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Beholder Runs Away in Santa Lucia

Beholder wins 2014 Santa Lucia.
Photo: Benoit Photo
Spendthrift Farms’ multiple Eclipse Award winning filly Beholder was a runaway winner of Sunday’s $75,000 Santa Lucia Stakes at Santa Anita, winning by 5 ¼ lengths under Gary Stevens in her 4-year-old debut while covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.67.

Idle since winning the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Nov. 1, the Richard Mandella-trained Beholder broke alertly from post three in a field of five older fillies and mares.  She sat a comfortable second under a long rein around the Club House turn and cruised past pacesetting longshot Legacy leaving the three furlong pole.

“She’s quite possibly the best that I’ve ever sat on, male or female,” said Stevens.  “She  matured over the winter time mentally.  She’s just a joy to be around in the post parade and throughout the race.  It’s a feeling I’ve never had before.  I’ve had that feeling four different times now…and it only gets better.

“I know everyone said this was a paid workout but I’m relieved…I know Richard is relieved too.  It’s nice to get that first one of the year out of the way.  Now we can move forward.  She’s spectacular.”

The prohibitive favorite at 10 cents on the dollar, Beholder paid $2.20, $2.10 and $2.10.

A winner of the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita, the daughter of Henny Hughes was subsequently voted America’s Eclipse Award winning 2-year-old filly and was voted Eclipse Award Champion 3-year-old filly for 2013.

The Santa Lucia marked her ninth win from 13 starts, with her next engagement pegged as the Grade I, $1 million Ogden Phipps at 1 1/16 miles on June 7 at Belmont Park.

With the Santa Lucia winner’s share of $48,300, Beholder increased her earnings to $3,123,300.

“We’ve got a lot of races in front of us,” said B. Wayne Hughes, owner of Spendthrift Farm, LLC.  “I thought she’d run good.  She’s doing well and I look forward to a year like we had last year.  When she turned for home, I thought ‘Wow!’  Gary never asked her to run.  He never let loose on her.

“A horse like this one doesn’t come along that often, so we’re very happy that we have her.  You have more anxiety when you’re 1-9 than when you’re 10-1.  We’re happy to have her and glad we got her started for the year coming up.”

Mandella, who opted to freshen his stable star up following the Breeders’ Cup, was understandably elated following the Santa Lucia.

“What a great mare,” he said.  “I think there’s still quite a bit of room to grow.  This certainly helped get her closer to the race in New York and we have plenty of time to get her ready.”

Ridden by top apprentice Drayden Van Dyke, Legacy was a comfortable second, finishing 4 ¾ lengths in front of Irish Presence and Tyler Baze.  Off at 11-1, Legacy paid $4.00 and $2.60.

Ridden by Tyler Baze, Irish Presence was off at 17-1 and paid $3.00 to show.  She finished 3 ½ lengths in front of Moulin de Mougin, who was the second choice at 7-1.


 

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Older Comments about Beholder Runs Away in Santa Lucia...

