Mandella Strikes Again with Beholder

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6:31 pm EDT

By Dick Downey

Richard Mandella, who won four Breeders' Cup races in 2003, won again with Beholder in the Juvenile Fillies, upsetting heavy favorite Executiveprivilege.

Mandella's record-setting feat was accomplished when there were only eight Breeders' Cup races.
Now there are 15 over a two-day span.

Beholder took the eight-filly field gate-to-wire to take the 1 1/16-mile race. Bob Baffert's Executiveprivilege came on late to take second while not threatening the winner. Dreaming of Julia and Kauai Katie, both trained by Todd Pletcher, were third and fourth.

Beholder, sent off as the 7-2 second choice, paid $9.80, $4.60 and $3.00.

Owned by Spendthrift Farm LLC, Beholder was bred in Kentucky by Clarkland Farm. He's a son of Henny Hughes and is out of Leslie's Lady, by Tricky Creek.

Garrett Gomez was aboard Beholder for the fifth time in five career starts. It was the filly's third win and second at Santa Anita. She took an allowance race at the track on Oct. 4 by 11 lengths.


Richard Mandella (trainer, Beholder, 1st) – “She ran her heart out. It was a big effort and being at her home track sure helps. I guess Santa Anita still has the magic.”

(Mandella won four Breeders’ Cup races at Santa Anita in 2003)

Garrett Gomez (jockey, Beholder, 1st) – “We figured to be on the lead unless someone did something, and she ran just to her style. She’s super fast, and she relaxed as much as I wanted her to. I tried to sneak away a little on the turn for home, and at first she did it, but then she acted like she hit a wall and I got a little nervous. But when the other filly (Executiveprivilege) came to her, she kicked on and gave me another gear. I guess she was just playing possum with me.”

Rafael Bejarano (jockey, Executiveprivilege, 2nd) – “She got a little tired at the three-eighths, but she ran all the way. When she changed leads in the stretch, she drifted out. She did that before (in the Del Mar Debutante). But she tried. She ran all the way. We just got beat.”

Todd Pletcher (trainer, Dreaming of Julia, 3rd) – “I thought she ran a little flat. She looked a little lost going to the first turn and she got shuffled back and pushed out around the turn. She put in a nice run down the backside to get into position, but just finished evenly from there.
John Velazquez (jockey, Dreaming of Julia, 3rd) – “She just wasn’t into it. She lost her focus right from the start. She would run for a little bit, then she’d stop. She’d run on the turn, then back out of it. She just didn’t run her race today.”

Todd Pletcher (trainer, Kauai Katie, 4th) – “We got the trip we were looking for and had good position, but she couldn’t stay with the leader. We’ll probably look at sprints in the future for her.”

An interview with:

    THE MODERATOR:  Live once again in the interview room this time with the Juvenile Fillies winner, Beholder.  On the left, trainer, Richard Mandella just registered his third victory at that time Santa Anita, and alongside him is B. Wayne Hughes of Spendthrift Farm.


 This is Wayne's third, and they won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile back in the 2003 year and also some may not recall, even though it's just a year ago, but he was the owner of Court Vision who won for Spendthrift Farms the winners of the Breeders' Cup mile at a big price.
    Gentlemen, congratulations on the big win.  Dick, there was a discussion about which Breeders' Cup race Beholder would participate in.  In fact, you steered her away from the chandelier thinking two turns might not be her game then.

    But you do opt for the two turns here and obviously it was the right decision.  What were the varying factors and what did she show you this time heading into the race?
    B. WAYNE HUGHES:  Never mind all that, my wife explained to me that we owed a lot of money and the 10% of the $500,000 wasn't going to cover it, so we had to go for the gold.

    Q.  Dick, there were any other factors that might have played a part as well?
    RICHARD MANDELLA:  Well, my principal thing was I thought he was charging 5%.  No, there wasn't any factors in my mind.  Richard made the decision with some advise with a lot of other people, but I wasn't one of them.  His wife might have been one of them.

