Beholder Seeks Historic Win in Pacific Classic

Beholder Seeks Historic Win in Pacific Classic

Breeders’ Cup Photo ©

Beholder, a two-time Breeders’ Cup and Eclipse champion, will seek a historic win this Saturday in the $1,000,000 Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.

Throughout the history of the Pacific Classic, which was first run in 1991, no filly or mare has succeeded in winning the ten-furlong race, which is a major summer target for the best older male racehorses in California. A victory by Beholder would catapult her already-stellar career to a whole different level, and potentially set her up for a run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) against males on October 31st at Keeneland.

Trained by Richard Mandella, the five-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes has drawn post position nine in a field of ten. Regular rider Gary Stevens has the mount. She will face an exceptional field that includes 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Bayern, 2014 Clark Handicap (gr. I) winner Hoppertunity, 2015 Gold Cup at Santa Anita (gr. I) winner Hard Aces, 2014 Charles Town Classic (gr. II) winner Imperative, and 2015 San Diego Handicap (gr. III) winner Catch a Flight.

But despite the strong credentials of those runners, one of Beholder’s stiffest challenges may come from the listed stakes winner Red Vine, most recently runner-up in the Salvator Mile (gr. III) at Monmouth Park. According to the Del Mar Stable Notes for August 19th, his connections pleased with how Red Vine has traveled for the race:

“It was a long journey but everything went fine,” said Lee Vickers, an assistant to trainer Christophe Clement who escorted the 5-year-old son of Candy Ride on a return to Del Mar after two years of campaigning in the East and Midwest. Red Vine’s arrival on Tuesday night was two years to the day from his maiden-breaking win here in a one-mile turf event under Victor Espinoza. Joel Rosario will travel from Saratoga to ride on Saturday.

“This is a big step up, but it’s also a good opportunity for him and he deserves this shot,” Vickers said.

The complete entries for the Pacific Classic are as follows:

Pacific Classic (gr. I)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1 Class Leader, Mike Smith, John Sadler, 15-1
2 Bailoutbobby, James Graham, Doug O’Neill, 20-1
3 Bayern, Rafael Bejarano, Bob Baffert, 6-1
4 Hard Aces, Victor Espinoza, John Sadler, 5-1
5 Red Vine, Joel Rosario, Christophe Clement, 6-1
6 Imperative, Corey Nakatani, Richard Baltas, 12-1
7 Catch a Flight, Flavien Prat, Richard Mandella, 9-2
8 Hoppertunity, Martin Garcia, Bob Baffert, 5-1
9 Beholder, Gary Stevens, Richard Mandella, 5-2
10 Midnight Storm, Tyler Baze, Philip D’Amato, 20-1

Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin's quest to become North America's richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the blog Unlocking Winners.

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