Richard Mandella and his entourage will head to Florida shortly in
advance of the Eclipse Awards at Gulfstream Park next Saturday. The Hall
of Fame trainer is expected to be one of the recipients when it is
announced that Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Beholder is best of
her division for 2012.
It won’t be the first Breeders’ Cup dance for Mandella. The
California native, who turned 62 last Nov. 5, trained five national
champions. In addition to 1993 Horse of the Year Kotashaan, he
conditioned three others, all 2-year-olds, fillies Phone Chatter and
Halfbridled in 1993 and 2003, and male winner Action This Day, also in
Mandella wasn’t about to compare apples and oranges when asked
about similarities between Halfbridled, who also won the Breeders’ Cup
Juvenile Fillies, and Beholder, who is scheduled to make her 3-year-old
debut in the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes a week from Monday, Jan. 21,
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, two days after the Eclipse Awards
“You never know how good a horse is going to be when you first
get one, but Beholder gave us an indication of her talent early on, and
once she started training, it was pretty evident,” Mandella said.
“Physically, they don’t look alike, but on the race track, they’re both pretty good.”
Beholder, a bay daughter of Henny Hughes owned by B. Wayne
Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm and bred by Clarkland Farm in Kentucky, has
three wins from five starts. She has earned $1,215,000.
This would be Mandella’s first win in the Santa Ynez, for 3-year-old
fillies at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.