By Sean Morris

Honor A.P. the safe Pick at the Shared Belief Stakes

By Sean Morris
Del Mar hosts one of the final Derby Prep races on Saturday
Del Mar hosts one of the final Derby Prep races on Saturday

Get a $300 Risk Free Bet

New Customers Only,21+

With Uncle Chuck set to travel to Saratoga for the Travers rather than stay at home for the Shared Belief Stakes, our in-house handicappers wonders if anyone can stop Honor A.P....?

Kentucky Derby contender Honor A. P. (#5) is going to be a heavy favorite in the Shared Belief as he makes his final tune-up for the September 5 ‘Run for the Roses.’ This horse predictably took a big step forward last out in taking the G1 Santa Anita Derby in his second start of the year, and he should only continue to progress as 2020 rolls along for the old school John Shirreffs. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that this ungraded stakes race is far from being his primary objective. His connections undoubtedly have their sights set on the Derby, so even though he’s the most talented horse in this race I wouldn’t necessarily expect him to assert his class. While ordinarily I’d be eager to bet against him, he doesn’t have to run anything close to his best race to prevail.

With the likely scratch of Uncle Chuck in favor of the G1 Travers at Saratoga Race Course, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has two horses entered in this race, Thousand Words (#2) and Cezanne (#6). Thousand Words was a major disappointment last out in the G3 Los Al Derby despite finishing a clear second behind Uncle Chuck. It actually looked like he was going to run by his stablemate leaving the far turn, but he was repelled with ease by the winner and just didn’t find much in the stretch. It would seem he took advantage of some softer spots during the winter, picking up wins in the G2 Los Al Futurity and the G3 Robert B. Lewis, and just hasn’t progressed since then.

Cezanne has been on a path similar to that of Uncle Chuck as he’s begun his career a perfect 2-for-2, but he’s a poor stand-in for his more talented stablemate. Cezanne’s last race came against optional claiming foes and was a particularly underwhelming performance considering he was a 1-9 favorite and is bred to relish two-turn dirt racing. Despite the soft field and easy trip, this $3.65 million juvenile purchase actually regressed off his debut sprint victory, which would still leave him on the outside looking in. He may still have a big future, but I don’t think he’s up to this kind of challenge yet and is going to be wildly overbet.

Anneau d’Or (#3) isn’t exactly the winning type, but I think he’s going to offer the most value behind Honor A. P. He ran a fine race last out in the G1 Santa Anita Derby pressing a fast pace and hanging in for fourth, and he should have a much easier go of things in this race. I don’t expect him to defeat Honor A. P., but I believe he’s the most likely to round out the exacta.

Main:  5     Backup:  None

Order of preference:  5-3-2-6

Your Shared Belief Stakes 2020 Odds and Entries are listed below:

  1. Uncle Chuck - 9/5*
  2. Thousand Words - 8/1
  3. Anneau d’Or - 8/1**
  4. Kiss Today Goodbye - 15/1
  5. Honor A.P. - 8/5
  6. Cezanne - 7/2

*Will be scratched

**May still be scratched

$100 BONUS WHEN YOU WAGER $500

New Customers Only,21 +,Opt-In Required

Get a $300 Risk Free Bet
New Customers Only,21+
$10 FREE BET FOR NEW CUSTOMERS
New Customers Only,21+
$100 BONUS WHEN YOU WAGER $500
New Customers Only,21 +,Opt-In Required
100% MATCHED DEPOSIT BONUS UP TO $300
New Customers Only,21 +,NJ Residents Only