11/21/2012 5:07PM

Hollywood Park: Beholder targeting Santa Ynez for return

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Susie Raisher
Beholder will make her 3-year-old debut in the Santa Ynez Stakes.

Beholder, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 2, is expected to make her 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over 6 1/2 furlongs on Jan. 21, trainer Richard Mandella said Wednesday.

Mandella said that Beholder “is starting to gallop” in preparation for her return to racing. Owned by B. Wayne Hughes, Beholder has won 3 of 5 starts and $1,215,000. She is a leading candidate for the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding 2-year-old of 2012.

Mandella has an outsider in Sunday’s $250,000 Hollywood Derby with Smart Ellis, who was a troubled third in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

Smart Ellis broke awkwardly, raced in traffic on the turn, and rallied to finish 1 1/2 lengths behind Grandeur, another probable starter in the Hollywood Derby.

“He went up inside and got stopped at the quarter pole,” Mandella said.

“He’s been a very unlucky horse. He’s running into somebody or somebody is running into him.”

The Hollywood Derby is run over 1 1/4 miles on turf, a distance that Mandella thinks “might be better” for Smart Ellis.

The list of other probable starters includes All Squared Away, Big Bane Theory, General Logan, Golden Ticket, Groovin Solo, Handsome Mike, Lucky Chappy, Rjwa, Silentio, Speaking of Which, Summer Front, and Unbridled Command.