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Common Hope, Dam of Champion Shared Belief, Dies at 27

Mare was living in retirement at Lexington farm.

Shared Belief wins the 2015 Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita Park

Shared Belief wins the 2015 Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita Park

Benoit Photo

Common Hope, who produced 2013 champion 2-year-old male Shared Belief, has died at age 27.

The Storm Cat mare out of Sown, by Grenfall, passed peacefully in her paddock Feb. 27 after residing at Sancal Racing-Elmendorf Farm in Lexington for the last 13 years of her life, according to trainer and bloodstock agent Murat Sancal.

"She was a retired mare, living out her best life," Sancal said. "She loved people and was adored by all who met her. We will truly miss her."

Omer Halim Aydin, agent for major Turkish owner/breeder Nimet Arif Kurtel, purchased Common Hope, in foal to Candy Ride , for $125,000 at the 2011 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Shared Belief had not yet raced, having been born earlier that year. Common Hope was carrying his full sister, who would be foaled in Turkey and named Lady Candy.

Bred in Kentucky by Martin and Pam Wygod, Common Hope also produced stakes-placed Double Major, by Bertrando, and 2011 Iowa Oaks (G3) winner Little Miss Holly, by Maria's Mon. But it's the dark bay/brown Candy Ride gelding Shared Belief for whom she always will be remembered.

Shared Belief was undefeated in three starts at age 2, when he won the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3) and the Futurity Stakes (G1), both at Hollywood Park, by a combined 13 1/2 lengths. He was so impressive that he was voted 2013 champion 2-year-old male despite not running in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). He went on to win four additional grade 1 races including the 2014 Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) at age 3 and the 2015 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) at 4.

Shared Belief ran fourth in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) after being roughed and crowded repeatedly early in the race. In a controversial decision, the stewards did not penalize winner Bayern, who slammed into Shared Belief at the start. 

trainer Murat Sancal in Race 2 on April 6, 2019 Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Murat Sancal

Shared Belief was injured in the April 2015 Charles Town Classic Stakes (G2), and though he resumed training later in the season, he died Dec. 3 that year following colic surgery. He had 10 wins from 12 starts and earnings of $2,932,200.

Although Common Hope never again produced another horse quite like Shared Belief, Sancal said he and Kurtel have high hopes for a number of his female siblings in the breeding shed.

Common Hope's final foal was born in 2020—the Curlin  filly Ikran, whom Sancal trains and has entered for her career debut March 6 at Gulfstream Park.