SHARED BELIEF — once unbeaten in his first seven races and ranked number one in the world — was known for his tenacious fighting spirit, and incredible eye-catching athleticism, despite his smallish stature and a left foreleg that paddled outward. Having freshly resumed training, in preparation for a much anticipated return, tragedy struck. This four-year-old Eclipse champion by Candy Ride died suddenly following a bout of colic, shocking and saddening the world of thoroughbred racing. It has been said that in horse racing there is no inbetween; it is either champagne, or tears.
My deep personal feelings of sorrow extend to his connections, which include owners Alex Solis, Jason Litt, Jim and Janet Rome, KMN Racing, and George Todaro, trainers Jerry Hollendorfer and Dan Ward, jockey Mike Smith, groom Armando Rodriguez, and all Hollendorfer stable workers for their immense loss, but mostly to the horse himself, who passed away so young and will never enjoy a full life that he deserved.
I consider myself privileged to have photographed him in five races at Santa Anita. Over a seven month period, I witnessed his brilliance and unequaled, in my experience, determination to win. Despite being smaller than his rivals, he feared nothing, and would lay his body down — no matter the hindrance or obstacle put in his way, such as physical contact, being pushed far wide, or being wiped out at the break — to beat them. As Mike Smith said, some racehorses have the ability to make you fall in love with them, just like they were family. Trainer Art Sherman put it best: upon hearing of SHARED BELIEF’s death, he felt like it had happened to one of his own horses.
RIP champ, we won’t soon forget you.
February 15, 2011 – December 3, 2015
SIRE: Candy Ride (ARG)
DAM: Common Hope (KY), by Storm Cat
12 Starts: 10 – 0 – 0
Graded Stakes Wins: 5 G1, 2 G2, 1 G3
Eclipse Champion Two Year Old Male, 2013
JUNGLE RACING’s release on Facebook:
“Thoroughbred racing is a sport filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Some of the most thrilling and surreal moments of our entire lives have occurred in this sport. Unfortunately, today we have suffered our most devastating. We have lost Shared Belief. He seemed to display signs of Colic this morning so our vets rushed in to treat him. They immediately sent him to UC Davis so he could get the best medical attention available, as quickly as possible. Emergency Colic surgery was performed, but doctors were unable to save him. We are still awaiting results of an autopsy. We are all absolutely devastated. Shared Belief was a once in a lifetime horse. A champion, fighter and unbelievable talent who impacted and changed all of our lives. The little horse that feared no one and could do anything. He absolutely loved his job and to compete and run. As heartbreaking as this is, we all consider ourselves so fortunate to have been a part of this amazing animal’s life. He was a super horse from day one. He would end up winning 10 of 12 starts, including 5 G1’s and an Eclipse Award. The Big Horse was a champion in every sense of the word. There will never be another like Shared Belief. Our hearts are broken. RIP, Champ.”
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