08/16/2016 10:00AM

Beholder looks ready in final drill for Pacific Classic

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Beholder will attempt to defend her title in Saturday's Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Beholder, the defending race winner of the Pacific Classic, will need to be at her best to face the likes of California Chrome and Dortmund in this year's Pacific Classic on Saturday at Del Mar, but she gave off every indication Tuesday morning that she's ready for a top effort in the Grade 1, $1 million race when she polished off a half-mile in 47 seconds without any appreciable effort.

It was a foggy morning at Del Mar, and when Beholder emerged from the fog at 6:30 a.m. under exercise rider Janeen Painter she was breezing. Clockers high above the grandstand worked in tandem with their spotter on the backside to properly time the work from the start. Beholder looked as though she was going in about 50 seconds; she made 47 look that easy.

"Oh boy, oh man," Painter said, breaking into a wide grin, as she greeted trainer Richard Mandella back at the barn.

"I couldn't clock it so you're not in trouble," Mandella said, laughing.

After observing the way Beholder came back from the drill, Mandella remarked, "She's pretty content with herself."

"She looked good to me," Mandella said. "She didn't need to do much. The one thing I told Janeen was to make sure no one was buzzing off around her. If she started the work at the half, or the three-eighth's, or the quarter, I didn't care. It all worked out. She found a spot by herself. She had her serious work the other day. She didn't need anything more serious than this.

"The last four or five days leading to the race we just want her mellowed out, into that groove we had before," Mandella said.

Entries for the Pacific Classic were due Tuesday morning, and posts were to be drawn early Tuesday evening at a party at a local restaurant.