BC Distaff: Mandella Thinks Beholder Could Get Even Better Before Breeders’ Cup

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Gary Stevens pilots Beholder to victory in the Zenyatta Stakes Gary Stevens pilots Beholder to victory in the Zenyatta Stakes

Here’s a frightening thought for Beholder’s rivals in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita on Nov. 1. Richard Mandella thinks “she continues to get a little better as we go along, just through experience. She’s turned into a professional filly.”

Coming off her smashing, front-running 1 ¼-length triumph in the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes on Sept. 28, that’s a mouthful, and Mandella is not big on braggadocio.

The Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly of 2012, Beholder took to the track at once under Gary Stevens in winning the “Win and You’re In” Zenyatta Stakes, beating her elders for the first time. She’s on course to tackle another senior champion, Royal Delta, in the Distaff.

“Beholder was on the lead but was very kind in winning the Zenyatta,” Mandella said. “Someday we’ll find out if she doesn’t have to be. In the Kentucky Oaks she wasn’t on the lead.

“She sat second and beat the filly in front (Midnight Lucky, who faded to fifth after leading to the three-quarter pole), but didn’t hold off Princess of Sylmar coming from behind, but Beholder tried her butt off.”

Princess of Sylmar beat Beholder by only a half-length in the Oaks, registering a 38-1 upset. Beholder was 9-1 in the race, a price bettors can only dream of getting in the Distaff.

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  • MSD

    Beholder is my pick. Royal Delta is an exceptional mare, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes people talk about her like she’s unbeatable and that’s stretching it. Bill Mott will have her cranked 110%, but she can be beat.

  • Ida Lee

    “Beholder is getting even better…”? Gee there’s a stretch (Ida says sarcastically). Of course, Beholder is getting better!! She can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. On the other hand, there’s Royal Delta (enough said) and what about the Princess? (have you seen this gorgeous speed demon lately?) I think the Distaff is going to be THE RACE in the BC this year…

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