One of the most popular race horses of this generation will finally make her 2016 debut. Beholder has been announced for the Adoration Stakes. It will be her first appearance in competition since she won the Zenyatta Stakes back in September of 2015.
That wasn’t supposed to be her final race last season. Beholder was a probable for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which would have pit her directly against American Pharoah. She had previously won the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Distaff. There are many that believe she would’ve been able to dethrone the Triple Crown winner at last year’s world championships, but a fever prevented her from competing.
Bringing a horse back to competition after such an incident is never easy, but trainer Richard Mandella is ensuring the right pathway. “She’s doing very good,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “I don’t think she’s ready for the race of her life, but she’s ready to get started and I think she’ll run well.
“You can train all you want, but you don’t really know until they’re out there,” Mandella continued. “From everything I can see, we have the same mare we had last year. Hopefully, this is the start of a great run.”
Beholder will be ridden by Gary Stevens as per usual. Now six years old, Beholder will be facing a field of as many at this weekend’s Adoration Stakes. The race takes place on May 8th at Santa Anita Racetrack.
The field doesn’t boast that many real threats, which is a likely reason why Mandella selected it. Sheer Pleasure is a four-year old filly who went 2-0-1 in six races last year and has literally been all over the map in terms of consistency. Backintheacademy makes the trip from Florida to compete cross country. She’s Reddy, All Star Bub and Moyo Honey round out the field at the Adoration Stakes.
As usual, all eyes will be on Beholder. If all goes well, she could very well be pointed towards the Breeders’ Cup Classic at the end of the year. This year’s world championships will also be hosted by Santa Anita.