The countdown to the upcoming 31st Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park intensified Oct. 18 with a bevy of workers out at the Southern California track on a pleasant, sun-kissed morning.
There will be no Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) this year for Moulin de Mougin, winner of the John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT), who is scheduled for a 60-day break to get over bone bruising suffered in a spill.
With defending champion Magician likely to be among Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien's contingent for the 2014 World Championships, Europe appears to be in a good position to continue its dominance in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
Beholder, a two-time champion, tuned up for the Breeders' Cup with a three-quarter-length score over Tiz Midnight in the 1 1/16-mile Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 27 at Santa Anita.
Beholder, who loves racing at Santa Anita but will be making just her third start of the year, will have to outkick dual grade I winner Iotapa to win the $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 27.
Two-time Eclipse Award winner will be consigned by Spendthrift to the Nov. 3 Fasig-Tipton November sale, three days after defending her title in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
Two-time champion filly Beholder turned in a bullet seven-furlong workout Sept. 20 at Santa Anita Park as she prepares to defend last year's victory in the Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 27.
Moulin de Mougin secured the biggest win of her career and gave jockey Mike Smith a reason to celebrate his 49th birthday in the $250,000 John Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT) on the grass Aug. 10 at Del Mar.
Trainer Richard Mandella is relishing the prospect of having Bal A Bali, winner of the Brazilian Triple Crown in 2013 and already qualified for a spot in the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 1, in his barn soon.
Close Hatches turned back Princess of Sylmar and picked up the pieces when Beholder finished fourth in the June 7 Ogden Phipps Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Beholder, with trainer Richard Mandella, schools in paddock at Belmont Park on June 6, 2014. watch video
Beholder, with trainer Richard Mandella, schools in paddock at Belmont Park on June 6, 2014.
A sporting gesture put two-time champion Beholder on a plane to Belmont Park last week for the brewing rematch between her and 2013 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Princess of Sylmar in the $1 million Ogden Phipps (gr. I).
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders weren't the only ones catching attention June 2 at Belmont Park. Champion filly Beholder and rival Close Hatches both turned in final pre-race preparations for the Ogden Phipps (gr. I).
Gary Stevens gives the thumbs up after champion Beholder breezed at Belmont June 2.
Dual champion filly Beholder coasted to an easy win in her 2014 debut on a hot, sunny Easter Sunday at Santa Anita Park, taking the $75,000 Santa Lucia Stakes from four overmatched rivals.
Two-time Eclipse Award champion filly Beholder towers over six older fillies and mares in the Santa Lucia Stakes at 1 1/16 miles April 20, her first start since winning the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
Female champions Beholder and She's a Tiger were both out for workouts the morning of March 15 at Santa Anita Park as they draw closer to their undetermined 2014 debuts.
Spellbound made trainer Richard Mandella's quick cross-country trip worthwhile when she came from far out of it to capture the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) by a neck at 16-1 odds Jan. 19 at Santa Anita Park.
Beholder's smashing victory in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) ensured her a second consecutive Eclipse Award. She was voted champion 3-year-old filly of 2013 over finalists Princess of Sylmar and Close Hatches.
Perhaps no Eclipse Award category overflowed with more talent than among the 3-year-old fillies of 2013. They performed admirably against each other and then went out and defeated the best of their older counterparts.
Trainer Richard Mandella takes a shot at his own record Dec. 14 in the $150,000 Native Diver Stakes (gr. III), a 7-year-old longshot could become the oldest winner in the final running, and Slim Shadey tries Cushion Track.
Comments from the connections of Distaff winner Beholder. Watch Video
Beholder not only brings her stellar record into the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), she has a first-class team behind her. It begins with her Hall of Fame trainer, Richard Mandella, and extends to the rest of his barn.
Trainer Richard Mandella notes that he wins the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) once a decade, so this could be the year he does it again with the Argentine-bred Indy Point.
Defending Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Fort Larned worked at Churchill Downs on Oct. 22 while fellow Classic contender Game On Dude and Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) runner Beholder breezed at Santa Anita Park.
