Beholder's stellar breeze causes Mandella to sing

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TwinSpires Staff

July 24th, 2016

Edited Del Mar press release

Seconds after Beholder worked five furlongs in :59.20 “breezing” Sunday morning, Richard Mandella turned to a video crew and vocalized a phrase from the Buck Owens classic “Act Naturally.”

“Bet you I’m gonna be a big star,” Mandella sang, approximately in tune and meter and with the hint of a smile on his face.

With regular exercise rider Janeen Painter aboard and jockey Gary Stevens watching from trackside, Beholder broke off at the five-eighths pole with a workmate five or six lengths ahead and cruised through official fractions of :24.20, :47, and :59.20 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:11.60.

It was the final serious exercise before the three-time Eclipse Award winner and defending Pacific Classic (G1) champion runs in next Saturday’s $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch S. (G1).

“It was meant to go off a little easy and finish the way we do most of the time,” Mandella said after inspecting Beholder back at the barn. “It went a little quicker than we planned, but she does that often.

“I got her in :58 and 3. She’s ready.”

Asked how often workouts inspire him to country song karaoke, Mandella said: “Very few, actually. This might be a first.”

About 90 minutes earlier, at 6:30 a.m., champion Stellar Wind, the top rival for Beholder in the Clement L. Hirsch, worked five furlongs in 1:00 with regular rider Victor Espinoza up. The work was in company with stablemate Carnival Lights, who was timed in 1:01.20.

“A maintenance work,” trainer John Sadler said. “A routine work, so we’re on to next Saturday. She had her stronger work a week ago, so she’s ready.”

Photo of Beholder beating Stellar Wind (green and white silks in center) last out in the Vanity Mile (G1) courtesy of Benoit