A little more than three weeks out from their upcoming showdown in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), champions Beholder and Songbird went about their business minutes apart during the earliest morning workout session Oct. 13 at Santa Anita Park.
First up was Spenthrift Farm's Beholder, who breezed through an easy half-mile drill—her first since a second-place finish behind Stellar Wind in the Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I)—in :49 flat under regular exercise rider Janeen Painter.
Later in the session, Songbird worked five furlongs, but caught company from grade I-placed Jerry Hollendorfer stablemate Dream Saturday. Working on the inside of Dream Saturday on the rail, Songbird covered the distance in :58 3/5, with fractions of :12 2/5 and :35 2/5, with a gallop out to six furlongs in 1:11 2/5.
Hollendorfer said the company "wasn't by design." He was ultimately pleased with the move, in which Songbird made up significant ground in the backstretch and ran with Dream Saturday to the wire. The trainer also had her finishing time and gallop out a full second slower on his stopwatch, in :59.68 and 1:12.41.
"For her, I think it was a great work," Hollendorfer said. "The fact that somebody else broke off in front of her—she went chasing after her a little bit, but had a very good work and galloped out well. ... (Being on the inside) certainly didn't hurt her."
It was business as usual for the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro, who has put in impressive, professional works since she came to Hollendorfer as a 2-year-old in 2015.
"She's been really consistent ever since we've had her," Hollendorfer said. "She's doing really well right now. We're very happy. I think she's stayed the same."
For Beholder, her work was as easy as could be, which is exactly what trainer Richard Mandella wanted. The Henny Hughes mare ran the first quarter-mile in :24 4/5 and galloped out to five furlongs in 1:03 1/5.
"We weren't letting her do much," Mandella said. "We'll do a little more next week. It looked great. ... I've got nothing new. She came out of the (Zenyatta) good, she's feeling good, and she had her first breeze—couldn't have been better.
"We're just trying to put the gas back into the tank and start the engine again."
Stellar Wind, who has defeated Beholder in their last two meetings, is scheduled to record her first workout for the Distaff Oct. 14.
Also on the Santa Anita work tab, Dortmund logged his first workout for trainer Bob Baffert since a second-place run behind California Chrome in the Awesome Again (gr. I) Oct. 1. The Big Brown colt covered three furlongs in :37 3/5, with a gallop out to a half-mile in :50 2/5. Baffert also worked Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) winner Klimt, who ran a half-mile in :46 4/5 in company, and Chandelier (gr. I) winner Noted and Quoted, who got the same distance in :47 flat.
The most visually impressive drill on the work tab may have been Masochistic, who scorched to a half-mile in :45 2/5 from the gate under jockey Mike Smith. The Sought After gelding blew by a fellow worker in the backstretch and galloped out in the stretch in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).