GARY STEVENS, BEHOLDER, WINNER: “It was a pretty easy race for her. I rode her like she was the best mare out there, and she was. She does things so natural.
“I always let her run into the first turn and let her get position. I didn’t really like that (Gonzalo Nicolas) packed us wide a little bit but the kid did a good job of getting back down to the fence and I had a rocking chair ride from then on.
“When Oscar Party came up on the outside and joined up with us, Beholder got a little tough for four or five strides but when we lined up on the backstretch she relaxed for me again. I was very comfortable and she was comfortable going into the stretch, almost too comfortable. She was playing around a bit and drifted over towards the rail with me giving me a scare there for a second. She got too close and shied away from it though and went on about her business. It was a relatively easy win for her.
“I respected Warren’s Veneda. She didn’t get any pace in the Vanity with Beholder’s scratch that day. I knew she was going to get some pace to run at today and Tyler would have a bead on me, and he did. She ran her race, she’s a Grade I winner and Craig has done his job with her, but Beholder is as good of a horse as I’ve ever sat on.”
TYLER BAZE, WARREN’S VENEDA, SECOND: “She ran her heart out . . . I thought there would be a little bit 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. They’ll get even weights the next time so we will see what happens, maybe we will turn the tables on her.”
RICHARD MANDELLA, BEHOLDER, WINNER: “I’m relieved and delighted. Warren’s Veneda is a good filly and she ran at her and made a contest out of it, but I wouldn’t trade mine for anybody. We’ll look at the Clement Hirsch at Del Mar (for her next race; Grade I, $300,000, 1 1/16 miles on Aug. 1) and the Zenyatta here, with the Breeders’ Cup (Distaff at Keeneland Oct. 30) the ultimate goal. That’s what we’re here for.
“In the first half-mile there was a little switching around going on with everybody wondering who was going to go to the front. It was a little confusing, but she’s a great mare.”
CRAIG LEWIS, WARREN’S VENEDA, SECOND: “I saw two great mares. I anticipated the pace to be a little hotter. Tyler tried to hold her, but he had to let her run. She’s a nice mare. I’m lucky to have her.”
NOTES: The winning owner is B. Wayne Hughes of Lexington, Ky., who races as Spendthrift Farm, LLC.