Champion Beholder Back on Track For Breeders' Cup Classic
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There were several uncertain moments after champion Beholder arrived at Keeneland in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) when the mare spiked a slight fever. Reports have come out on Wednesday morning, however, that her temperature is back to normal and training can resume.
Beholder, a five-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes trained by Richard Mandella, was forced to sit out last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) with a fever and subsequent infection that also prevented her from being sold at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. After she missed the sale, the decision was made by owner Spendthrift Farm to keep her in training and she has gone undefeated from five starts this year.
Looking for her third Breeders' Cup victory
After winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) as well as taking home the divisional Eclipse Awards in both 2012 and 2013, there was one mountain for the champion mare to climb – facing male rivals. After a sharp victory in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar in August, the decision was made to make her next start in the Pacific Classic (G1). Silencing all critics who questioned her ability to go the mile and a quarter distance, she won effortlessly by 8 ¼ lengths.
Showdown with American Pharoah and other strong rivals
She will be trying to become only the second mare in history to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and join Zenyatta in that elite club. Beholder, with regular rider Gary Stevens scheduled to be aboard, will be facing one of the strongest Classic fields assembled in recent years and will have to compete with the likes of Triple Crown champion American Pharoah as well as the brilliant Honor Code and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) winner Tonalist. The Breeders' Cup Classic will be run on Saturday, October 31.