Where will superstar mare Beholder begin her 2016 racing campaign? The primary target of her team is the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap held at Santa Anita on June 4. Her connections want her to take a ‘tune up’ race before that and they may try her on turf for the first time in her career. The two races under consideration for her 2016 debut are both scheduled at Santa Anita–the Grade 2 200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes on the turf course on May 6 and the Grade 3 $100,000 Adoration Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
Beholder finished second in the 2013 Kentucky Oaks, one of only *5* races in her career that she didn’t win. In twenty career starts Beholder has finished out of the money twice, the last time coming in 1974. She’s been the winner in fifteen of her twenty career starts. She’s finished ‘in the money’ in 18 of 20 starts, finishing second three times. And it’s not like she’s coming up big in second rate races–14 of her career starts have come in graded stakes races, twelve in Grade 1 events. She enters 2016 on a six race winning streak–5 stakes races, three Grade 1 events.
Oddly enough, she’s almost completely unknown among the general public and casual race fans. Her performance suggests that she should be among the top names in the sport along with California Chrome and American Pharoah. Yet this three time Eclipse Award winner remains all but anonymous outside of horse racing circles. There, however, she gets a ton of respect. For example, when Wynn Las Vegas opened their Breeders’ Cup Classic Futures she was the favorite. At 5/1 she was the top choice among a ‘who’s who’ of great race horses including the biggest ‘rock star’ in racing, California Chrome. She’s now the second choice in the BC Classic as Chrome’s odds have dropped to 9/2 following his win in the Dubai World Cup. She’s also priced at 12/1 in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The only reason she’s not available at shorter odds is the probability that her connections will try her in the BC Classic.
So keep an eye out for this low profile future Hall of Famer. There’s every reason to think she’ll have another great year in 2016.