Santa Anita: Beholder Mile Stakes exotics plays

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 4th, 2022

An excellent field of five will travel one-mile on the Santa Anita main surface in the $500,000 Beholder Mile S. (G1) on Saturday.

The Kenny McPeek-trained #6 Envoutante (8-5) is a multiple graded stakes heroine who is still searching for her first victory at the top level. By top sire Uncle Mo, the five-year-old makes her first run since dominating the Falls City S. (G2) at Churchill Downs by six lengths in November and has been training in solid fashion in advance of her 2022 bow.

Envountante is a bit of a mystery while making her first run in California, but I believe that she will thrive over a surface that will likely be conducive to her forwardly placed running style. The dark bay gets a dream post draw outside of the compact field, and since she has shown the ability to run well while fresh in the past, I expect her to do so on Saturday. John Velazquez inherits the ride atop my selection and I will key her on top in all of my plays.

Bob Baffert’s #3 As Time Goes By (4-5) is the clear one to beat in the affair coming off of a 13-length romp in the La Canada S. (G3) on the oval last time out. The well-related daughter of American Pharoah has been training in rapid fashion as of late, and she also dons a fine 7-4-3-0 mark on the strip.

The five-year-old mare does her best work when or forcing the early tempo, and she figures to receive a favorable trip on this occasion with top local pilot Flavien Prat in the silks. The dark bay is a must use.

I find it intriguing that Baffert will send out 2020 Hollywood Starlet (G1) queen #1 Varda (6-1) in this demanding spot off the 14-month absence. The Distorted Humor four-year-old obviously has some class to her, and for this potent barn to place her in this race is a sign of great confidence, in my opinion. The New York-bred bay has been training forwardly as of late and will have Juan Hernandez in the irons.

Beholder exotics wagers

  • $30 trifecta 6 with 3 with 1 ($30)
  • $10 trifecta 6 with 1 with 3 ($10)