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Beholder All Set for Del Mar Return

Richard Mandella remembers the feeling in the instant after the photo finish between his Beholder and Bob Baffert’s Executiveprivilege in last year’s Del Mar Debutante. Two excellent 2-year-old fillies with Hall of Fame trainers hit the wire together, Beholder well to the inside, Executiveprivilege closer to the middle of the track.

“Usually I talk myself down after a race so that if I’m surprised it’s for the good, not the bad,” Mandella said Thursday morning. “The other filly was so far outside, I really thought (Beholder) won and we all celebrated until somebody grabbed my coattail and said, ‘You better look at it again.”

Executiveprivilege prevailed by a nose in the Debutante, but Beholder turned the tables two months later in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita and then was voted the Eclipse Award for the division.

The now 3-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes will return from a four-month layoff in Sunday’s $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on the main track. In her most recent start, on May 3 at Churchill Downs, Beholder finished second, beaten a half length by Princess of Sylmar, in the Kentucky Oaks, filly counterpart to the Kentucky Derby.

“She came out of it fine, but she had a tough time with the excitement there, so I gave her a little rest,” Mandella said. “I’d put her through a pretty tough task to go to the Kentucky Oaks, knowing that it (Derby week and race day hullabaloo) wouldn’t be easy for her mentally. She did the best she could, and I couldn’t have been prouder of her unless she’d have won the race. And she almost won.”

Having a national champion in the Torrey Pines is without precedent, but Mandella has his reasons for the choice.

“To build my confidence,” Mandella said first, resorting to his typical wry humor. “It’s a mile here on the main track. We gave her the time off figuring we’d get her here, build her confidence back up and get her a race. We know she’ll get a mile very well. We’ll see how she does and then we’ll decide which direction she goes after that.”

Beholder has six works over the Polytrack surface since July 17, the opening day of the meeting, and four of them were the fastest of the day at the distance. She went five furlongs in :58.60 on July 24, six furlongs in 1:12.40 on August 5, seven furlongs in 1:26.40 on August 14 and a mile in 1:38.80 on August 21.

“I wasn’t aware of that. I knew she was going well but I didn’t compare her works with others,” Mandella said. “I was just kind of happy with it. We weren’t trying to make her go fast, she’s just good.”

 

 

What the Nation is saying about Beholder All Set for Del Mar Return...

Glad she's back! :)
she'll win:)

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