Three-time champion—to date—and this year's Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Beholder arrived at Spendthrift Farm near Lexington Nov. 21 to start her new life as a broodmare.
"Well, we've been waiting for a while for this, it's really exciting for the farm," said Spendthrift Farm general manager Ned Toffey. "It's a neat thing because we've closed a chapter on one part of her career and we're opening the chapter on the next."
The 6-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes ended that racing chapter on a high note, winning a hard-fought stretch duel in the Distaff by eventually getting a nose over champion Songbird. The victory marked her second in the Distaff and third Breeders' Cup win overall.
The 2016 Distaff win capped a 26-race career that saw 18 wins and 6 seconds, and never a finish worse than fourth, with earnings of more than $6 million. Among her scores are 11 grade Is, including her three Breeders' Cup wins and a dominating 8 1/4-length win over males in the 2015 TVG Pacific Classic.
Although the thrill of her racing days are behind her, thoughts of future progeny are bringing more than enough excitement to the farm.
"It's really exciting for us to get to see what kind of foals we're going to get out of her," Toffey said. "There's so much anticipation and so much hope that goes with her and with those foals.
"That's one of the great things about this business, whether it's the next race or the next foal, you're always looking ahead to that."
Spendthrift announced Nov. 6 that Beholder will be bred to last year's leading first-crop sire Uncle Mo in 2017. But the farm does not know whether it will offer the foal at public auction.
"All of our yearlings go through the sale with very few exceptions. What we decide to do with that one will just be like all the rest that are here, it's a horse by horse decision," Toffey said.
"Obviously (the foal would) have great value at auction and also be an awful lot of fun to take to the races. If it can run and if it's a colt—we're about standing stallions here—we'd love to have a son of Beholder in the stud barn."
Beholder was bred by Clarkland Farm and is out of the Tricky Creek mare Leslie's Lady. She is a half sister to Spendthrift stallion Into Mischief (Harlan's Holiday) and to a yearling Scat Daddy colt who topped this year's Keeneland September yearling sale at $3 million.
For now Toffey said the farm is just happy to have Beholder in the Bluegrass.
"She's fun just to put eyes on," he said. "She's a really neat horse to be around and we're really looking forward to having her here."