Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has issued an update on champion two-year-old male Shared Belief, who has been recovering from a quarter-crack on his right front foot.
Shared Belief is "in training again, but won't be breezing for another few days," Hollendorfer said.
Owned by a partnership including Jim Rome's Jungle Racing, Shared Belief has not raced since his smashing 5 3/4-length victory in the December 14 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park. That romp extended his record to a perfect three-for-three, and propelled him to an Eclipse Award over Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner New Year's Day.
Shared Belief worked three times following the CashCall -- an easy half-mile in :49 3/5 on the Cushion Track at Hollywood December 22; a five-furlong move in 1:02 1/5 at Santa Anita on December 28; and another five-eighths drill in 1:00 2/5 at the same venue January 3. He has not worked since, and news subsequently emerged of his foot trouble.
Plans originally called for Shared Belief to kick off his road to the Kentucky Derby in Saturday's Robert B. Lewis Stakes, until his setback scuttled them. In his absence, CashCall Futurity runner-up Candy Boy came back to take the Lewis in late-running fashion.
Candy Boy came out of his race in good shape, and the John Sadler trainee will likely wait to make his next start in the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 5.
Sadler will send out Kobe's Back in next Sunday's Grade 2, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes for three-year-olds at seven furlongs. Named for Lakers' superstar Kobe Bryant, the gray colt races for the same connections as Candy Boy, Lee and Susan Searing's C R K Stable.
If it wasn't for bad luck, Kobe's Back would have no luck at all. In his three starts, his trouble lines read as follows: "Broke in air, slowly; Off slow, three-wide turn," and "Clipped heels half, weakened."
Remarkably, despite breaking in the air in his first start, the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes at Hollywood Park last June, Kobe's Back won by 3 1/4 lengths. He was second to champion Shared Belief in the Hollywood Prevue and virtually eliminated next out in the CashCall Futurity in December.
Sadler expects a less eventful trip in the San Vicente for the $480,000 OBS March purchase.
"In his second race, he was second-best, and in his third race, he clipped heels, so he's had a couple of excuses," Sadler said. "I'm anxious to get him started this week. He's doing really well."
Probable for the San Vicente: Cherubim, Mike Smith; Grazen's Hope, no rider; Indianapolis, Martin Garcia; Kobe's Back, no rider; and Papa Turf, Joe Talamo.