Well she beat Royal Delta and Close Hatches at least.
Actually she is the only horse in last year's Distaff to have ever beaten Beholder.
I think she has more then earned a right to face the boys. One bad no show is no reason to write her off in this intence, imo at least. She won going 10f also last year. JCGC, or a Saratoga G1 is not necessarily out of the question. She already beat every horse in the Distaff except beholder, and you can't hold that one race against her.
Well, my point is if she wins the Phipps, Del Cap and PE by open lengths and in excellent times, she will have earned that right by then. I agree she is not there now and acing all those races is a huge "if". But think about it, if she does ace those races and if her connections are still adamant about skipping the BC, what better substitute to the BC other than facing the boys? If not in the JCGC, then perhaps the Cigar Mile.
Ekindy,if they both run in the Phipps,1 at least or maybe both will not ace them all. Like Amino mentioned,a completely healthy and fully developed Midnight Lucky may be the only other filly that can contend with these 2. So Beholder or P.O.S. acing everything going forward is really not that impressive in regards to beating quality.Like i said,the Princess has not earned a shot at the boys yet.Beholder,that is not her trainers M.O., he will keep her where he has the best shot at winning.
If Princess aces everything from now until the Personal Ensign, I could see her connections thinking really hard about the JCGC. If Beholder aces everything from now until the Zenyatta, I could see her connections thinking really hard about the BCC. And by "ace" I mean not just win everything but win everything by several lengths. I won't hold my breath in either case.
The Princess still has unfinished buisiness to tend to. Prove that she can win the Distaff first. She has not earned the right to face the Top Elite Boys yet. I may not be Beholdrs biggest fan,but she is the only filly that has earned the right to do so.
The Princess that is.
I would like to see her run vs the Boys. In the Woodward or Whitney. Won't happen, but I can only hope.
Tom, Princess' owner and trainer, both of them, were pretty adamant about skipping the BC. And the owner seemed pretty adamant about running the Del Cap. You may be right about the SA surface, but I'm not the one you have to convince. And anyway, I don't see a good July Saratoga race (G3 Shuvee is kind of beneath her), so unless she sits out the month I think they'd rather ship her. And the only reason she'd sit is if they change their mind about the BC and want her fresh.
Tom, Princess' owner and trainer, both of them, were pretty adamant about skipping the BC. And the owner seemed pretty adamant about running the Del Cap. You may be right about the SA surface, but I'm not the one you have to convince. And anyway, I don't see a good July Saratoga race (G3 Shuvee is kind of beneath her), so unless she sits out the month I think they'd rather ship her. And the only reason she'd sit is if they change their mind about the BC and want her fresh.
Tom, Princess' owner and trainer, both of them, were pretty adamant about skipping the BC. And the owner seemed pretty adamant about running the Del Cap. You may be right about the SA surface, but I'm not the one you have to convince. And anyway, I don't see a good July Saratoga race (G3 Shuvee is kind of beneath her), so unless she sits out the month I think they'd rather ship her. And the only reason she'd sit is if they change their mind about the BC and want her fresh.
Tom, Princess' owner and trainer, both of them, were pretty adamant about skipping the BC. And the owner seemed pretty adamant about running the Del Cap. You may be right about the SA surface, but I'm not the one you have to convince. And anyway, I don't see a good July Saratoga race (G3 Shuvee is kind of beneath her), so unless she sits out the month I think they'd rather ship her. And the only reason she'd sit is if they change their mind about the BC and want her fresh.
Tom, Princess' owner and trainer, both of them, were pretty adamant about skipping the BC. And the owner seemed pretty adamant about running the Del Cap. You may be right about the SA surface, but I'm not the one you have to convince. And anyway, I don't see a good July Saratoga race (G3 Shuvee is kind of beneath her), so unless she sits out the month I think they'd rather ship her. And the only reason she'd sit is if they change their mind about the BC and want her fresh.
Tom, Princess' owner and trainer, both of them, were pretty adamant about skipping the BC. And the owner seemed pretty adamant about running the Del Cap. You may be right about the SA surface, but I'm not the one you have to convince. And anyway, I don't see a good July Saratoga race (G3 Shuvee is kind of beneath her), so unless she sits out the month I think they'd rather ship her. And the only reason she'd sit is if they change their mind about the BC and want her fresh.
Tom, Princess' owner and trainer, both of them, were pretty adamant about skipping the BC. And the owner seemed pretty adamant about running the Del Cap. You may be right about the SA surface, but I'm not the one you have to convince. And anyway, I don't see a good July Saratoga race (G3 Shuvee is kind of beneath her), so unless she sits out the month I think they'd rather ship her. And the only reason she'd sit is if they change their mind about the BC and want her fresh.
Ekindy i doubt that the Princess will be heading South on the Jersey Turnpike for the DEL CAP. She will be stabled at Saratoga,nothing against the DEL CAP,but i think her connections will opt for the more prestigious Saratoga Stake. Personally,and i do believe this with all my heart. These 2 fillies will only meet twice this year if all goes to plan. In the Phipps and in the BC Distaff. Beholder if she runs at Del. will then rightfully be sent back to the wrong coast for her BC prep. P.O.S. will take the same route as last year at Belmont Park.You see,after the fiasco of the racing surace on the first day of last years cup weekend. Never will you see the track play to that much of a speed dominated surface. The track you saw on Saturday that weekend will be what you will see on both days this year.
Tom, that's kind of why I am hoping for a rematch in Delaware. Princess' connections have made it known that the Del Cap is also a goal. If they face each other in 2 races over 2 very different (and fairly neutral) tracks and lengths and one gets two wins over the other, that ought to go a long way towards settling which one is Queen Bee. And if they split, then we'll know it's still too close to call. Mandella actually name dropped the Del Cap before the Phipps was announced to be the east coast BC (so to speak), so I'm kind of holding out hope that they haven't taken that race off their list of goals.
Agreed Amino,she is one of the top fillies i was talking about. Would love to see Baffs import her for this.
Midnight Lucky continues to blaze away in the mornings with a 1:12.2HG yesterday. Give Baffert enough of a weight break and he could fly out of the bushes in pursuit of the Ogden Phipps Million Dollar Handicap. A one turn 1 1/16th should be perfect.

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