    Q.  Wayne, she had a nice clear lead, she fended off the lead and got into a nice rhythm, were you confident that she would maintain her lead to the wire?
    RICHARD MANDELLA:  I was sitting in a place that I couldn't see the fractions, but I was fairly confident that she was going to keep on going because Richard said she would.

    Q.  Aside from the bill collector, what were the factors, Richard, that made you go into this race?
    RICHARD MANDELLA:  To be serious, when we came from Del Mar she had just won her third race in the debutante.  She is excitable, you would probably consider her a sprinter stretching out not a twoturn horse getting a prep race sprinting.
    Consequently, the race the last few days at Del Mar and shipping up to Santa Anita at that caught up with her and mentally she wouldn't turn off and relax going into the Chandelier Stake.  I called Wayne and voiced my concern and thought I would train her up to the sprint today.
    Immediately she settled down and I saw the allowance race there and I thought as bad as we need money we might as well work her for something and get paid and we did that.  Then it was easy to go for the big money.  She never got upset after the race and that was the concern.

    Q.  Mr. Mandella, her daddy was pretty fast, do you think she showed her pappy's speed today especially with those fractions?
    RICHARD MANDELLA:  We had a half brother named into mischief that studded Wayne's farm and won the holiday charity and acted like he could be a derby horse until I messed him up in the wintertime and had to wait.  It's obviously a good mare and it didn't hurt her any.

    Q.  Executiveprivilege was starting to get her run and was getting close how worried were you that Baffert's filly wouldn't run you down?
    RICHARD MANDELLA:  About 100 yards out I was concerned, but I saw her dig in and you could see the look in her eye that she wasn't going to give up.

    Q.  Any anxious moments on your part, Wayne?
    B. WAYNE HUGHES:  I saw Executiveprivilege making a move, Bob is always a tough competitor, but he wasn't running, and so we got it done.

    Q.  Do you think this win  obviously the Juvenile Fillies win gives you a big leg up to a yearend championship.  Do you think this put her over the top beating a previously undefeated filly in Executiveprivilege?
    RICHARD MANDELLA:  I don't know about that.  I know that her numbers as a two year old are  I don't know if anyone has ever done what she did with a 2, so I frankly from  as a prejudice point of view consider her the best 2 year old filly in the country and may be in the world.

    Q.  Richard, as has already been stated, Henny Hughes on top, Tricky Creek down below, as a trainer how do you envision next year unfolding.  Obviously she is fast.  She has shown she can go two turns.  What goes into a trainer's mind as you begin the 3 year old campaign with a horse like this?
    RICHARD MANDELLA:  We will run her in the sprint next year, it's a million and a half.  Just kidding.
    I'm just going to enjoy this and we'll worry about next year later.  She has come a long ways from her maiden win, getting beat out of his maiden race to Executiveprivilege by a whisker at Del Mar, and to improve and come this much further and go a mile 16th, you have to realize she hadn't been two turns.  So you have to give her credit, I believe.

    Q.  Everybody says, "I'll let the horse tell me," but the kind of filly maybe more so than most where that applies?
    RICHARD MANDELLA:  The horses always have to tell you.  You don't always want to listen, but they're trying to tell us.
    THE MODERATOR:  Richard Mandella, Wayne Hughes, congratulations on the win.  

