Chad Harmon

Beholder Drills Sharply for Las Virgenes

Champion filly will face Fiftyshadesofhay, who also works well, in grade I test.

Eclipse Award winner Beholder worked five furlongs on a fast main track at Santa Anita Park Feb. 24 in :59 3/5 under regular rider Garrett Gomez in preparation for the upcoming Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at one mile.

The Las Virgenes is one of three grade I stakes on the March 2 program at Santa Anita.

"Beautiful" is how Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella termed the work for his 2012 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner. Beholder was upset by 20-1 shot Renee's Titan in the 6 1/2 furlong Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 21, losing by three-quarters of a length in her 3-year-old debut.

Spendthrift Farm's Henny Hughes filly has won three of six starts in her career with two seconds while earning $1,245,000.

Renee's Titan is also expected to run in the Las Virgenes.

With Rafael Bejarano in the saddle, Fiftyshadesofhay also worked Feb. 24 for the Las Virgenes, going five furlongs in company with Brannaman in :59 2/5 for Bob Baffert. Brannaman was clocked in a minute flat.

"She's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) material," Baffert said of Fiftyshadesofhay, a daughter of Pulpit who won the Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. II) on a wet/fast track by nearly six lengths under Bejarano.