A relatively few number of women's names crop up on trainer and jockey rosters in general, but in the 30 years of Breeders' Cup history the numbers are smaller still.
Alterite, a 1 1/2-length winner of the Garden City Stakes (gr. IT) in her North American debut last month, heads a field of nine 3-year-old fillies entered for the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT).
Rebounding from a dismal try in the Arlington Million (gr. IT), Indy Point charged to victory in the $150,000 John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IIT) Sept. 29 at Santa Anita Park for red-hot jockey Gary Stevens.
Beholder left no doubt that she is ready to take on the best distaffers on the continent after easily going gate-to-wire in the Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) against a salty group of shippers and older fillies and mares.
Spendthrift Farm's Beholder and grade I winner Joyful Victory head a field of eight fillies and mares entered for the $250,000 Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 28 at Santa Anita Park.
- By Steve Haskin
First there was 1993, then 2003, now 2013. Will the cycle continue for Mandella? read blog
Vacation time may be over for Beholder but last year's champion 2-year-old filly simply toyed with her four rivals in the $100,000 Torrey Pine Stakes Sept. 1 at Del Mar.
One year after losing the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) by a nose, champion filly Beholder returns to Del Mar in the Torrey Pines Stakes Sept. 1.
Top sprinter Jimmy Creed has been retired from racing and will stand stud in 2014 at his owner B. Wayne Hughes' Spendthrift Farm. A grade I winner by Distorted Humor, he sustained a minor injury to a sesamoidean ligament.
If Little Mike makes Arlington Million history, it will be over the likes of Grandeur, Indy Point, The Apache, and Hunter's Light as top international turf contenders gather at Arlington Park for the oval's marquee event.
Arlington Million (gr.I) contender Indy Point gets a bath at Arlington Park with Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella standing by Aug. 16. Watch Video
Arlington Million (gr.I) contender Indy Point gets a bath at Arlington Park with Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella standing by Aug. 16.
Champ Pegasus, a grade I-winning son of Fusaichi Pegasus has been retired from racing and will stand the 2014 breeding season at Legacy Ranch near Clements, Calif.
Returning from a layoff of a bit more than two months, 8-1 shot Sarach led throughout to win the $150,750 Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies on turf June 8 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Rumor, victorious in the Las Flores Stakes (gr. III) March 10, has been installed the 5-2 favorite in a field of nine fillies and mares entered in the Humana Distaff Stakes (gr. I) at Churchill Downs May 4.
Dreaming of Julia is the freshest on the minds of most leading up to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) due to her extraordinary 21 3/4-length victory in the March 30 Gulfstream Park Oaks (gr. I).
As in years past, 2012 champion juvenile filly Beholder might have been the expected and overwhelming favorite in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). But not this year.
B. Wayne Hughes, Richard Mandella, and Garrett Gomez score stakes double as Jimmy Creed takes Potrero Grande after Beholder wins Santa Anita Oaks.
Spendthrift Farm's Beholder easily defeated five foes in the Santa Anita Oaks and will move on to contest the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) as one of the top choices.
Comma to the Top, Jimmy Creed, and Camp Victory all bring grade I victories into the Potrero Grande (gr. II) at Santa Anita, vying to become the West Coast's top sprinter.
Two-year-old filly champion of 2012 Beholder will be the heavy favorite when she faces five foes in the April 6 Santa Anita Oaks for Spendthrift Farm and Richard Mandella.
Champion 2-year-old filly Beholder worked seven furlongs in company on a fast main track at Santa Anita Park March 29 as she closes in on her next scheduled start in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I).
Event of the Year, who turned heads with his five-length victory in the 1998 Jim Beam Stakes (gr. II), died last year in Venezuela.
Rumor put it together for the Hall of Fame tandem of trainer Richard Mandella and jockey Mike Smith to register her first graded stakes victory in the $100,000 Las Flores Stakes (gr. III) March 10 at Santa Anita Park.
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