10/15/2015 12:31PM

Beholder works five furlongs toward BC Classic


ARCADIA, Calif. – With two wins at Del Mar in August and one here at Santa Anita in September, Beholder has maintained a steady race schedule, affording trainer Richard Mandella the luxury of not having to press on her as she gears up to face males Oct. 31 in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland.

When Beholder worked Thursday at Santa Anita, the intent was not so much to get her fit as it was to keep her where she is, which is a pretty good place.

“She’s had her racing,” said Mandella. “We don’t need to create anything at this point.”

With jockey Gary Stevens aboard, Beholder stayed on course for the BC Classic by working five furlongs in 1:02. She began her drill at the five-furlong pole, two lengths behind a Mandella-trained workmate, pulled clear through the lane, was three in front at the wire, and galloped out another furlong.

Stevens called the work “scary good” and said Mandella instructed him “not to do anything fancy.”


“All we’ve got to do is have her stay like she’s been, but she’s not,” said Stevens. “She’s taking steps forward.”

Then, looking toward Mandella, Stevens said, “I’ve got a lot of faith in the guy with the hat over there. I’m just along for the ride.”

Beholder has won all five of her starts this year.

“We had trouble last year getting a series of races into her,” said Mandella. “This year, she’s had a nice series of races. We don’t need to build. We just need to keep her where she’s at.”

Beholder is scheduled to leave Santa Anita early Monday, bound for Kentucky. She will work once at Keeneland prior to the BC Classic, but more than getting her used to the surface, Mandella wants to get Beholder used to the surroundings.

Going back to March 2013, Beholder has won 12 of 14 starts. The only losses came when she shipped. She was second in the 2013 Kentucky Oaks after her nerves got the better of her in the post parade and fourth last year in the Ogden Phipps while receiving a severe laceration during the race.

“We’ve had a few bad experiences,” said Mandella. “We’re hoping the third time is the charm.”

To be sure, Beholder is far calmer now than she was at age 3. Regular schooling sessions in the paddock and walking ring are part of the training regimen with Beholder at Santa Anita, and those sessions have paid off. Mandella will do the same at Keeneland.

“She’ll get some schooling, and we’ll work once she’s settled in and happy,” he said. “We’re not looking for any big deal. We’re looking for a big deal on the 31st.”

