ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2015)–Although it’s 31 days out on the horizon, the table settings are taking shape as superstar mare Beholder and Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah continue to prepare at Santa Anita for what looms an epic showdown in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Oct. 31 at Keeneland.
With her dominating 3 ¼ length win in Saturday’s Grade I Zenyatta Stakes in the books, Beholder, as is customary at Richard Mandella’s barn, walked for the fourth consecutive day early Wednesday and is expected to return to the main track tomorrow.
Emerging from her stall at 6:30 a.m., the 5-year-old Henny Hughes mare tack-walked with a rider up under the Mandella shedrow for 10 minutes prior to returning to her stall. Owned by B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, Beholder, ridden by Gary Stevens, took the Zenyatta for the third consecutive year and notched her 15th win from 20 career starts. With the winner’s share of $180,000, she increased her earnings to $4,436,600.
American Pharoah went to the main track shortly after the 6:30 a.m. renovation and jogged off the “wrong way” one mile under regular exercise rider Georgie Alvarez. With a crisp five furlong drill in one minute flat on Sunday, Bob Baffert has America’s first Triple Crown winner penciled in for another drill this Saturday at The Great Race Place.
Owned and bred by Ahmed Zayat, the 3-year-old colt by Pioneerof the Nile is scheduled to make the final start of his career in the Classic as he tries to make amends for a gallant second place finish in the Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 29.
American Pharoah link: