07/23/2016 12:52PM

Beholder's workout postponed following three injuries to horses Saturday

Shigeki Kikkawa
Beholder is scheduled to run in the Clement L. Hirsh Stakes next Saturday.

DEL MAR, Calif. – After watching three horses get injured – two while working and one while galloping – between 6:30 and 7:15 on Saturday morning at Del Mar, resulting in the death of one of the three, trainer Richard Mandella called off a planned workout at 7:45 for the champion mare Beholder, postponing it by 24 hours.

“I’ve got a stomach ache. She doesn’t, but I do,” Mandella said outside his barn. “We’ll do it tomorrow. She’ll gallop today.”

The workout is the final one planned for Beholder before her scheduled start in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes this Saturday. That is her final scheduled prep race before a defense of her title in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 20.

The three horses who were pulled up with injuries were Big Book, a 4-year-old filly trained by Tim Yakteen who is a three-time winner; Whisky and Wine, an unraced 2-year-old filly trained by Jeff Mullins; and Joelito, a 6-year-old trained by Kristin Mulhall who was on the comeback trail after not having raced since January 2015.

Big Book and Whisky and Wine were working. Joelito was galloping.

Big Book has a fractured sesamoid and was taken to Yakteen’s barn after being injured. Yakteen said veterinarians were evaluating Big Book and that a decision on whether she would undergo surgery would be made later Saturday. Big Book was nominated to the Hirsch.

Whisky and Wine had to be euthanized, Mullins said. She was described by Mullins as “the best 2-year-old filly I had.”

Mulhall said Joelito had a tendon injury that was “not bad.”

Jockey Flavien Prat, who was aboard Whisky and Wine, said the track “seems a little loose.”

Both jockey Tyler Baze and trainer Jim Cassidy – independent of one another – said an area near the quarter pole was of concern. Cassidy is the head of the trainers’ group California Thoroughbred Trainers. He, Ron Ellis, John Sadler, and Mandella were among the trainers who postponed planned works for Saturday morning.

Ellis postponed a workout for Grade 1 sprinter Masochistic from Saturday to Sunday, he said in a text message.

Santa Anita’s track surface was overseen by Richard Tedesco for the past several years. He is now a consultant after Del Mar promoted Steve Wood Jr. to track superintendent before this meet, which began July 15. Wood is the son of Steve Wood, who was this track’s superintendent when the move was made from dirt to synthetic in 2007. Del Mar has since replaced its synthetic main track with dirt.

On Saturday morning, Steve Wood Jr. met with track officials to discuss the injuries. Track president Joe Harper said track maintenance crews would inspect the surface during the four-hour gap between the end of training and the start of racing.

“We’ll have the time to look at it and see if something is happening,” Harper said. “I’m always concerned in the first [part] of the meet because [horses] are coming from the different places, and not all tracks are the same.

“Is it a fluke? Are the injuries different? Are they in the same place? You look at all those factors.”

Saturday was a very important day at Del Mar, as 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome was scheduled to run in the San Diego Handicap later in the day in his first start since winning the Dubai World Cup.

– additional reporting by Steve Andersen