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Beholder, Songbird Work at Santa Anita for Distaff

by Ed Golden, Santa Anita Park

Songbird Works

Champion Songbird works for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (GI) at Santa Anita on October 20, 2016
Photo: Jim Safford

Beholder and Songbird, two-thirds of the Fearsome Threesome scheduled to square off in the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff for fillies and mares, three and up at 1 1/8 miles on Nov. 4, worked about an hour apart on a picturesque Thursday morning at Santa Anita, undefeated champion Songbird going six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.80, breezing, and three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder five furlongs in 59.20.

After the 6:30 renovation break, exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez was aboard the three-year-old Songbird, champion two-year-old filly of 2015, while regular rider Gary Stevens was up on the six-year-old Beholder, a three-time Eclipse Award winner, at 7:50 a.m.

“It was a very nice work, smooth and easy with a good gallop out,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said of the undefeated Songbird, seeking her 12th straight overall triumph in the Distaff.

“I’m not sure if she’ll have one more breeze before the race. She might have two. She’s done very well so far, and so have all the horses going in the Distaff. It’s supposed to be a competitive race and it likely will be.”

Beholder worked in company with Salten Sapity, who was timed in 1:00.20.

“Twenty-three, thirty-four and change, forty-six and one and 59, that’s what I got,” trainer Richard Mandella said, rattling off the fractional times after the work. “He eased her up a little bit once she got clear. She couldn’t look better, period.

“She’ll have one more breeze before the race. This was kind of the serious one.”

Stellar Wind, the third champion pointing to the Distaff and conqueror of Beholder in their last two meetings, is scheduled to work Friday at 6:30 for John Sadler.