HENNY HUGHES MARE GETS 10TH SANTA ANITA WIN, SIGHTS SET ON BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF AT KEENELAND
ARCADIA, Calif. (June 13, 2015)–In yet another display of sheer class, Spendthrift Farms’ Beholder sat second early, made the lead midway around the far turn and cruised to a 1 ¼ length win in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Adoration Stakes under Gary Stevens. A two-time Eclipse Champion trained by Richard Mandella, Beholder got 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.67 while keeping runner-up Warren’s Veneda at bay late.
“It was a pretty easy race for her,” said Stevens, who has labeled Beholder the best filly or mare he has ever ridden and is now six for seven with her. “I rode her like she was the best mare out there and she was. She does things so natural. I respected Warren’s Veneda…I knew she was going to get some pace to run at today and Tyler (Baze) would have a bead on me, and he did. She (Warren’s Veneda) ran her race, she’s a Grade I winner and Craig (Lewis, trainer) has done his job with her, but Beholder is as good of a horse as I’ve ever sat on.”
The overwhelming 1-5 favorite, Beholder, a 5-year-old mare by Henny Hughes, paid $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10. In getting her 10th win from 11 tries at Santa Anita, Beholder picked up her 12th overall victory from 17 career starts. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she improved her earnings to a staggering $3,476,600.
“I’m relieved and delighted,” said Mandella, who will undoubtedly be joined by his stable superstar in racing’s Hall of Fame following her expected retirement at the end of the year. “Warren’s Veneda is a good filly and she ran at (Beholder) and made a contest of it…We’ll look at the Clement Hirsch at Del Mar (Grade I, $300,000 on Aug. 1) and the Zenyatta (Grade I, 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita in September or October) here, with the Breeders’ Cup (Grade I Distaff at Keeneland Oct. 30) as the ultimate goal.”
For her part, Warren’s Veneda bounced back solidly off of her disappointing third place run in the Vanity, finishing second, a whopping 7 ¼ lengths clear of third place finisher My Monet. The second choice at 7-2, Warren’s Veneda paid $2.40 and $2.10.
“She ran her heart out,” said Baze. “I thought there would be a little faster pace and there wasn’t. I was a little closer than I thought I was going to be. She really ran her race, she tried hard. It just makes me wonder if that three or four pounds made the difference. (Warren’s Veneda carried 124 to Beholder’s 121). They’ll get even weights the next time, so we will see what happens. Maybe we’ll turn the tables on her.”
Ridden by Gonzalo Nicholas, My Monet, who showed the way for the first half mile, was off at 18-1 and paid $3.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.51, 47.04, 1:10.86 and 1:35.27.
First post time at Santa Anita on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.