The sport of horse racing received some positive news today. Beholder is heading home to the barn of Richard Mandella very soon.
The nine-time GR1 stakes winner last competed at the Zenyatta Stakes in September, beating out My Sweet Addiction and Savings Account. It was her fifth win of the 2015 campaign. Beholder also dominated at the Pacific Classic, Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, Adoration Stakes and Santa Lucia this past year.
All of those wins pointed her towards another appearance at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, where she had previously won the Distaff in 2013 and the Juvenile Fillies in 2012. This time, however, one of the most successful mares of all time was going to challenge the boys in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in an attempt to block American Pharaoh from capturing the coveted Grand Slam. Previously, the only mare to win the classic was Zenyatta in 2009.
Sadly, Beholder had to bow out of the highly anticipated showdown due to a lung infection she potentially contracted during her transport from California to Kentucky. “She will be fine, but if I put her under the pressure of a race situation, it could cause some real damage,” Mandella stated in the lead up to the 2015 Breeders’ Cup. “This was obviously due to the fever she had when she arrived. You could say we just haven’t had any luck shipping, but it’s been something different every time. She’s an aggressive mare and just got herself worked up shipping and made herself sick.”
What lies in store for Beholder in 2016 is anyone’s guess, but the first step is to get her in the right hands. Mandella has trained impressive horses like Dare and Go, Pleasently Perfect, The Tin Man and Phone Chatter but none have been as impressive as the beloved Beholder.
Even with the disappointing end to her otherwise brilliant 5-year old run in 2015, Beholder is slated to win her third Eclipse Award as the Champion Older Female Horse. Let’s enjoy perhaps her best performance of the past season, shall we?