Blessed with speed and the ability to extend it around two turns against the best in her division, Beholder earned her Eclipse Award as the top 2-year-old filly on racing's biggest weekend during the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Beholder's pedigree may have foretold her rise to the top of the juvenile ranks. A leggy daugher of the lightning quick Henny Hughes, Beholder is a half sister to B. Wayne Hughes' 2007 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) winner Into Mischief . Out of 2-year-old stakes winner Leslie's Lady (by Tricky Creek), Into Mischief was among the leading first-crop sires of 2012.
Bred by Clarkland Farm, Beholder cost Hughes $180,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale. "She was short-listed at the sale foremost on conformation but what made the purchase something we wanted to do was Into Mischief was right there," said Ned Toffey, general manager of Hughes' Spendthrift Farm.
The siblings have been trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella.
In five starts at 2, Beholder faced the Bob Baffert-trained Executiveprivlege three times in Southern California. The budding rivalry began June 28 at Betfair Hollywood Park when both made their debuts. Executiveprivlege won with Beholder finishing fourth, beaten 8 1/2 lengths. Beholder returned July 22 at Del Mar to break her maiden by 3 1/4 lengths going 5 1/2 furlongs. The two met Sept. 1 in the seven-furlong Del Mar Debutante Stakes (gr. I) with the front-running Beholder just getting pipped at the wire by Executiveprivlege.
Cut back to six furlongs, Beholder aced an allowance race at Santa Anita and was cross-entered in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint and 1 1/16-mile Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). She would have been the morning-line favorite for the shorter race, but Mandella opted for the longer one while taking another shot at the unbeaten Executiveprivilege. Taking the lead from the get-go, Beholder led throughout, responded when challenged and won the Juvenile Fillies by a length with Executiveprivilege second. All five of her starts have come with Garrett Gomez aboard.
"She really enjoys racing," Mandella said. "And she's obviously pretty good at it. She's just a natural racehorse."
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