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Shared Belief Wins Gr1 Santa Anita Handicap
Shared Belief confirmed his status as the best racehorse in North America when striding to an effortless 4.25-length victory in the 78th running of the US$1 million Gr1 Santa Anita Handicap (10 furlongs) at Santa Anita Park on Saturday. The 4YO son of Candy Ride was simply awesome in outclassing his vastly inferior rivals to claim the fifth Gr1 title of his career. Sent out at odds of $2.60, Shared Belief became the shortest price favourite since the great Round Table ($2.30) in 1958 to win the Big 'Cap when easily defeating Moreno (Ghostzapper) and Catch A Flight (Giant's Causeway). "Shared Belief makes us look good and he did it easy," trainer Jerry Hollendorfer told bloodhorse.com. "I'm just so grateful to have a horse like this. You never expect (to have a horse considered the best in the country), so I'm very pleased to have this horse and hope that we can keep him racing well like he has been." Winning jockey Mike Smith paid Shared Belief the ultimate compliment, speaking of him in the same breath as former greats Zenyatta and Holy Bull as the best horses he has ever ridden. "He surprises me every time," Smith said after the race. "I have to pinch myself that I get to be his pilot. It's Zenyatta, Holy Bull, and then Shared Belief for me." Shared Belief is likely to have his next start, and his first start outside of California, in the Gr2 Oaklawn Handicap at Oaklawn Park on 11 April, with connections to bypass a trip to Dubai for the Gr1 Dubai World Cup later this month. "No, we're not going to Dubai," Hollendorfer said. "There are lots of races in this country to run with plenty big enough purses. We just don't want to make a trip over there." Shared Belief's record now stands at 10 wins from 11 starts for US$2,932,200 earnings.