03/02/2013 7:28PM

Santa Anita: Beholder regains best form in Las Virgenes

Barbara D. Livingston
Last year's champion 2-year-old filly Beholder, ridden by Garrett Gomez, scores by 3 3/4 lengths in the Las Virgenes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – After a brief hiccup, Beholder is back.

Compromised by an ulcer in her throat in her first start of the year, Beholder returned to her best form on Saturday at Santa Anita, leading her seven rivals on a fruitless chase as she romped to a 3 3/4-length victory in the Grade 1, $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

The race re-established Beholder, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly, as the leader of her division, a position she attained when winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies here last fall. Also, it provided significant points toward a berth in the Kentucky Oaks on May 3, a race Beholder will target after next month’s Santa Anita Oaks.

The Las Virgenes was the third win in the last four starts for Beholder, the only interruption being a second-place finish in the 6 1/2-furlong Santa Ynez Stakes on Jan. 21. Richard Mandella, the trainer of Beholder, said she had come out of that race with a throat ulcer, and her four subsequent works indicated she was ready for her best.

“Because of the race, she didn’t miss much time,” Mandella said. “She’ll train all you want.”

Beholder ($3.60), the favorite, broke sharply under Garrett Gomez and set comfortable fractions of 23.78 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 47.55 seconds for a half-mile, and 1:11.19 for six furlongs en route to a final time of 1:36.14 for one mile on the fast main track.

Second-choice Fiftyshadesofhay, second for much of the race, held the place by 1 1/2 lengths over Scarlet Strike, who rallied from seventh to finish third. Heir Kitty was fourth and was followed, in order, by Speedinthruthecity, Ridingwiththedevil, Lady Asano, and Renee’s Titan.

Beholder is quirky. She was rambunctious when schooling in the paddock on Thursday, and two weeks ago got stirred up in her stall, resulting in cuts to her face. When she showed up in the paddock for the Las Virgenes, she looked like she had been in a back-alley fight. But she was becalmed in the paddock, saving her energy for when it counted.

“Everything she did today was great,” said Mandella, who trains Beholder for the Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes. “She was a handful a couple of days ago when we schooled her.”

Beholder, by Henny Hughes, has now won 4 of 7 starts. The $150,000 first prize increased her earnings to $1,395,000.



steve milgats More than 1 year ago
Cindy Albrecht More than 1 year ago
Really nice horse, loved seeing her at BD CUP
Joel Winicki More than 1 year ago
She sure makes it look easy! GoGo fits her like a glove.....sky's the limit!
Mario Vargas More than 1 year ago
The true "Beholder" won this time. Take that Renee's Titan! Stick to sprinting 'Rene...The "Beholder" is too much fa ya!
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Gotta love this up and coming filly! Congrats to Beholder, GG and all the connections.
Carlos More than 1 year ago
She looks better than most male 3yrs.
silver_charm More than 1 year ago
#Beholder is one the best things going right now in #horseracing. She has talent, character, a classy #trainer, & consistency.
LeslieH0101 More than 1 year ago
Really classy trainer
Jerome Moynihan More than 1 year ago
beholder and dude- like picking money off the street!
RockaFelter21 More than 1 year ago
1-1 and 45 you prob made a killing
RockaFelter21 More than 1 year ago