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Champion horse Shared Belief dies after colic surgery

Shared Belief with jockey Mike Smith up defeats California Chrome and Victor Espinoza, right, to win The GII San Antonio Invitational Stakes on Feb. 7, 2015, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Shared Belief with jockey Mike Smith up defeats California Chrome and Victor Espinoza, right, to win The GII San Antonio Invitational Stakes on Feb. 7, 2015, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. Cal Sport Media

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.

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