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An interview with:
    THE MODERATOR:  We have with us Garrett Gomez who rode Beholder in a wiretowire fashion.  Garrett, congratulations on your win and as far as the fractions that you laid down, you fought off to some degree Kauai Katie and then you got your filly into a nice rhythm.  How confident were you that you had sufficient gas left in the tank?
    GARRETT GOMEZ:  Richard did a tremendous job with her, teaching her how to relax and be a little more patient.  Today when I left the gate I didn't ask her to leave there too much because I know she is typically quick and I thought they would have trouble clearing me because she is so fast away from the gate and the idea was to get her to settle as much as possible and not get her stirred up and not to get too aggressive.
    When we got right to the point of the turn, Kauai Katie came outside and I dropped my hands and she quickened and got a length back in front of her and I kept trying to discourage the other filly by moving out a little bit and when we headed up the backside I put her on a long hold and she hit a nice stride to herself and she traveled beautifully for me.  Just the way I could have dreamed it up.
    When I got to the turn she stayed up in the bridle for me and was traveling wonderful and about the quarter pole I moved to see if she could sneak away and I could get away from them and as she started turning for home she hit the idle button for me and it popped into my head, oh no, because the more I asked her the shorter her stride got and I was getting worried and all of the sudden the horses caught up to her and when the fillies from behind started catching her, she started coming back up underneath me.
    And about the 16th pole it was like she had revived herself and she had this true grit about wanting to win and she got right back on her feet and finished up nice for me.

    Q.  Is that phenomenon that you just described, the more you asked, the less she gave, is that rare?
    GARRETT GOMEZ:  It's typical with fillies sometimes.  They take a different kind of handling sometimes than a male horse and she is a typical filly that is temperature mental about things and you have to do it her way.
    When I turned for home I just automatically told her "let's go" and when I started to tell her that, she started getting a little attitude with me and I didn't have time to start trying different things to try to get her back up on her feet.
    I gave her a couple of spanks lefthanded and by the time I got into her a couple of times and told her "let's go," her stride kept shortening.  But then all of the sudden the horses from behind started to catch up and it revived her and she quit paying attention to me and was paying to them and when she was paying attention to them her true grit of wanting to win the race, her competitiveness got back up into her bloodstream and played off.

    Q.  Were you aware That Executiveprivilege was coming?
    GARRETT GOMEZ:  I could hear Trevor, usually I can't hear Trevor, but being in front like it was, I kind of like focused on her and I was getting into her lefthanded and I buried my head and tried to pick her up and communicate with her.  I just prayed for her to stay up in the bridle and get me home.
    I just squeezed every last ounce I could get out of her and all of the sudden the other filly couldn't get to her.  But I felt her about the 16th pole, too, I felt her come back up underneath me and when she did so it was a big sigh of relief because when I felt that I said, "They can't get her now."

    Q.  Garrett, when you won the 11th race at Santa Anita in early October you hit the front and took off.  Is that a strategic that you open up and put a gap between yourself and Executiveprivilege, and made her come and catch you?  Was that your thinking going into the gate?
    GARRETT GOMEZ:  The best thing I figured out was just to try to get her to relax as much as possible and by doing so the other day even though she went 44 flat she was loose out in front and traveling really well and traveled well within herself and I was just trying to put her in a similar situation today.
    My main concern was the two turns and the mile and the 16th, and I thought if I could get away with fractions like galloping to the morning pole, I could start acting like we were going 6 if you are longs up the backside and try to stretch the field out and get them chasing me and she did a number 1 pole, which was a key to her winning the race because she was off the bridle and galloped along and all the gratitude goes to Richard Mandella because he got her to settle for me and she did what she was supposed to do out there not just go fast.

    Q.  Did you have any input into the decision on running Beholder in the Juvenile Fillies, and if not, were you surprised, pleased by the decision to run her there, which proved to be the right decision?
    GARRETT GOMEZ:  When I pulled her up, that's the first thing I said, "I'm glad they decided to run her here."  I think she would have been competitive no matter where they ran her, I think behind the key was the other race  it wasn't a great race yet and she is great in one place already and now she is a winner and one race was $500,000 and one race was $2 million and young enough in her career where she ran a great 7/8 mile race and she didn't relax that day.
    I talked to Richard and I didn't want to be the one deciding  I didn't want to put too much emphasis on where she ran because like I said she was questionable about the two turns, but going 6 foot longs, I didn't think she were going to let her gallop along in the lead, so it didn't matter which way he went with her, I thought if he ran her long she would get loose and hopefully hang on, worked out great for us.
    THE MODERATOR:  Worked out great and resulted in Breeders' Cup 13 for you, Garrett, congratulations, great ride on Beholder.

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