Garrett Gomez and Beholder each had a birthday on Jan. 1. Gomez turned 41, Beholder turned three.
Each has much more in common with the other.
Gomez has ridden the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner, who
is expected to be named champion of her division for 2012 at Saturday’s
Eclipse Awards dinner in Florida, in all five of her races, in addition
to her two most recent workouts.
He will reunite with the bay daughter of Henny Hughes in Monday’s
Martin Luther King Jr. holiday feature at Santa Anita, the Grade II,
$150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs.
“Her confidence has improved since her first race,” Gomez said,
referring to a maiden allowance test at Betfair Hollywood Park last Jan.
28. Beholder won next out at Del Mar, prior to losing by a nose to
then-unbeaten Executiveprivilege in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante. Then
came an allowance win at Santa Anita.
Trained by Richard Mandella for owner B. Wayne Hughes, Beholder
capped her 2-year-old campaign by avenging her loss to
Executiveprivilege with a one-length victory in the Juvenile Fillies.
“She’s progressed all the time,” Gomez said. “She’s never really
done anything wrong, although she might have been a little bit
speed-crazy. We’ve been working with her and Richard’s been doing a
great job with her. We’ll see how she acts when she runs Monday.
“I worked her twice (six furlongs in 1:13 on Jan. 11 and a bullet
58 4/5 for five furlongs on Jan. 4). We worked her off horses both
times and she handled it well.
“Hopefully, it carries over to the race and she’s able to do
certain things we need her to do and she keeps putting up those fast
Beholder had an unrecorded workout on Santa Anita’s fast main
track Thursday morning before Mandella departed for the Eclipse Awards.
“I let her breeze a very slow half-mile this morning just to let her do a
little something,” Mandella said. “She couldn’t be better.”