Beholder vs. Warren’s Veneda – Take 2

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Jen Caldwell

July 30th, 2015

Nine fillies and mares were entered in Saturday’s Clement L. Hirsch S. (G1) at Del Mar, but most attention will be focused on Beholder and Warren’s Veneda in the 1 1/16-mile contest.

Following the latter’s 7 1/4-length romp in the Santa Margarita S. (G1), talk started up about a match between the chestnut mare and dual champion Beholder. The race was expected to come in the Vanity S. (G1), but Beholder was unable to make that contest after spiking a fever.

Warren’s Veneda finished third in the Vanity behind My Sweet Addiction (who re-opposes in this spot off a distanced, last-of-nine in the Fleur de Lis [G2]). She finally got to face Beholder in the Adoration S. (G3) on June 13, but proved no match for her rival while running second by 1 1/4 lengths.

That was Beholder’s last race, but Warren’s Veneda would go on to be a one-paced fourth in the Great Lady M. S. (G2) sprinting last out at Los Alamitos. She’ll get another shot at Beholder in the Hirsch but, considering how well Beholder is doing, the outcome is likely to remain the same.

Despite showing three prior starts at Del Mar, Beholder will be trying the dirt track for the first time in the Hirsch. The five-year-old mare broke her maiden over the old synthetic Polytrack before missing by a tough-luck nose when second in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) in 2012.

Beholder visited the seaside oval one year later to add the Torrey Pines S. to her resume and has lost just once in seven starts since. Included in that win streak is the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), a race she was forced to miss last year but is targeting yet again this season.

There are two other distaffers in the Hirsch who could garner some notice. My Monet just missed by a neck in the off-the-turf Osunitas S. over track and distance last out on July 18. That followed a fading third in the Adoration, and continued improvement might see her challenging here.

Yahilwa puts forth great efforts and then some not-so-great runs. As it turns out, she’s due for a great effort and will likely go off at a nice price in the Hirsch.