Go Joe Won Noses Out High Connection For Shared Belief Upset - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Go Joe Won Noses Out High Connection For Shared Belief Upset

Go Joe Won (inside) edges High Connection in the Shared Belief

Hurst Racing Stables' Go Joe Won, the longest shot on the board at 21-1, battled for the lead from right out of the gate, then fought through a furious stretch battle to just hang on to score by a nose in the one mile Shared Belief Stakes for 3-year-olds Saturday at Del Mar.

The Kentucky-bred ridgling by the Giant's Causeway stallion Protonico barely bested 9-10 race favorite High Connection, owned by HRH Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud. Finishing third, more than 10 lengths behind the top pair, was Bernsen, Little Red Feather Racing or Rockingham Ranch's Newgrange.

Go Joe Won was ridden by veteran Jose Valdivia, Jr. and is trained by Paula Capestro. It was his second victory in his fifth start and the $75,000 winner's share of the $125,000 purse increased his bankroll to $145,780.

Winning time for the dirt mile was 1:37.69.

Go Joe Won paid $44.80, $8.80 and $3.40. High Connection returned $2.60 and $2.10, while Newgrange paid $2.60 to show.

This was the 48th edition of the Shared Belief, named for the champion gelding who died unexpectedly in 2015 at the age of 4. The race previously was known as the El Cajon Stakes.

Trainer Paula Capestro celebrates Go Joe Won's Shared Belief win

Post-race quotes:

JOSE VALDIVIA, JR. (Go Joe Won, winner)—“He broke out of there running, that was the whole idea. That other horse (High Connection) came on to me and it was a battle right from the gate. Every time I would take a hold of my horse, he kept wanting to fight. He was just game. He just would not let that other horse go by, even on the gallop out. Hats off to Paula Capestro and crew. We were brushing the whole way.  He's the bigger horse and as you can see, he was laying on me from the quarter pole. And once he laid into me, it made my horse come out a little. The pressure was coming from the outside and he had the whole length of the stretch to get by me.  And he never did.”

PAULA CAPESTRO (Go Joe Won, winner) – “We didn't know who was going to win the break and who was going to get the lead. If they had to go kamikaze, we'd sit off, but if we got the lead we'd just make them come get us. I thought he was going to run hard. I thought they were going to have to run hard to beat us. He tends to wait on other horses. It's sort of a game for him. He just waits on horses and then races them.”

FRACTIONS:  :21.89  :45.14  1:10.82  1:24.00  1:37.69

The stakes win was the first of the meet for rider Valdivia, Jr, but his second (Latin Rhythms, second division, 2007) in the Shared Belief. He now has 13 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer Capestro and her first in the Shared Belief. She now has three stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning owner is Hurst Racing Stable of Eric Hurst of Hubbard, Ohio.

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