05/26/2014 1:24PM

Big three for Phipps hit the work tab

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Barbara D. Livingston
Princess of Sylmar, breezing Sunday at Belmont Park, is targeting the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Stakes on June 7.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Beholder, prepping for a star-studded showdown with Princess of Sylmar and Close Hatches in the Grade 1, $1 million Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park on June 7, worked a sharp mile Monday at Santa Anita and looked so good that trainer Richard Mandella did a giddy jig afterward.

“I think she’s ready,” he said, breaking into a wide smile.

Beholder, a two-time Eclipse Award winner, beat both Princess of Sylmar and Close Hatches in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff last fall at Santa Anita. The Phipps will be the first time they’ve met since then, and the first time Beholder has raced outside of California since finishing second to Princess of Sylmar in last year’s Kentucky Oaks.

Gary Stevens was aboard for the work, which occurred just after a renovation break at 7:30 a.m. Mandella first had Beholder go to the training track to warm up, so as soon as the main track reopened, Beholder came straight down the stretch and went right off into her work, in company with Uncharted Course, once around from the seven-furlong pole.

Beholder started about three lengths back and was about five lengths in front crossing the wire, seven furlongs into the work. Mandella caught Beholder in fractions of 38 seconds for the first three furlongs, 1:02.40 for five furlongs, 1:26.80 for seven furlongs, a full mile in “1:38 and change,” then had her going out 1 1/8 miles in “1:53 and change.”

A private clocker, Gary Young, had Beholder in similar splits for seven furlongs and the mile. The official time from the track clockers was 1:40.20.

“She’s something else,” Stevens said minutes later. “She’s a friggin’ machine. She loves her job.”

Mandella said Beholder was scheduled to be flown to New York on Thursday and would have an easy work next week of about four furlongs at Belmont Park, with Stevens up.

The Phipps is part of a Breeders’ Cup-quality card supporting the Belmont Stakes, in which California Chrome will be attempting to sweep the Triple Crown.

Beholder has won four straight races. In the Distaff, she won by 4 1/4 lengths over Close Hatches, with Princess of Sylmar last of six after a dreadful start.

All three fillies are unbeaten since.

◗ At Belmont on Monday, Close Hatches worked five furlongs in 59.95 seconds over the Belmont Park main track. Close Hatches, working by herself, went a quick three furlongs in 35.41 seconds and came home her final quarter in 24.54.

“She went off strong, she finished, I thought, evenly,” trainer Bill Mott said.

On Sunday, Princess of Sylmar worked five furlongs in 1:01.31 over Belmont’s training track in company with Percussion.

“She seems to be in very good order,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “Looks to be a sensational race.”

– additional reporting by David Grening

AzHorsePlayer More than 1 year ago
Beholder will win this race in a laugher!
Rich Sesny More than 1 year ago
I might be inclined to tread lightly - horses shipping across country are no sure things. She has only been out of California once - Churchill - and she lost to PoS. If the race were in SA, I would be inclined to agree with the "laugher" type of race. Demand a little value - east coast horses have the same hardship when they ship west. Breeders Cup has numerous examples. Until you know the horse ships well - or has proven it on that oval - I would take a "show-me-first" approach at the window.
gallopingtom More than 1 year ago
PoS will scratch Pletcher always prefers softer spots.
Ian Douglas More than 1 year ago
The man just recently made more money training than anyone else and you say he is going to duck someone else in a million dollar race. You are a moron
Mark More than 1 year ago
+1 Agree 100% that was absolutely moronic.
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
Guess the only thing missing is Francis Albert Sinatra won't be able to attend - or will he !
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
This is a Breeders Cup class event one of the most anticipated race cards in years. Everyone should be excited and looking forward to this card. The great equalizer is track the Belmont oval determines/confirms the best horse. A throwback card sure to make history. NYRA leading the way
lewis More than 1 year ago
Mr. Porco, Tonalist is a half brother to Chrome. Chrome has superior breeding on the Dam side. In my opinion Chrome is a horse while the others are boys. His training is equivalent to a Michael Phelps. I just hope I can get a price on Belmont day!
not impressed More than 1 year ago
Tonalist is not a half brother to Chrome. They are from the same sire line and that's it for relation.
lewis More than 1 year ago
If Tonalist mom was the same as C.C., then they would be full brothers. The two owners of Chrome was lucky. We do not know how fast and Chrome can go. He getting stronger with every race.
Mike Hummel More than 1 year ago
Lewis, Tonalist and Cali Chrome are not 1/2 brothers. They both have the same grandsire and that is the only lineage they share. Generally speaking, a 1/2 brother would be a horse from the same dam but with a different sire. It is not common to refer to horses with the same sire but different dams as "1/2 brothers". We all had to learn some time. If you're new to horseracing, welcome!
David Porco More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of race horse players and fans should love to watch, 3 very very good horses competing against one another on one of horse racings big days. Can't wait for this race and Belmont Stakes day. Just have a hunch that Tonalist might beat Chrome.
Christa More than 1 year ago
Lets GO Princess!!
Walter More than 1 year ago
Looking forward to this one!
not impressed More than 1 year ago
What a great race this aims to be! Other than Chrome going for the TC, this is the race of the day!