Beholder ‘breathtaking’ as she captures Grade I, $1 million TVG Pacific Classic

Beholder delivered a golden performance in the silver anniversary edition of the Grade I, $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on Saturday, Aug 22, at Del Mar.

The 5-year-old mare, ridden by Gary Stevens, swept by the leaders on the final turn and powered home 8 1/4 lengths over her male rivals, becoming the first female to win the seaside oval’s signature race.

Her stablemate, Catch a Flight, finished second, with Eastern shipper Red Vine a length back in third.

The winning time for the 1 1/4-mile race over the dirt was 1:59.77.

“I’ve never felt emotion over a race quite like this,” said Beholder’s trainer, Richard Mandella. “When she made that move (on the final turn), it just took my breath away. I’m flabbergasted. I expected her to run well or I wouldn’t have put her in this race. But I didn’t think she’d beat those colts up like that. You know how some people get emotional when they get old. I think I’m in that mode. I’m just starting to turn.”

Beholder, a two-time Eclipse Award champion, is owned by B. Wayne Hughes and Spendthrift Farm.

On Saturday’s undercard, Appealing Tale won the Grade II, $250,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes, and Big John B was victorious in the Grade II, $250,000 Del Mar Handicap.

Other stakes winners during the past week included Avanzare (Grade II, $200,000 Del Mar Mile), Holy Lute ($87,080 Green Flash Handicap) and Honey Lake ($85,500 CTT and TOC Handicap).