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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

Beholder Speeds to Victory in the Breeders' Cup Distaff

Beholder Distaff 615 X 400
Photo: Don August


Trainer Richard Mandella and Jockey Gary Stevens were back in the winner’s circle at Santa Anita Race Track when Beholder ran off to a four and a quarter length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. For Mandella this was his first victory in the Distaff. Ten years ago he won four Breeders’ Cup races at the Great Race Place.

Fifty year-old Stevens added to his comeback year by winning his ninth Breeders’ Cup race. He was last victorious in 2000 in the Mile with War Chant.
The 2013 Distaff featured the best fillies and mares in the nation with Royal Delta, Princess of Sylmar, Close Hatches, and Beholder. Between them had won 11 grade one races this year. On a racetrack that had been favoring front runners all day long, the battle between the best did not materialize as Beholder made the victory look very easy.
At the start of the race Authenticity held the early lead on the rail with Royal Delta just outside of her. Beholder sat on the outside of Royal Delta’s hip. The early fractions were a very reasonable :22.78 and :46.30. After the half mile Royal Delta became to fade without any pressure from rider Mike Smith and at the same time Beholder began to accelerate.
After six furlongs in 1:10.28 the race was basically decided. Javier Castellano asked Princess of Sylmar for run, but had got no response. Castellano said, “She stumbled really bad at the gate.  I blame the track.  It’s all speed, speed, speed and unfair to come-from-behind horses. Unfortunatley, she didn’t handle the track at all.  She was spinning her wheels.  Usually at the half-mile pole, she pulls, and today she didn’t pull at all.”
Mandella talked about Beholder’s performance, “We trained her this way (to run from off the pace.)  We’ve just never had to use it before.  She’s so naturally fast, you don’t have to train that into her and she’s made the lead so easily in many of her races.  Today, she had to come from off of it and she did it – and boy do I love it.  I’ve been lucky enough to have many good mares in my years of training, but this mare might have to be the best of all.”
After Beholder’s very impressive win in the Distaff the only question that remains is whether today she also won the three year filly championship.


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Older Comments about Beholder Speeds to Victory in the Breeders' Cup Distaff...

no question..........hands down.....3yr old Champion filly

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


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