Beholder Continues Her Winning Ways
Beholder – who was named the champion 2-year-old filly for 2012 and 3-year-old filly for 2013 – kept up her winning ways Saturday at age 5 with a victory in the Grade 3 Adoration Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
“She’s a great mare,” trainer Richard Mandella said of the daughter of Henny Hughes.
When asked if she’s as good as she’s ever been, Mandella said, “I think so.”
Beholder – who went off as the overwhelming 1-5 favorite — brought her record to 12 wins in 17 starts with the win by 1 ¼ lengths over second-choice Warren’s Veneda.
“We’re delighted,” Mandella told reporters after the race. “Warren’s Veneda is a good filly and she ran at her and made a contest out of it. But I wouldn’t trade mine for anything.”
Jockey Gary Stevens said the mare got a bit too close to the rail after changing leads.
“She starts getting close and I’m saying, `Mama, this is close enough, this is close enough, no closer,’” Stevens said.
“I pulled my stick through to hit her to get her back off of it and I actually hit the rail and it made a loud, tinging noise off the metal and she shied away from it and got back on track then,” the jockey said. “I’d never hit her before and I didn’t today. I hit the rail instead of her so I’m pleased about that.”
He called Beholder “a superstar” who improves with every race and said he’d be fine “if she stays like she is now.”
Mandella said the plan is to look at the Clement Hirsch at Del Mar or the Zenyatta at Santa Anita – a race Beholder has won the past two years. After that would come the Breeders’ Cup, he said.
“That’s what we’re here for — and this stuff,” the trainer said.
Beholder missed the Grade 1 Vanity at Santa Anita last month after getting sick and last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff after spiking a fever.
“It’s all a challenge to keep these horses happy and healthy, and she’s done so much. I can’t complain about a few little missteps,” Mandella said.
Talco won the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on turf for trainer John Sadler. He was the second-longest shot on the board at 13-1. Favorite Midnight Storm came in second, with Seek Again in third.
California Chrome’s little sister, Hope’s Love, came in second in her much-awaited debut race at Golden Gate Fields. She went off as the favorite. Meanwhile, California Chrome is getting ready for Wednesday’s Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Ascot.