Shared Belief was best in 2014

Profile Picture: James Scully

December 27th, 2014

Shared Belief showed what he’s all about in the Dec. 26 Malibu Stakes, establishing a forward position in a speed-laden field before proving best. Whether it’s a daylight win or narrow decision, the competition doesn’t get past him if he gets the trip.

Indeed, the only way to beat him so far is to eliminate his chances at the start.

There’s just no disputing that Shared Belief was compromised in the Breeders’ Cup. He still tried after being wiped out at the break, but the fourth-place finish wasn’t indicative of his talents. Toast of New York finishing a nose second told me all I needed to know.

The form line of the 1 ¼-mile Pacific Classic, where Shared Belief easily handled Toast of New York by open lengths, showed in the Breeders’ Cup Classic as that rival finished a neck ahead of California Chrome on the finish line.

Toast of New York wasn’t going to beat Shared Belief in the Breeders’ Cup without early interference.

And neither would California Chrome nor Bayern. Not at seven furlongs, 1 1/8 miles or 1 ¼ miles.

"I truly believe he would be undefeated right now if you take the start of the BC Classic out of it," jockey Mike Smith said after the Malibu. “I got beat three lengths and I lost at least seven or eight leaving the gate and on down the track.”

Now eight-for-nine overall, the little gelding is as gutsy as they come. While his counterparts competed strictly against three-year-olds outside of the Breeders’ Cup, Shared Belief stepped up to defeat older horses in both the Pacific Classic and Awesome Again.

And he never lost on the square. It’s a just shame Shared Belief didn’t get a fair chance to put the issue to rest in early November.

“I don't know if people really understand how difficult it is to go from a mile and a quarter back to seven eighths,” Smith noted. “It's really hard to do. It takes a special kind of horse; he's that, and maybe more.”

The Malibu reaffirmed what I knew in my heart – Shared Belief was the best horse of 2014.