Several days later, I am still astounded by what I just saw at the Pacific Classic on Saturday, August 22, 2015. I was very confident that Beholder was going to have a great shot at becoming the first female to win the Pacific Classic. I was very pleased that the 5YO mare won the race and made history as the first female to win the prestigious race. What I was NOT expecting was how easily Beholder won, and how effortlessly she ran the race. I am still in disbelief.
[adinserter block=”2″]At the start, her jockey Gary Stevens places her in the third position, while Bayern and Midnight Storm battle it out on the front end. As Bayern needs to have the lead all to himself, I figured that he’d give up, and Beholder would take over the lead. I also thought there’d be challenges from Red Vine or Hoppertunity. Well, Beholder was wasn’t having any of that. As the field approached the far turn, Beholder surged to the front in the blink of an eye, and never looked back. At the top of the stretch, she was about five lengths ahead. She obliterated the field by 8 1/4 lengths. She ran the 1 1/4 miles in 1:59 4/5 sec, just missing the track record. That’s not bad for a daughter of the sprinter Henny Hughes.
I was in awe. I was screaming and jumping up and down at home. I still couldn’t believe that a horse, regardless of gender, could just devastate a field like that. That move Beholder made to seize the lead down the backstretch was mind-boggling. The field looked like they were standing still. Gary Stevens didn’t even have to touch her with the whip. As Stevens said, “She did it all on her own.”
Her trainer, Richard Mandella, and owner, B. Wayne Hughes of Spendthrift Farm, were very pleased with Beholder’s win. In his excitement, B. Wayne Hughes stated that 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and Beholder should face each other in a match race. Many in the social media world got all up in arms. I am pretty sure that Mr. Hughes said what he said because he was very excited about Beholder’s achievement. I didn’t think it was a big deal. When asked about which Breeders’ Cup race Beholder may run in, Richard Mandella said in response, “I’m just going to enjoy this.” (https://youtu.be/aRibYpt3-HY) More importantly, Mr. Hughes said of Beholder that he feels “lucky to own her.” Trainer Richard Mandella said that he “didn’t expect to see Beholder beat up on the colts like this.” (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/93877/beholder-blows-away-pacific-classic-foes)
As for Beholder’s next race, it’s looking like the Zenyatta Stakes on September 26, 2015, at Santa Anita Racetrack. She’s won the previous two editions in 2013 and in 2014. (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/93881/mandella-beholder-one-of-the-greats) Of course, now that she has the option of entering either the Breeders Cup Distaff, where she’d be the overwhelming favorite or the Breeders’ Cup Classic, where she’d be second or third choice to the presumed favorite, American Pharoah. It’s known that she’s 0 for 2 when she has to ship to places outside of California. In my opinion, I would have Beholder skip the Zenyatta Stakes and ship her to Keeneland to run in the Spinster on October 4, 2015. That way, Beholder will already have a race over the track, and will already have acclimated to her surroundings. The race is still a month away from the Breeders’ Cup.
I want to conclude by saying that horse racing should be very grateful to see a brilliant older horse like Beholder in training. I was so thrilled to see an amazing performance by a great mare. It was one of the greatest races, that I’ve seen. I will never forget the move she made for a very long time. Beholder’s one gutsy mare. Beholder is a great mare, and I am looking forward to seeing her in the Breeders’ Cup. My congratulations go to owner Spendthrift Farm, B. Wayne Hughes, Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, and Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens on a job well done. Of course, congratulations to Beholder, herself.
[adinserter block=”1″]Now, as for the Breeders’ Cup, my readers are probably wondering which Breeders’ Cup race I would want Beholder to enter. I’d want her to enter the Classic. She’s done almost everything that she could do against her own gender. Can she beat American Pharoah? Let me put it this way. I attended the second day of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs. In that Classic, I saw a horse named Blame do what I and many others thought was impossible. He defeated the previously unbeaten Zenyatta. In other words, anything is possible in horse racing once those gates open. That’s just my opinion.
I hope you enjoyed this blog. Feedback is welcome. I leave you with the replay of the 2015 Pacific Classic, where Beholder made history. Enjoy.