El Kabeir in the G2 San Antonio and Mor Spirit in the Grade 3 $ Robert B. Lewis.
Gary and Baffert on Mor Spirit 02/01/2016
“They start separating themselves now,” said Baffert of the 3-year-olds with designs on the classics. “I think with every start, we're learning more about Mor Spirit and figuring out what he wants to do. He has a lot of tactical speed but you can't let him use it too early.
“We're teaching him to sit and wait. He's a big horse and beautifully made. He's got a really long stride. He'll be best going a mile and an eighth and further.”
Gary Stevens, who has ridden Mor Spirit in three of his four starts including the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity which resulted in a 1 ½-length victory on Dec. 19, is aligned with Baffert.
“He's doing really well,” Stevens said of Mor Spirit, a son of Eskendereya owned by Michael Lund Petersen. “He's training forwardly since the Futurity and I'm looking forward to his first start since December, so we're excited.
Trainer Simon Callaghan’s Taris, a facile winner of the Grade III, one mile Go For Wand Handicap Nov. 27 at Aqueduct, returns to her home base at Santa Anita Saturday and could pose an elusive target on the lead with Gary Stevens engaged to ride. Off at odds of 4-5 in New York, the 5-year-old mare by Flatter pressed the early pace and took command around the far turn under Joel Rosario.
Ridden by Stevens to an impressive win four starts back in the Grade III, 6 ½ furlong Rancho Bernardo Handicap Aug. 16 at Del Mar, Taris could get early pressure from Tara’s Tango or supplemental entrant, Illuminant, who has raced primarily on turf.
BEHOLDER TO RETURN TO MANDELLA IN JANUARY 12/31/2015
Still turned out and getting some much-deserved rest at Peacefield Farm in Temecula, Calif., Spendthrift Farm's Beholder is expected to return to the barn of Richard Mandella soon, the trainer said Dec. 30 at Santa Anita Park.
“She just cruised around there,” Stevens reported. “ We wanted to pick it up at the five sixteenths. Richard had told me to wait until the quarter pole so I let her extend at the quarter pole and then at the three sixteenths, she wanted to hit the afterburners, but Richard didn’t want anything fancy with her. That’s as serious as she’ll get before the Breeders’ Cup, that’s all she needed. She’ll have one more tuneup at Keeneland and that’ll be it…If I’m there and he needs me then I’ll be there, but there’s a chance he won’t if he thinks she’ll do too much with me on her back.”
On another picturesque morning at Santa Anita, two-time Eclipse Award Champion mare Beholder registered a strong gallop.
Trained by Richard Mandella and owned by B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, Beholder, fresh off a smashing win versus males in the Grade I Pacific Classic Aug. 22, came on Santa Anita’s main track via the quarter mile chute at 5:50 a.m. and galloped a strong two miles as she prepares for what her connections hope will be a third consecutive win in the Grade I, $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita Sept. 26.
The 5-year-old Henny Hughes mare will work five furlongs on Friday morning with regular rider Gary Stevens up.
“Richard will let me know in the morning, but he’ll probably want me to go in about a minute,” said Stevens. “And we’ll probably go ahead and gallop out seven eighths.”
BC CLASSIC, NO AUCTION FOR BEHOLDER 09/16/2015
Champion Beholder will target the Oct. 31 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), Spendthrift general manager Ned Toffey confirmed, and the mare's connections have also decided not to offer her at auction immediately after the World Championships. Spendthrift owner B. Wayne Hughes hopes Beholder can race next year as a 6-year-old, and he likely will likely keep her after she retires.
Beholder, who last time out trounced males in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I), will point to the Sept. 26 Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park and then face males for a second time at Keeneland.
"I think it made a really big impression on Mr. Hughes," Toffey said. "We all have talked about how fortunate we are to have her, and Mr. Hughes is 82 years old. He knows these kind don't come around very often, and he decided he'd just like to enjoy her. I think with the Pacific Classic, she maybe reached a whole other level."
Courtesy of the Los Angeles Daily News
By Art Wilson,
BEHOLDER WOULD MAKE 'CLASSIC' HISTORY 08/20/2015
Courtesy of the Blood-Horse
By Jeremy Balan
With Beholder's track record and talent, it's no wonder she'll be the main attraction Aug. 22 at Del Mar when she runs against the boys for the first time in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I)—but it's not unprecedented. Since the Classic's inception in 1991, four fillies or mares have run in the 1 1/4-mile race, with three being relative outsiders. But Beholder's try this year (she's the morning-line favorite at 5-2) is reminiscent of the second Pacific Classic, in which Paseana went off at 8-5. The then 5-year old Paseana, trained by Ron McAnally, is the only filly or mare ever favored in the Classic. She came into the Del Mar feature on a seven-race win streak (Beholder, also 5, has four in a row) with six career grade I wins (Beholder boasts seven). She pressed the pace and tired in the Classic, however, and wound up fifth. Paseana went on to win the Eclipse Award as champion older female in 1992 and 1993, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001 but never raced against males again
BEHOLDER INSTALLED AS 5-2 MORNING LINE FAVORITE FOR TVG PACIFIC CLASSIC 08/20/2015
Two-time Eclipse Award champion Beholder is the 5-2 morning line favorite to become the first female thoroughbred to win Del Mar’s signature race of the summer season, the Grade I $1 million TVG Pacific Classic, Saturday.
The brilliant daughter of Henny Hughes, owned by the Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes and trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, will have another Hall of Fame member, Gary Stevens, in the saddle as she attempts to further enhance an already dazzling resume. A winner of 13 of 18 starts, the mare has won eight of her last nine starts, including the recent Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, the tenth added money triumph of her career.
Gary on the Triple Crown and American Pharoah 06/08/2015
''He ran a hell of a race. That's a hell of a horse. The race was over in the third jump from the gate, it was over. It's great to come back to a screaming crowd in a happy way instead of booing. It's a pretty cool moment.'' - Gary Stevens, jockey of Tale of Verve, who finished seventh.
Gary on Ashelyluvssugar going for the G2 Charles Wittingham S. 05/22/2015
Red hot Ashelyluvssugar heads a field of five 3-year-olds and up inSunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes, as the 4-year-old California-bred gelding by Game Plan bids for his second consecutive graded stakes win and his third overall win in a row.
Trained by Peter Eurton and owned by his breeders, Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing, LLC, Ashelyluvssugar rallied from far off the pace under Gary Stevens to take the Grade II, 1 ½ miles turf San Luis Rey Stakes on March 21 and will hope to have a legitimate pace to run at in the Whittingham.
Firing Line and Gary to break from post 10 04/29/2015
Gary and Firing Line will break from the center of the gate in post position 10. He will have Bolo to his inside and Stanford to his outside. Firing Line has been given morning-line odds of 12-1 and along with Carpe Diem is the third choice.
As Firing Line was readied for his jog, his Derby rider – Hall of Famer Gary Stevens – stopped by the barn to check on the bay. Stevens was asked just how much he liked Firing Line. “I like him quite a bit,” the 52-year-old jockey said with a smile.
Private clocker Gary Young's comment on Firing Line 04/27/2015
Firing Line looked well composed in his first visit to Churchill. A good effort from him is expected from this observer.
Firing Line steps on out the track at Churchill Downs 04/26/2015
Arnold Zetcher's Firing Line, easy winner of the Sunland Derby (gr. III), also jogged at Churchill April 27 after arriving on the same flight as Dortmund. Firing Line, by Line of David , passed Dortmund in the Feb. 7 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II), but the big colt surged back to beat him by a head.