Carl More than 1 year ago
Let's face it, Beholder is the best horse in the field. American Pharoah was just an extremely overhyped horse running against a weak field of three year olds this year. A couple of them may turn out to be great horses if they keep running but not American Pharoah. Beholder will leave AP eating her dust. The only question is the shipping thing but I don't think that will turn out to be much of a factor. Beholder had injuries and illness in 2014 and that explains her trouble after shipping last year. In the Kentucky Oaks she ran a good race but was headed at the end but this is not the same horse that she was as a three year old. She has developed into the best horse in America now. I just hope that they don't change their mind and not run AP because after all the hype, some suckers will still be putting a lot of money on him and that will help Beholders odds. I can't wait for the Classic. Big bucks on Beholder to win for me.
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
really! she is no zenyatta or rachael and the prospect of her running in the classic will make the pharoah frosted exacta even larger. looking at the prospected field,amer pharoah will have an easy uncontested lead, stevens will have to move sooner go after ap and after ap puts her away frosted will have a legit shot to finally beat pharoah.honor code's best race is at one turn and a total victim of pace and t;onalist is just a plodder with no turn of foot, if the classic were a mile and a half than tonalist but not here. rosario will not make the same mistake lezcano made by moving waaaay tooo sooon,a rolex timed ride might get him to the winners circle. ap is strictly the horse to beat based on pace or lack of in the classic.i wish there was no bc mile as most of the speed has opted for the mile. liams map would have been a great pace presence and made the classic more interesting but o well. glad mandella is taking a shot with beholder but at short odds and never running against the boys a great bet against. true i am a misogynist,but a gambler first.
Carl More than 1 year ago
What do you mean Beholder never ran against the boys. She ran against the boys this past August in the Pacific Classic and beat some quality Grade 1 horses including Hoppertunity, Red Vine and last years Breeder Cup Classic winner Bayern and a number of other quality horses. Actually, she didn't beat them, she embarrassed them and that move she made in the final turn is a move I've never seen another horse make in the turn. The track announcer said Gary Stevens didn't even move on her when she made that move and later on when interviewed, Stevens said he never asked her for any run on that turn, that she did it all on her own. When they did come into the stretch he said he decided to put a little show on for the crowd and he asked her to go and just put the whip up by her head so she saw it and she took off again. Do a search of the 2015 Pacific Classic, watch the video and tell me this is not Zenyatta or Rachel. After watching the video, I think you may have second thoughts about wasting you money on that exacta you spoke of. Beholder has turned into one of the greats of all time at five years old. She was always a great horse but what she has become at five is beyond words. I had to laugh when the so called experts before the Pacific Classic said that she would have trouble facing the boys and that a mile and a quarter would be a problem for her. It turned out that the mile and a quarter was a problem but not for her. It was a problem for all those boys behind her that needed binoculars to see who was up ahead destroying them.
john g More than 1 year ago
The Classic is going to be a great race. There are some really very good horses running, and I'm not knocking any by leaning towards others. I'm looking for value, along with who I think can win if they run their race. I have great respect for Pharoah, but besides playing him on top in something small as a back up play, will lean against for value. The same with Beholder. And, maybe the triple crown trail and shipping may start wearing on Pharoah, and I'm not sure how good Beholder ships, the distance may not be her friend, and this is a much better field she faced in the Pacific classic, which I thought was a very weak field.Maybe Pharoah and Beholder hook up early, and then the cavalry charge comes running. I'm going to use one or the other of 3 yr. old's, Keen Ice or Frosted, and the same with Tonalist or Honor Code. Frosted at 20-1 is awfully tempting to me, he has never finished out of the super, but has been a little camera shy. I don't think distance is much of a problem for Tonalist, Frosted, Keen Ice, or Pharoah. Its going to be a really fun two days of racing. I'm glad the BC is coming to Keenland. Good luck all.
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
Don't underestimate Honor Code.
mike hedrick More than 1 year ago
Beholder IS the Best horse in North America!! She will destroy all comers in the Classic and win her 3rd different BC race, becoming 1st horse to accomplish that feat and cementing her place as one of the Greatest Horses in the History of racing! Note: Goldikova is the only horse to win 3 BC races...but all in the mile. I guess Frank must be new to racing and seeing great horses...AP won the triple crown but he will be no match for the Lady!
mike hedrick More than 1 year ago
Beholder IS the Best horse in North America!! She will destroy all comers in the Classic and win her 3rd different BC race, becoming 1st horse to accomplish that feat and cementing her place as one of the Greatest Horses in the History of racing! Note: Goldikova is the only horse to win 3 BC races...but all in the mile. I guess Frank must be new to racing and seeing great horses...AP won the triple crown but he will be no match for the Lady!
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
Mike, I've been in horse racing for my entire life and I'm 52. So, don't be silly. Beholder is very good, I agree. We'll see on BC day if she is the best horse in America. I obviously don't think so. My opinion. Good luck, you'll need it.
Richard Kelly More than 1 year ago
Frank, you're an idiot! But,you're entitled 2 an opinion even when it's so wrong!!
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
How am I an idiot? Ha. It's a bad decision to run her in that race. It's my opinion. Usually those that have that opinion, truly have no clue. I can tell you. I do.
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
Never understood why people who have no clue use adjectives that describe them. Yes, it's my opinion.
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
Nice mare. Dumb decision. Total greed. Beholder would win the Distaff. But, being greedy.....she will get her face ripped off in the Classic.
mike More than 1 year ago
You've always displayed arrogance-passing yourself off as an "expert". The race is between the mare and AP. And Frank,she won't "get her face ripped off" in the Classic.
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
Mike, I am an expert. And it's my opinion. The good news is you can one too.
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
By the way, I told you BEFORE the Belmont last year that California Chrome would never win again. And, you, once again, having no clue lit into me. Now, truth is I could've been right or wrong. But, either way, I have a right to my opinion. And haven't you noticed I'm usually right. Apology not accepted.
mike More than 1 year ago
Must be nice to be correct 100% of the time. Right. Told you Chrome would prevail last year for HOTY. You disagreed,remember?
Vince Piscitelli More than 1 year ago
Assine post. Vince P
Frank More than 1 year ago
Cant agree with you here Frank...Here is why: Beholder has been managed with total and complete care for the horse. She is an older mare that has proved she has no competition in her division and definitely deserves a shot at greatness. Believe me read my previous posts on here -- I am very vocal when it comes to greed and mismanagement of horses in this sport -- but I believe Mandella has been exceptional with her.