RENEE’S TITAN, AT 20-1, RAINS ON ECLIPSE CHAMP BEHOLDER’S PARADE & WINS GRADE II SANTA YNEZ

DISTINCTIV PASSION GATE TO WIRE WINNER OF $75,000 SAN PEDRO

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 21, 2013)—The coronation was consummated Saturday evening in South Florida. The stage was thus set for newly anointed 2012 Eclipse Champion Filly Beholder’s 3-year-old debut in Monday’s Grade II, $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs—but despite sunny skies and a game-time temperature of 81 degrees, upstart Renee’s Titan and Tyler Baze rained on the champ’s parade, executing a come-from-behind, three quarter length victory at 20-1, while getting the distance in 1:16.14.

“She just got a little tired, I’d say,” said trainer Richard Mandella regarding Beholder’s performance. “She had a nice trip…I think she just got a little tired.”

Despite the setback, Mandella indicated Beholder would likely be pointed to the Grade I Las Virgenes Stakes at one mile on March 2.

Last at the half mile pole and well off early fractions of 21.14 and 43.67, Renee’s Titan was six lengths behind a six furlong clocking of 1:09.22, but rallied furiously along the rail to get up under Baze, despite the fact he lost his whip in upper stretch.

Renee’s Titan, the fourth choice in the seven-horse field, paid $43.80, $7.80 and $4.20.

“I have a lot of confidence in this filly,” said Baze. “I’ve been working her from the gate in the mornings for Doug (winning trainer, O’Neill) so I knew she would break well…I just sat on her and was as patient as I could be. I didn’t care how far back we were but by the three sixteenths pole, I knew it was time to get going.

“I skimmed the rail there, lost my stick, but she was running so I just did whatever I could to keep her going.”

Owned by Zillah Reddam, Renee’s Titan was first-out maiden $50,000 claiming winner on June 21, but had gone winless in six subsequent starts, her most recent being a well beaten sixth place run in the Grade I Hollywood Starlet going 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 8.

“When she was behind a lot of horses, I was hoping to finish at least third,” said O’Neill’s assistant, Leandro Mora. “When she started running like that, I knew we had a huge chance.”

A Kentucky-bred filly by Bernstein, Renee’s Titan picked up $90,000 for the win an increased her earnings to $165,400 from an overall mark of 7-2-2-0.

Beholder, who broke cleanly from post position seven with Garrett Gomez, was attentive to the pace and ran gamely to the wire, finished a nose in front of 8-1 shot Dawn’s Charm and Edwin Maldonado.

“I had expectations of a win, but she’s coming off her first race since the Breeders’ Cup, going two turns,” said Gomez. “She cruised up there like she was going to be fine and I got the wrong answer, not the one I was looking for. She’s a gamer, she’ll bounce back and we’ll see what Richard does with her next.”

Beholder paid $2.20 and $2.10. Dawn’s Charm returned $3.20 to show.

DISTINCTIV PASSION, MALDONADO TAKE SIX FURLONG SAN PEDRO, FLORIDA-BRED COLT EYES GRADE II SAN VICENTE ON FEB. 17

Distinctiv Passion, with Edwin Maldonado aloft, rocketed to the lead from the rail in Monday’s $75,000 San Pedro Stakes for 3-year-olds and never looked back, winning by 1 ½ lengths while covering six furlongs in 1:08.50.

“It’s not always easy getting him to relax,” said Maldonado. “Now that he is starting to relax, I don’t think stretching him out seven furlongs should be any problem.”

Distinctiv Passion, off as the 4-5 favorite, set splits of 21.55, 43.61 and 55.61. With no show wagering in the four-horse field, Distinctiv Passion paid $3.60 and $2.10.

“Even though these fractions are real fast, he’s learning how to not fight the bridle and cut and run,” said winning trainer Jeff Bonde. “He’s becoming a more patient horse. Our next hope is the (Grade II) San Vicente, which is a seven furlong race (on Feb. 17)…How far he’s going to run is interesting to the world, but for us, he’s a lot of fun.”

With the winner’s share of $46,200, Distinctiv Passion now has $120,600 in earnings from a record of 5-3-0-1. A Florida-bred colt by With Distinction, he is owned by Edward Brown Jr., Alan Klein Phil Lebherz.

Hear the Ghost rallied resolutely through the lane and was gaining on the winner close to home under Juan Hernandez, finishing 1 ¾ lengths in front of Disarm and Joe Talamo. Off at 7-2, Hear the Ghost paid $3.40 to place.

Really Mr Greely, the 2-1 second choice, finished another 6 ½ lengths behind in fourth with Julien Leparoux.

Live racing resumes at Santa Anita on Thursday, with first post time at 1 p.m. .