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Santa Anita: Renee’s Titan defeats Beholder in Santa Ynez upset
ARCADIA, Calif. - Renee’s Titan closed more than five lengths in the final furlong to score an upset win in Monday’s $150,500 Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita, denying Beholder, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2012, a victory in her first start of 2013.
Renee’s Titan ($43.80) caught 1-5 Beholder in the final 50 yards to win by three-quarters of a length for her first stakes win. Ridden by Tyler Baze, Renee’s Titan ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.14.
“I knew I had it at the eighth pole,” Baze said.
“I skimmed the rail and lost my stick, but she did it for me.”
Losing his whip, and winning the race, was not the only drama for Baze in the Santa Ynez. While galloping out, he was unseated from Renee’s Titan on the clubhouse turn. He was not injured.
“She just ducked out from underneath me,” Baze said. “I guess she wanted to get to the winner’s circle without me.”
Renee’s Titan trailed by more than eight lengths with a half-mile remaining, a margin that Baze said was not a concern.
“I sat on her and was patient,” he said. “I didn’t care how far back I’d be.”
Beholder, trained by Richard Mandella, had every chance to win. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, she caught pacesetter Dawn’s Charm in the stretch, but never had an obvious advantage.
“I thought it looked easy when she drew up at the quarter pole,” Mandella said. “I thought she looked good at the eighth pole. I thought she should be pulling away from that filly. You could see it was getting tough.”
The Grade 2 Santa Ynez was Beholder’s first start since a win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies here in November. She was named champion 2-year-old filly of 2012 at the Eclipse Awards ceremony in Florida this past Saturday.
“I think she came up a little short and maybe was a little over-fresh,” Mandella said. “We’ll get that out of her and hopefully she’ll be back next time. I gave her a nice freshening. Maybe I should have put one more good work in her, but that’s history.”
Dawn’s Charm held third, followed by Switch to the Lead, Imwiththeblonde, Lady Rosamond, and Small Moves in the race for 3-year-old fillies. Dawn’s Charm unseated jockey Edwin Maldonado on the turn after the race, when the filly reacted to Baze being unseated. Maldonado was not injured.
Dawn’s Charm made her stakes debut in the Santa Ynez.
“She ran a big race,” Maldonado said. “I was proud of her. They came at me a little earlier than I wanted.”
Renee’s Titan made her sixth consecutive appearance in a stakes in the Santa Ynez for owner Zillah Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill.
Renee’s Titan was second in the Phil Shepherd Stakes at Fairplex Park in September and second in the Sharp Cat Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park in November, but was only sixth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 8.
A filly by Bernstein, Renee’s Titan has won 2 of 7 starts and $165,400. Renee’s Titan won her first start in a $50,000 claiming race for maidens at Hollywood Park last June.
This race was a prep, but still ran a good race. Should win next out. I keyed this horse in all my bets, and now feel like an Idiot. When will I learn. Stupid to wager on any horse with odds like she had..............
Excellent analysis jordan!
Beholder is one of my favorite horses BUT I gained a new horse to follow in Renee's Titan. I would love to see Renee's Titan at Del Mar where the surf meets the turf and closers pay all day!
The breeders cup made several false champions out of several runners. Today's race result could not have happened on the Breeders Cup Track and Beholder would not have been close on Breeders Cup day if the track were like today
If you ever needed a visual definition of the word 'bounce' this race was it. Beholder was super cranked for the BC and these animals are not machines.
Kudos to the winner for taking down a G2. But the horse who blew me away was Dawn's Charm. Super fast first quarter (21.14), hooked from start to finish, yet ran a killer 3rd. I think, too, Beholder would never have gone by her at the wire for second, had Dawn not been distracted by the winner flying by on the rail. Anyway, before the year's over, I think Dawn's Charm will run quite a few nice fillies into submission. And... Was I turned off by HRTV's coverage of the race! They made Beholder sound like the cinch of the millennium. Someone needs to tell those folks that 1/5 fillies making their 3 year old debuts after a layoff and tough 2 year old campaign are Major Bet-Againsts. Not to mention that any well-bred, lightly raced filly can suddenly jump up and run a big one. As Renee's Titan and Dawn's Charm did.
Given that Beholder had run a 108Beyer fig at 6 furlongs and won a gr.1 race at 8.5 furlongs, the 7 furlongs of the Santa Ynez looked tailor made for her. However, in that allowance race, Beholder was able to get the first half in 44(granted the track was playing slower), and most importantly was able to so while 3 lengths clear. Without the presence of another horse to physically and mentally push her, Beholder was able to keep on winging alone on the lead, with the result being one of the fastest juvenile performances in recent years. In the Santa Ynez, on the other hand, Beholder was facing a much better field with a number of really speedy fillies. These speedsters put up a 21 flat opening quarter, leaving Beholder back in 4th. Gomez then allowed Beholder to move up to the leaders as they got the half in 43 and 3. 2 lengths back after the quarter, Beholder was head and head on the lead after the half, meaning she ran her personal second quarter in about 22 flat. So, Beholder ran a quicker half in the Santa Ynez than in that allowance, this even though the Santa Ynez was a furlong longer. And just as important as the pace, Beholder was experiencing a much more demanding trip in the Santa Ynez, being surrounded by pace challengers that first quarter, and then having to go eyeball to eyeball with another horse from the half mile pole to the wire. The physical demands of the faster pace and the mental(and physical) demands of being challenged all through the race softened up Beholder in the stretch. The Factor was a horse that if allowed to go 22 for the quarter and 44 and 2 for the half, could keep on churning out about 11 and 3 eighths to the tune of 6 furlongs in 1:07 and 2 and 7 furlongs in 1:19 and 4. However, if he was forced to go just a few lengths faster early and run a pressured opening quater in sub-22 and first half in sub-44, he would really struggle in the stretch. Thus, when The Factor was able to post that record setting 6 furlong maiden score of 1:06 and 4 he was able to get the opening half in 44, and when he ran 7 furlongs in the Malibu in 1:19 and 4, he got away with a 44 and 3 opening half. In races where he ran faster than 22 and 44, his final times were slower than when he received his optimal pace scenario.
Beholder's fate in the Santa Ynez was very similar to the fate of My Miss Aurelia in the La brea. Both champions were turning back to 7 furlongs after running strong races around 2 turns in the Breeder's Cup. Both settled a few lengths off the lead early before being rushed ton engage the leaders through fast internal fractions. Both drew up to the leader looking like winners, but then both got tired and stalled. Ultimately, both were caught in deep stretch(Book Review, Renee's Titan). Just shows how 7 furlongs can be a tricky distance.
Left front leg on the winner looked a little off/odd after jockey departed saddle...