Beholder eyes Ky Oaks


Beholder was in a race of her own, turning in a dominant performance to easily win the April 6 Santa Anita Oaks, her third grade I score at Santa Anita Park.

The $180,000 winning share of the $300,000 purse upped Beholder's lifetime earnings to $1,575,000 for owner Spendthrift Farm. The daughter of Henny Hughes , out of Leslie's Lady, was bred in Kentucky by Clarkland Farm.

Beholder has been on her game since finishing fourth in her career debut last June. In seven starts since, she has won five times with two runner-up efforts. Her victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies over the same strip and 1 1/16-mile distance earned the Richard Mandella trainee championship honors for 2-year-old fillies last season.

A throat ulcer might have played a part in her second-place finish in the Santa Ynez Stakes to start 2013. She recovered to post an easy victory in the Las Virgenes Stakes in her last outing March 2.

Facing just six foes, Beholder was sent to the lead from the outside gate in the Oaks by rider Garrett Gomez and had cleared the field by the time she ran under the wire. For all intents and purposes, the race was over right then. Nobody came within a length of her for the remainder of the contest. Beholder led Fiftyshadesofhay by 1 1/2 lengths on the first turn and through an opening quarter in :23.61.

Nothing much changed as the field reached the backstretch. Beholder ran a half mile in :47.14 pursued by Fiftyshadesofhay and Iotapa. Entering the second turn Iotapa was sent after the leader by Joe Talamo but couldn't make an impression, as Beholder straightened for home with a two-length lead that doubled by the time she looked down the straight. Beholder was home and dry in 1:43.16 by 2 3/4 lengths over Iotapa, who had a neck on Fiftyshadesofhay. Spellbound, Could Be Trouble, and Black Witch completed the order of finish.

Beholder returned $2.60, $2.20, and $2.10. Iotapa paid $7.80 and $3.80, while Fiftyshadesofhay was good for $2.10. The exacta returned $21.80 for a $2 wager.