ARCADIA, Calif. (April 13, 2014)–Two-time Eclipse Award Champion filly Beholder towers over six older fillies and mares in next Sunday’s $75,000 Santa Lucia Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, her first start since winning the Grade I, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.
Trained by Richard Mandella and owned by B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, Beholder is in search of her fourth consecutive win as she preps for the Grade I, $1 million Ogden Phipps at 1 1/16 miles on June 7 at Belmont Park.
“We were looking for a race to get her started and we felt this would be a good prep for the million dollar race on Belmont Day,” said Mandella. “Adding it up, we just didn’t want to ship out of town for her first race back. I don’t feel she’s wound up as tight as she might be, but it should be good enough for now.”
A supplemental entrant at a cost of $1,500, the 4-year-old filly by Henny Hughes is in search of her fourth consecutive win and her ninth overall from 13 starts. A winner of the Grade I, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita in 2012, she was America’s Eclipse Award winning 2-year-old filly and she was voted Eclipse Champion 3-year-old filly for 2013. She has career earnings of $3,075,000 and will be ridden for the fourth time in-a-row by Gary Stevens.
A filly blessed with tremendous speed, Beholder, dating back to Feb. 26, has eight works on her Santa Anita tab, including two consecutive seven furlong moves, the most recent in 1:27.60 on April 12.
Lightly raced Eblouissante, the much-heralded half sister to legendary Zenyatta, has been idle since running second as the 3-5 favorite in a second condition allowance going 1 1/16 miles and will try stakes competition for the second time in her fifth overall start. A 5-year-old mare by Bernardini, won her first two races; a maiden special weight on Nov. 16, 2012 at Hollywood Park and a first condition allowance at Santa Anita on Jan. 17, 2013, both at 1 1/16 miles.
Like Zenyatta, she is trained by John Shirreffs and will be ridden for the second time in-a-row by Mike Smith. Owned by St. George Farm Racing, LLC, she is 4-2-1-0 with earnings of $77,800.
The complete field for the Santa Lucia Stakes, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race card Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Legacy, Drayden Van Dyke, 117; Moulin de Mougin, Martin Garcia, 117; Beholder, Gary Stevens, 123; Magic Union, Victor Espinoza, 117; Eblouissante, Mike Smith, 117; City At Dawn, Julien Couton, 117, and Irish Presence, Tyler Baze, 117.
First post time on Sunday, April 20, is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 10:30 a.m.