IT’S A WORKMANLIKE WORK FOR CHAMPION BEHOLDER
Champion mare Beholder went through a solid workout Sunday morning covering seven furlongs in company in 1:27 under gray skies with the Hall of Fame combination of jockey Gary Stevens and trainer Richard Mandella doing their respective duties.
Del Mar clockers gave Beholder splits of :25 3/5, :51 1/5, 1:03 and 1:14 4/5 en route to her final time. She worked with the 3-year-old maiden Saltini from the Mandella barn at about 7:50 a.m. on an empty racetrack.
Del Mar racing officials had cleared the track between 7:45 and 8 a.m. for Beholder and other likely runners for the Grade II $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, just as they had the day before for California Chrome and other candidates for next Saturday’s Grade II $200,000 San Diego Handicap.
“She’s ready to run, so we weren’t trying to invent anything. Just get some good wind in her and we did that,” trainer Richard Mandella said. “I think she’s as good as she can be and everything wen exactly right this morning.
”She went a good seven-eighths. I got her in eleven and two-fifths the last eighth. We went a slow first three quarters then picked it up.”
As is their custom, Mandella and Stevens convened minutes before Stevens was given a leg up with Mandella providing specific instructions. “We want to make sure we’re both on the same page,” Stevens said. Post-race, Mandella said Stevens rode the work exactly to those instructions.
Stevens, who has ridden the daughter of Henny Hughes 12 times and come away a winner in 11 of them, started Beholder out about four lengths behind her workmate approaching the six furlong marker, then cruised behind her through the far turn.
Saltini shifted out and off the rail inside the quarter pole and Stevens and Beholder took the inside route to draw even at the eighth pole. With just minimal encouragement from her rider, Beholder steadily pulled away through the lane and was several lengths ahead as she crossed the wire. The 6-year-old continued her drill on through to the seven furlong marker, while her workmate was finished at the wire. Saltini was given a final time of 1:15 4/5.
John Sadler-trained Stellar Wind, the 2015 Eclipse award winner in the 3-year-old filly category and runner-up to Beholder in the Grade I Vanity on June 4 at Santa Anita, also worked Sunday morning, going seven furlongs in 1:25.40 with regular rider Victor Espinoza up.
“She went the first three quarters in 1:11.40 and galloped out to a mile in 1:38.98,” Sadler said. “A very nice work, we’re very pleased. She’s doing beautifully, and this will be the second race off a comeback (where improvement is often shown). We’re not making any predictions because we know we’re running against a great champion in Beholder.
“But we’re very happy with our own horse.”
NYQUIST, SONGBIRD PUT IN WORKS FOR UPCOMING MAJOR RACES
Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist and undefeated 3-year-old filly Songbird both were put through workouts Sunday morning preparatory to shipping out, in their own due time, to fulfill as the marquee attractions for races at Monmouth Park in New Jersey and Saratoga in New York.
Nyquist is scheduled to make his first start since finishing third in the Preakness in the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 31. Songbird is being aimed for the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 24.
Nyquist will have one more work here next weekend. Songbird will be New York-bound sometime this week, possibly Tuesday.
Nyquist went five furlongs in 1:02 under exercise rider Jonny Garcia, the last half-mile in :48.60 in company with stablemate Snappy Jack.
“We’re very happy,” trainer Doug O’Neill said. “He basically two-minute licked, galloped out good and looks well.”
Songbird worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:11.40 under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. Del Mar clockers had interim splits of :23.20, :45.40, and :59.0 with a seven-furlong gallop-out in 1:25.00 and mile in 1:39.00.
DORTMUND DRILLS FOR DATE WITH CALIFORNIA CHROME
Kaleem Shah’s Dortmund, preparing for his first race since winning the Native Diver Handicap at Del Mar last November 28, turned in his final major workout for Saturday’s Grade II $200,000 San Diego Handicap, covering six furlongs in 1:12.00,
The 4-year-old son of Big Brown had a workmate in 4-year-old allowance horse Fusaichi Samurai, also owned by Shah and trained by Bob Baffert, and the pair went through their work on an empty track at 10:30 a.m. following the normal conclusion of training hours.
Del Mar’s clockers timed Dortmund, with Stewart Elliott up, in :24.20, :47.60 and :59.00 prior to his final time. They had him galloping out seven furlongs in 1:25.60. Fusaichi Samurai was given a five-furlong clocking of :59.80.
Beginning at the five-eighths pole several lengths behind Fusaichi Samurai, Dortmund and Elliott came up on the outside and drew even at the head of the stretch. The stablemates went evenly until Dortmund pulled clear 50 yards before the wire.
Gary Stevens has the mount on Dortmund for the San Diego.
CLOSERS – Selected works from 239 on the main track and 27 on turf Sunday morning: Dirt — Handsome Hank (5f, 1:05.40), Nyquist (5f, 1:02.00), Dortmund (6f, 1:12.00), Papacoolpapacool (6f, 1:12.60), Quick Casablanca (6f, 1:13.60), Songbird (6f, 1:11.40), Beholder (7f, 1:27.00) and Stellar Wind (7f, 1:25.20); Turf – Calculator (4f, :51.60), Havanna Belle (4f, :50.40), Soi Phet (4f, :51.80), Toews on Ice (4f, :52.00), Elektrum (5f, 1:03.60), Fanticola (5f, 1:02.80) … A field of six was entered for Wednesday’s featured $75,000 C.E.R.F Stakes. From the rail out: Enchanting Lady (Rafael Bejarano), Pretty N Cool (Mike Smith), Everqueen (Mario Gutierrez), Dr. Fager’s Gal (Martin Garcia), Lucky Folie (Flavien Prat) and Shh She’s Ours (Victor Espinoza) … Nationally syndicated sports talk show host and horse owner Jim Rome, his wife Janet and family are expected among the Turf Club guests for Sunday’s program. On Friday, August 26, the former El Cajon Stakes will be run for the first time as the renamed Shared Belief in honor of 2014 TVG Pacific Classic winner Shared Belief, of whom Rome was a part owner … Listeners to radio station Jazz 88.3’s “Inside Art” program hosted by Dave Drexler starting at 7 tonight will hear a rebroadcast of a 2016 interview with track announcer Trevor Denman. The show can also be streamed live on jazz88.org and via phone applications … Apprentice jockey Chad Lindsay edged “all others” by one (and the only) vote for the fictitious “Mr. Congeniality” award for the Jockey Photo Days event before Saturday’s races. Lindsay, in his first turn at the event, impressed organizers with his enthusiasm for, interest in and interaction with the many fans.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club