Gary Stevens and Beholder win Grade I, $300K Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar

Beholder, with Gary Stevens aboard, outdistanced the field by seven lengths in the Grade I, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes on Saturday. Photo by Kelley Carlson

With Triple Crown hero American Pharoah absent from Del Mar last weekend, another champion took center stage. Two-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder, piloted by Gary Stevens, made a shambles of the field in the Grade I, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes on Saturday. It was seven lengths back to Yahilwa, followed by Warren’s Veneda. Beholder, a 5-year-old mare, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.81 on the main track.

Trainer Richard Mandella said Beholder may next run against the boys in the Grade I, $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 22, Del Mar’s signature race.

“It has been in the back of my mind a while,” he said. “The timing is good. We’re far enough away from the Breeders’ Cup to do it. The question will be that it’s three weeks (to the race) and will she look good enough to do that. It’ll be up to her and (owner) Mr. (B. Wayne) Hughes, obviously. I’ll have to get his approval.”

Among other stakes winners this past week were Gimme Da Lute in the $200,000 Real Good Deal Stakes, and Obey in the $100,000 C.T.B.A. Stakes.

Also, trainer Doug O’Neill set an all-time Del Mar record for most wins in a day by a thoroughbred conditioner on July 29 when he saddled five winners during the eight-race program.