Beholder breezes five furlongs

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TwinSpires Staff

August 10th, 2016

Edited Press Release

Multiple champion and defending Pacific Classic (G1) queen Beholder breezed five furlongs in :59 Wednesday morning under Gary Stevens, 10 days away from the signature race of the Del Mar summer meeting. It was the fastest of 41 works at the distance.

“She went off nicely and finished very well,” Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said. ”She looks very good. She’s obviously come on very well or I wouldn’t have worked her like I did today.”

It was the first serious exercise for the three-time Eclipse Award winner since her half-length loss to Stellar Wind in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) on July 30 that ended an eight-race winning streak for Beholder and cast some doubt regarding a much anticipated California Chrome-Beholder showdown in the Pacific Classic on August 20.

While pleased with the work, Mandella still intends to bide his time before committing.

“What we’ll look for in the next few days is any sign of regression of any kind,” Mandella said. “I haven’t made my mind up to do anything, but (the Pacific Classic) is possible. We’ll just have to feel our way along the next couple days and we’ll see.”

Beholder worked in company with stablemate Paiasolo, breaking off eight lengths behind but making up ground quickly and moving past Paiasolo by the quarter-pole. Del Mar clockers had interim splits of :11.60, :23.20 and :46.20, with a six-furlong gallop-out time of 1:13.40, and gave the work a “breezing” designation.

Stevens had nothing but positive comments about the work, but emphasized that he has no part in the decision-making process.

“(Mandella) gets my feedback and he decides,” Stevens said.  “She kind of spoke for herself just now. Eleven days after her last race and 10 days to the race. I’m sure he’ll wait for a few more days. I know he won’t go unless he’s 100 percent confident, but he’s got a smile on his face right now.

“I liked the energy she showed this morning. I liked everything about it.”

Beholder had been put through daily gallops of upwards of a mile under exercise rider Janine Painter for several days before Mandella decided to put her to a more rigorous test Wednesday morning.

“She had a really strong gallop yesterday, stronger than I’ve seen in a long time,” Stevens noted. “Going to and coming back from the track it was like she’d look for other horses and other people to kick at – she’d look for targets for target practice. She was doing that yesterday and she hadn’t done that for a while.”

Screenshot of Beholder working