Benoit Photo

Beholder Fires Bullet for Zenyatta Defense

Two-time champion launches comeback from injury Sept. 27 in Zenyatta Stakes.

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.

The Henny Hughes filly, fully recovered from an injury she sustained in finishing fourth in the Ogden Phipps (gr. I) June 7 at Belmont Park, was timed in 1:2.60 under new rider Mike Smith. The move was the fastest of four timed workouts at the distance.

"She's in good shape," said Richard Mandella, who trains the filly for Spendthrift Farm. "She's had some very good works. I think she's as good as she's going to get." 

Beholder won the 2013 Zenyatta by 1 1/4 lengths before capturing the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) in a 4 1/4-length romp en route to the season's champion 3-year-old filly honors. She was the champion 2-year-old filly of 2012. Overall, has won nine of 14 career starts, including five grade I races, and earned $3,188,300.

Before suffering a cut on her left hind pastern in the Ogden Phipps, Beholder won the Santa Lucia Stakes April 20 at Santa Anita in her season debut.


The Zenyatta is one of five grade I, "Win and You're In" stakes Saturday at Santa Anita, giving the winner a fees-paid berth in the respective Breeders' Cup World Championship races Oct. 31-Nov. 1.