Spendthrift Farm's champion edare Beholder spiked a fever overnight after arriving from California on Monday and did not train this morning in preparation for her Oct. 31 Breeders' Cup Classic showdown with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey told The Blood-Horse that test results Tuesday showed Beholder's white blood cell count was just above normal, but that information combined with the clarity of her lungs suggested the fever was a result of stress from shipping, not an infection. Based on the early results, the Breeders' Cup has not been ruled out as a possibility.
“Her lungs are very clear; so far so good,” Toffey told the Blood-Horse. “We'll have to wait and see. She took a pretty good swipe at the guy trying to ultrasound her, so she's feeling pretty comfortable.”
Hall of Fame conditioner Richard Mandella told the Lexington Herald-Leader that an assistant relayed to him at 6:15 a.m. that the 5-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes had a temperature of 101.3 F, about one degree above normal. Her temperature has now returned to normal levels, thanks to medication, though Beholder has not been given anything that would interfere with running in the Breeders' Cup.
“It's not big but with horses it scares you,” Mandella told the Herald-Leader. “We are concerned but we're hoping it's no big deal.”
Beholder last breezed at Santa Anita on Oct. 15, going five furlongs in 1:02. Mandella said Monday the two-time champion's arrival that she would likely have one “maintenance” workout next week. She had been scheduled to have an easy gallop over the Keeneland surface this morning.
Beholder was forced to miss the 2014 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park after developing a fever reported at over 104 degrees. That turned into a lung inflammation that prevented her from being shipped back to Kentucky, where she was scheduled to be sold.
She returned to the races in April and is unbeaten in five starts this year, including a victory over males in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar in August.
Winner of the 2012 Juvenile Fillies and 2013 Distaff, Beholder was voted an Eclipse Award at 2 and 3. Bred in Kentucky by Clarkland Farm and purchased by Spendthrift owner B. Wayne Hughes for $180,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Beholder has won 15 of 20 races overall, including nine Grade 1 races, and earned $4,436,600.
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