Working towards perhaps the most anticipated race of the Spring Meet, champion Unique Bella breezed six furlongs from the gate at 6:30 Sunday morning in 1:11 flat for the Grade I Beholder Mile on June 2 at Santa Anita.
Exercise rider Freddie Rodriguez was on the four-year-old gray daughter of Tapit for Jerry Hollendorfer, who called it “a good work.”
Santa Anita clocker Dane Nelson recorded fractions of 23.60, 46.80 and 58.80.
The Beholder Mile, named for the recently retired multiple Eclipse Award champion trained by Richard Mandella, also is expected to attract the Mandella-trained Paradise Woods, a two-time Grade I winner, and Selcourt, a lightning-quick four-year-old daughter of Tiz Wonderful trained by John Sadler.
Selcourt is riding a three-race winning streak: the restricted Kalookan Queen, the Grade III Las Flores, and the Grade II Santa Monica, in which she defeated Paradise Woods.
“I'm sure the Beholder will appeal to the fans,” Mandella said, “but my filly is good and the race is here, so that's where we're going.”
Also a possibility for the Beholder Mile is another filly on a stakes roll, Fault. The stretch-running daughter of Blame won the Grade II Buena Vista on turf Feb.17, the Grade I Santa Margarita on the main track March 17 and the Grade III Adoration May 6.
Trained by Phil D'Amato, Fault also is a candidate for the Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park on June 9.
But even without her, the Beholder would arguably showcase three of the best fillies in training, each possessing an abundance of class and speed.
Should they all go, safe to say somnambulism won't enter into their race strategy.
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