1||Shared Belief||Mike Smith||Jerry Hollendorfer|
|2||Toast Of New York||Victor Espinoza||Jamie Osborne|
|3||Imperative||Kent Desormeaux||George Papaprodromou|
|4||Game On Dude||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert|
NBC Sports Network
Shared Belief, who came in with a 5-0 record, looked like a much stronger horse Sunday. Despite falling behind early on, the gelding took control down the final furlongs to coast to the victory.
Jim Rome, the owner of Shared Belief, spoke about his expectations of the horse leading up to the race, per Jeff Bradley of Sports Illustrated:
I just hope Shared Belief comes out of today's work right, and ships to Del Mar! ... Again, just a few years ago, I was thrilled to be a spectator at the Pacific Classic. To have a horse that people think has a chance to win a race like that, is a joke. I still look at our team all the time, and ask, 'Can you believe we're even in this position?!'
Rome wasn't the only person coming away happy after the race. Horse racing fans have been waiting to see Shared Belief and California Chrome race against one another on the big stage.
While Shared Belief missed out on the Triple Crown races, he will get a chance against the colt. Both Andersen and Brian Zipse of Horse Racing Nation provide their thoughts on the gelding:
Shared Belief (6-5) ran the race of his life to stay unbeaten in six starts in Sunday's $1m Pacific Classic. Toast of New York 2nd. #delmar— Steve Andersen (@DRFAndersen) August 25, 2014
Yes, America ... @SharedBelief is for real!— Brian Zipse (@Zipseatthetrack) August 25, 2014
While the other horses missed out on the ultimate prize, they all still came away with something Sunday. Both Majestic Harbor and Game On Dude were already in the running for the Breeders' Cup event Nov. 1 in Los Angeles.
Along with the berth into the Breeders' Cup Classic, Shared Belief also captured a hefty purse with the win. Del Mar's richest and most prestigious race awards a total of $1 million to the field.
The entire list of purse payouts following the Pacific Classic can be found below.
|Toast of New York||$5.20||$4.60|
NBC Sports Broadcast
Can Shared Belief win the Breeders' Cup Classic?
After a strong run at Del Mar, Shared Belief has a chance to emerge as a contender in the Los Angeles race. But with a stacked group also in the running, another solid outing will be necessary to pace the field.
Horse racing favorites like Tonalist and Wicked Strong will be stout colts, but California Chrome will likely come in as the top stallion. The Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes winner has a chance to continue the recent run of masterful runs.
Following the impressive win, Shared Belief heads to Los Angeles looking to prove more in the sport. With confidence and pure speed, he might just surprise some around the sport in the country's richest horse race.
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