Del Mar, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Eclipse Award winner Shared Belief stamped himself completely recovered from injury with a scintillating performance in winning Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar.
Sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the 10-horse field, Shared Belief surged to the lead at the top of the stretch in the 1 1/4-mile Classic and went on to win by 2 3/4 lengths leaving defending winner Game On Dude up the track.
The victory puts Shared Belief into the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.
Shared Belief, last year's champion 2-year-old, raced off the pace being set by Game On Dude, the 5-2 second choice, over Del Mar's synthetic main track. The 3-year-old gelding, who started from the far outside post, circled around the final turn and passed Game On Dude coming into the stretch. Ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, Shared Belief drew away to keep his career record perfect in six starts.
Trained by Hall of Fame member Jerry Hollendorfer, a co-owner of the 3-year- old, Shared Belief covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:00.28.
"Great performance," Hollendorfer said. "He does whatever we ask him to do."
Toast of New York held on for second with Imperative third and Game On Dude getting fourth. Rounding out the order of finish were Irish Surf, Majestic Harbor, Ice Cream Truck, You Know I Know, Mystery Train and Clubhouse Ride. Frac Daddy was an early scratch with an injury.
Partly owned by broadcaster Jim Rome, Shared Belief earned $600,000 with the win and remains undefeated in six career starts. The gelding has lifetime earnings of $1,372,200.
Shared Belief was voted 2013 champion 2-year-old after winning all three races, including the Hollywood Prevue and CashCall Futurity. The 3-year-old missed the Triple Crown races with an injury, but came back with a win in an allowance race at Golden Gate Fields on May 26, his first start in more than five months.
He glided to a 4 1/4-length victory in the Los Alamitos Derby on July 5 for his second start of the season. The Los Alamitos Derby began the $1 million Bolton Challenge. A bonus will be paid to Shared Belief's connections should the gelding also add the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic to the Pacific Classic victory.
Smith recorded his fourth Pacific Classic victory. The Hall of Fame rider previously won with Came Home (2002) and twice with Richard's Kid (2009-10).
Shared Belief returned $4.40, $3.20 and $2.80. Toast of New York paid $5.20 and $4.60, and Imperative paid $8.40 to show.