Two-time Eclipse Award champion filly Beholder towers over six older fillies and mares in the $75,000 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.
Trained by Richard Mandella and owned by B. Wayne Hughes' Spendthrift Farm, Beholder is in search of her fourth consecutive win as she preps for the $1 million Ogden Phipps (gr. I) at 1 1/16 miles June 7 at Belmont Park.
"We were looking for a race to get her started and we felt this would be a good prep for the million dollar race on Belmont Day," said Mandella. "Adding it up, we just didn't want to ship out of town for her first race back. I don't feel she's wound up as tight as she might be, but it should be good enough for now."
A supplemental entrant at a cost of $1,500, the 4-year-old filly by Henny Hughes is looking for her ninth overall win from 13 starts. Winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Santa Anita in 2012, she was America's Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly and the Eclipse champion 3-year-old filly for 2013. She has career earnings of $3,075,000 and will be ridden for the fourth time in a row by Gary Stevens.
A filly blessed with tremendous speed, Beholder has eight works on her Santa Anita tab dating back to Feb. 26, including consecutive seven-furlong moves. The most recent April 12 was timed in 1:27 3/5.
Beholder was assigned 123 pounds, six more than each of her rivals.
Lightly raced Eblouissante, half sister to legendary Zenyatta, has been idle since running second as the 3-5 favorite in a second-condition allowance going 1 1/16 miles. She will try stakes competition for the second time while making her fifth overall start. A 5-year-old mare by Bernardini , she won her first two races—a maiden special weight Nov. 16, 2012 at Hollywood Park and a first-condition allowance at Santa Anita Jan. 17, 2013, both at 1 1/16 miles.
Like Zenyatta, she is trained by John Shirreffs. She will be ridden for the second time by Mike Smith. Owned by St. George Farm Racing, she has two wins from four tries with earnings of $77,800.
$75,000 Santa Lucia Stakes (Race 8, 4 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Legacy (KY), D Van Dyke, 117, J W Sadler
2. Moulin de Mougin (KY), M Garcia, 117, R E Mandella
3. Beholder (KY), G L Stevens, 123, R E Mandella
4. Magic Union (KY), V Espinoza, 117, J W Sadler
5. Eblouissante (KY), M E Smith, 117, J A Shirreffs
6. City At Dawn (KY), J Couton, 117, L Powell
7. Irish Presence (KY), T Baze, 117, D Velasquez