Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer confirmed on Thursday that his unbeaten champion two-year-old male Shared Belief would be skipping the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass on April 12 at Keeneland and is officially off the Kentucky Derby trail.
Actually, Hollendorfer told The Blood-Horse's Claire Novak that he and Shared Belief's connections never actually considered the dark bay gelding to be pointing for the Derby in the first place.
"I never had the horse on the Derby trail anyway; the media had him on the Derby trail," Hollendorfer declared. "When me and my owners discussed this, way back when we got the horse, we never were concerned about getting to the Derby anyway."
Many considered Shared Belief's inclusion in the Run for the Roses a given following his 5 3/4-length romp in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity on December 14.
That wrapped up his juvenile campaign and was enough to propel him to an Eclipse Award as champion two-year-old male when taking into consideration his 7 3/4-length tour de force in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue and seven-length debut maiden win at Golden Gate Fields.
Shared Belief was originally supposed to begin his sophomore season in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis on February, but missed a scheduled workout on January 12 due to an abscess in his right front hoof. A week later and another missed workout yielded no new updates from the gelding's trainer.
In early February, Hollendorfer reported that the son of Candy Ride was back in training after recovering from a quarter-crack on his right front hoof and was scheduled to begin breezing soon. Earlier this month, assistant trainer Dan Ward said Shared Belief was training at Golden Gate, and that is where the Kentucky-bred currently resides as his connections mull over options for their charge.
"We're working with the horse up here (at Golden Gate) and as soon as he's ready to run, we'll run him," Hollendorfer told Novak. "We'll get him ready to run later on, if he stays good."