Updated on 09/01/2013 8:26PM

Del Mar: Beholder makes successful return in Torrey Pines Stakes

Benoit & Associates
Beholder and jockey Gary Stevens won the Torrey Pines Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths Sunday at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. – For a filly who can make things more difficult than need be, Beholder had an easy time of it in returning to action Sunday at Del Mar, romping in the $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes for 3-year-old fillies in what was pretty much a paid workout.

Beholder ($2.20) was the overwhelming favorite in a field of five and won in front-running fashion by 2 3/4 lengths under Gary Stevens, who was awarded the mount by trainer Richard Mandella after Garrett Gomez, who rode Beholder in her nine prior starts, had personal problems earlier this meet. Wittgenstein, the longest shot at 24-1, was second, a half-length in front of Charlie Em. Becky Lou and Sweet Tess completed the order of finish.

This was the first start for Beholder, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly, since a second-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks on May 3. She was unnerved by the commotion at Churchill Downs that day, so after getting her back to California, Mandella decided a freshening was in order.

“She’s got a lot of quirks, but I’ll take it,” Mandella said. “She’s settled down nice. We brought her home, gave her a break, and she couldn’t have trained any better.”

Everything went perfectly Sunday. Beholder broke smoothly, went right to the front, set moderate fractions while relaxing comfortably under Stevens, then breezed home as if out for a morning drill. She completed one mile on Polytrack in 1:36.30 following splits of 24.21 seconds, 48.75, and 1:12.83.

“She ran like we expected her to,” said Mandella, who trains Beholder for the Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes. “But this is horse racing. Sometimes it can look too easy, and everything goes wrong. When you’re supposed to win, you can only go down. You can only mess it up.”

Beholder has six wins in 10 starts. Mandella said she will make her next start in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 28, and if she runs well there, Mandella said the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 1 would be the year-end goal.

“That’s what we’re looking at,” he said.

Charm the Maker wins Adoration Stakes

Charm the Maker got her second stakes win, and her first victory in almost 22 months, in Sunday’s $94,300 Adoration Stakes for fillies and mares.

Ridden by Joe Talamo, Charm the Maker closed from fourth in a field of seven to catch pacesetter Hard to Resist in the final furlong. Charm the Maker ($14.20) ran a mile on the synthetic main track in 1:35.47.

Hard to Resist, a 7-1 shot, finished 4 1/4 lengths in front of 3-1 Via Villaggio. Dancingtothestars, the 5-2 favorite, could only finish fifth.

Charm the Maker races for Debbie McAnally and is trained by her husband, Ron.

A 4-year-old homebred filly by Empire Maker, Charm the Maker won the Sharp Cat Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park in November 2011. Charm the Maker later was second in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes in 2011.

Charm the Maker was winless in three starts earlier this year but was a fast-closing fifth in an optional claimer here Aug. 7 in her first start since February. Charm the Maker has won 3 of 14 career starts and earned $329,170.

– additional reporting by Steve Andersen