Trainer Richard Mandella got immediate feedback on his walk back to the barn following Beholder's final Santa Anita Park workout Oct. 15, in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Keeneland.
As the Hall of Famer walked by the Bob Baffert barn, jockey Martin Garcia, who breezes likely Classic rival American Pharoah , had a wide smile on his face.
"She looked beautiful," Garcia said, drawing out the final word with pleasure.
Spendthrift Farm's Henny Hughes mare officially covered five furlongs in 1:02 flat, according to Santa Anita's clockers. Under jockey Gary Stevens, Beholder ran early furlong splits of :12 2/5, :24 4/5, and :37 1/5. She worked in company behind a stablemate early and surged by on the outside in the stretch.
"All she's got to do is stay like she was, and she's not staying like she was—she's taking steps forward," Stevens said. "I watch her every day and I've got a lot of faith in the guy in the hat over there."
Mandella clocked her hitting the wire in 1:01 2/5 for five furlongs, and the track's clockers had her gallop out to six furlongs in 1:16 flat.
"We've had a nice series, so we obviously don't need to build," Mandella said. "We just need to keep her where she's at."
It was Beholder's second timed workout since an under-wraps victory in the Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 26 at Santa Anita, and Stevens has already noticed a difference in the nine-time grade I winner's demeanor.
BALAN: Beholder Reigning Queen of Zenyatta Stakes
"This morning is as serious as it's going to get. (Mandella) didn't want anything fancy with her," Stevens said. "As far as her mentality, I don't know how she can adjust any better. She's taken everything—when we got up to the gap this morning, she stood there and knew what she was doing. She was very relaxed about it, where in the past, she might fret about it a little bit or get too amped up.
"She seems to know when the races are coming according to the way the boss trains her. She knows something big is coming, very similar to the way she was leading into the Pacific Classic."
Beholder is still scheduled to travel to Keeneland Oct. 19 and will have one workout over the surface before her Classic run Oct. 31.
"She'll have a work when we're there," Mandella said. "We'll be there three or four days before we do it, four or five days before the race. We're there for awhile."
Another notable worker at Santa Anita Thursday morning was Taris, who is pointing to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I). The speedy 4-year-old Flatter filly covered five furlongs in 1:01 4/5, also with Stevens aboard, and will get one more work over the Santa Anita main track before shipping to Keeneland Oct. 25, according to trainer Simon Callaghan.