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Pacific Classic Win Earns Beholder a Breeders’ Cup Classic Spot

Pacific Classic Win Earns Beholder a Breeders’ Cup Classic Spot: For 25 years, the Pacific Classic has been a top race for older horses. There have only been three horses to collect back-to-back Pacific Classic wins: Tinner’s Way (1994-1995), Skimming (2000-2001), and Richard’s Kid (2009-2010). In its rich history, no filly or mare has ever won the Pacific Classic – until 2015. Beholder, a five-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes, took the Pacific Classic by storm in an absolute walkover against some of the best older males in California. In the process, Beholder managed to defeat 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern, who has not finished in an exacta this year.

Beholder Horse

Spendthrift Farms’ Beholder became the first female to win the Grade I $1,000,000 Pacific Class after she and jockey Gary Stevens dusted the boys for an easy victory on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar, CA.
Photo: Benoit

Beholder, with her win, has reserved herself a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic gate if trainer Richard Mandella decides to send Beholder down that path. As of right now, Beholder has a choice of which Breeders’ Cup race in which she will run. If she were to run in the distaff, the Eclipse for Older Female is as good as hers, whereas if she were to go to the Classic, she has a shot at losing a championship. However, what if she were to be the one to dethrone American Pharoah?

Beholder has raced 19 times in her career with 14 of those ending in winning performances. She has three more second-place finishes, meaning she has only been off the board in two lifetime starts. That is an impeccable statistic in horse racing. Beholder also has eight Grade I wins on her record. In addition, the daughter of Henny Hughes answered a big distance question when romping in the Grade I Pacific Classic.

Henny Hughes entered stud in 2007 and stood at Darley for a fee of $40,000 as he was a top sprinter for owner Sheikh Mohammed. In 2006, Henny Hughes remained an undefeated sprinter until a disastrous Breeders’ Cup Sprint where he finished last. That defeat would be his final race. However, in that year, he became the first and only horse to complete the King’s Bishop/Vosburgh double. As a son of top stallion Hennessy, Henny Hughes was a positive addition to the racing and breeding world. However, Henny Hughes was sold to Australia in 2012 and then to Japan in 2013, where he currently resides. His top offspring in the United States include Beholder, Chitu, and Academic.

Beholder is out of a Tricky Creek mare, Leslie’s Lady. Leslie’s Lady won a listed stakes during her time at the track and has since gone on to become a successful broodmare. Not only has Leslie’s Lady produced Beholder but she also produced the Harlan’s Holiday stallion Into Mischief who is currently standing stud at Spendthrift alongside his two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winning son, Goldencents. The mare also has an unnamed two-year-old filly by Curlin that was auctioned off at the 2014 September Yearling Sale at Keeneland. The filly was bought by Bridlewood Farm for $1.1 million.

Beholder’s broodmare sire Tricky Creek was a multiple graded stakes-winning son of Clever Trick. The stallion was able to win races such as the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, the Colin Stakes, and the Discovery Handicap. While he was not a highly successful or desirable stallion, he did sire some winners.

Beholder may not have the most fashion-forward pedigree, but she has a pedigree that has given her the talent to carry her to 14 wins in her career. She has talent that we often do not get to see in the racing world. Beholder loves to run and does it all so effortlessly. Now that she has proven herself against the best in the west, amongst both sexes, she now must travel east to face the best of the country and world in either the Breeders’ Cup Distaff or the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Winning the Distaff would ensure that she wins another Eclipse Award, but more questions await her in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. While Richard Mandella wants to face American Pharoah on the Santa Anita track, Beholder’s home track, it won’t be happening as American Pharoah will be awaiting the mare in Lexington come October.

The Breeders’ Cup is a two-day event that has taken place every year since 1984. This year, the festivities will be held at the historic Lexington track, Keeneland Race Course. The Pacific Classic, among other qualifying races, serves as a “Win and You’re In” ticket to whomever crosses the finish line first. The Breeders’ Cup is scheduled for October 30 and 31. The Breeders’ Cup also plays a large part in the year-end honors and awards, The Eclipse Awards.

Beholder Pacific Classic 2015 Replay: