Greatness of Shared Belief Never Truly Fulfilled

Profile Picture: D.S. Williamson

D.S. Williamson

December 3rd, 2015

Shared Belief, one of the best horses in the world, the best to some, passed away after a bout with colic earlier today.

The brilliant son of Candy Ride had just recently returned to the track to prepare for 2016. His death is much more than just a reminder of how fragile many of the athletes in the sport that we love are.

Shared Belief was the chosen one. He was supposed to win the Kentucky Derby and possibly the Triple Crown. That's how brilliant he was as a two-year old in 2014. But, bad luck struck. Shared Belief became injured and was off the Triple Crown trail. He returned to win the Pacific Classic and the Awesome Again Stakes. He was the favorite to put a beat down on what many considered to be the deepest Breeders Cup Classic of all time. Bad luck struck again. Bayern hit Shared Belief as soon as the gate opened. He never recovered after that. 2015 started out like a miracle year. Shared Belief took home the Grade 1 Malibu and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. Again, bad luck struck. Shared Belief became injured again. This time, he hurt himself in the Charles Town Classic. At the time of his injury, Shared Belief was considered the greatest race horse in the world.

The greatest race horse in the world whose greatness was never truly fulfilled. As awesome as Shared Belief ran in almost every single one of his races, even with a record of 10 wins from 12 starts, even with the victory over California Chrome in the G2 San Antonio Handicap, even with the Pacific Classic and Santa Anita Handicap wins,  he was on the path to more greatness. Shared Belief could have been great for 6 to 10 years. Being a gelding, he never would have gone to the breeding shed. He could and would have run for as long as he wanted to. For as long as he kept giving Jerry Hollendorfer the right cues.

Article Image
I wrote a preview piece a couple of weeks ago about how exciting 2016 is going to be. The first thing that I wrote about was Cailfornia Chrome battling Shared Belief. The Breeders Cup returns in 2016 and at the time of the writing, both horses had returned to the track. It sure felt like 2016 was going to showcase one of the top rivalries in the history of thoroughbred racing. Life doesn't work that way.

Yes, I feel bad for the Romes and Jerry Hollendorfer. I feel bad for the grooms. I feel bad for anybody with a connection to Shared Belief. But who I really feel bad for are the horseplayers and the horse. Horseplayers love this sport because of the horses. Because of the brilliant animals that run day in and day out on the race track. There was much more greatness to Shared Belief than what we saw. That greatness will never be fulfilled.