BEHOLDER WORKS HALF MILE WITH STEVENS UP AS SHE READIES FOR GRADE I ZENYATTA STAKES HERE ON SEPT. 26; ‘PHAROAH’ GALLOPS FOR SECOND DAY-IN-A-ROW AS HE PREPS FOR LIKELY EPIC SHOWDOWN WITH BEHOLDER & OTHERS IN $5 MILLION BC CLASSIC AT KEENELAND OCT. 31
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 11, 2015)–Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah, who returned to his Santa Anita base Thursday morning, galloped a mile on the main track today at 6:40 a.m., while two-time Eclipse Champion Beholder, who returned home to Santa Anita on Tuesday, worked a handy half mile at 6:30 a.m. under Gary Stevens in 49.00, and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.00. Both equine superstars performed under the supervision of their respective conditioners–Bob Baffert and Richard Mandella.
“Pharoah” America’s first Triple Crown Champion in 37 years, will likely train up to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland Oct. 31, following his defeat in the Grade I Travers Aug. 29 at Saratoga, while Beholder, who demolished males in the Grade I TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar Aug. 22, is being readied for the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita Sept. 26.
Providing both horses continue to train forwardly and Beholder comes out of the Zenyatta in good order, these two titans of the turf are expected to meet in what is shaping up as an epic showdown at Keeneland in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Beholder, a 5-year-old mare who was America’s Champion 2012 2-year-old filly and 2013 Champion 3-year-old filly, is riding a five-race winning streak as she seeks her second lifetime win in the Zenyatta, having won it in 2013. Owned by B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, she sports an impressive lifetime mark of 19-14-3-0 and has career earnings of $4,256,600.
With Baffert looking on, Zayat Stable’s homebred American Pharoah was handled this morning by Manny Avila, who subbed for regular rider George Alvarez, who was enjoying a day off.
Although many observers expect American Pharoah, who won the final start of his 2-year-old campaign here a year ago in the Grade I FrontRunner Stakes, to train up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, a possible start in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes on Sept. 26 has not been ruled out. A hard-fought second in the Travers, “Pharoah” has eight wins from 10 starts and lifetime earnings of $5,900,300.
Fans are invited to watch champions American Pharoah and Beholder train every morning at Clockers’ Corner, which offers full breakfast service. Admission and parking are free from Gate 8 off of Baldwin Ave.
Beholder on 9/11/15
American Pharoah on 9/11/15