Beholder Loss Leaves Mandella With a Classic Decision

Stellar Wind and Beholder Clement L. Hirsch Stakes - Credit: Chris Aplin
Chris Aplin

Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella was calm and, to borrow a Del Mar marketing phrase, “cool as ever” Sunday morning, about 12 hours after Beholder’s hard-fought loss to Stellar Wind in the Grade I $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes.

“She came out of it good but tired,” Mandella said. “We knew (Stellar Wind) was a good filly but we didn’t expect that big of a race. We’re proud of (Beholder) that she ran so well.”

A Clement L. Hirsch win in 2015 proved to be a stepping stone to victory in the Grade I $1 million TVG Pacific Classic for Beholder. Mandella’s aim was for a repeat of that schedule and results this summer.  But things are not so clear after the 1:41.24 seconds it took for Stellar Wind to end Beholder’s eight-race winning streak and hand the 6-year-old Henny Hughes mare only her second loss in her last 14 starts.

“It’s going to make me think about the Classic,” Mandella said. “The reason I said last year we were going to run in the Classic was because everything went perfectly. It didn’t go perfectly this year. I’m not saying no, but now it’s something I’m going to have to think about and see how she is.”

Beholder will now get three or four days of rest. Mandella said he might make the decision on her next start late next week.

Owner B. Wayne Hughes of Spendthrift Farm was in from Lexington, Ky. for the race.

“I think he likes winning better,” Mandella said. “But he was great, very good about it. He’s run enough horses to know that the only way to be sure not to get them beat is to keep them in the stall.  That’s why we have to go run them.  It was pretty obvious how great the other ran, and you can’t take that away from her.”

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

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