Former champion Shared Belief died Thursday at UC Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine equine hospital after emergency colic surgery.
The 4-year-old gelding, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and co-owned by radio personality Jim Rome, won 10 of 12 starts and earned more than $2.9 million. The dark bay, winner of the 2015 Santa Anita Handicap, had recovered from a hip fracture suffered during April’s Charles Town Classic in West Virginia and was preparing at Golden Gate Fields for a return to racing.
“We are all absolutely devastated,” Rome said in a statement released by his Jungle Racing stable. “Shared Belief was a once in a lifetime horse; a champion, fighter and unbelievable talent. … The little horse that feared no one and could do anything, he absolutely loved his job and to compete and run. … He was a super horse from day one.”
Jockey Mike Smith, who rode the gelding in eight starts, called Shared Belief “one of the greatest and most special horses I have ever ridden.”
Shared Belief, the 2013 juvenile champion, won five Grade I stakes, including Del Mar’s $1 million Pacific Classic in 2014.