Beholder first female thoroughbred to win $1 million TVG Pacific - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Beholder first female thoroughbred to win $1 million TVG Pacific Classic

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DEL MAR (CNS) - Morning line favorite Beholder becomes the first female thoroughbred to win the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic, Del Mar's richest and most prestigious race, Saturday.

Oddsmaker Russ Hudak made the 5-year-old mare the 5-2 morning line favorite after she drew post position No. 9 in the field of 10 on Wednesday.

Catch a Flight, who like Beholder is trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, is the second choice in the 1 1/4-mile race on dirt for 3-year-olds and up.

The field also includes Hard Aces, the winner of the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita Park on June 27, and Bayern, winless in three starts since winning the 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic.

Hard Aces is the co-third choice at 5-1 with Hoppertunity, while Bayern is the co-fifth choice at 6-1 with Red Vine.

Mandella decided to enter Beholder in the Pacific Classic following her seven-length victory in Del Mar's Grade I $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes on Aug. 1.

"I think when you come to a point when you're winning in your own class so much, you probably ought to try something different," Mandella said. "That's what I'm doing.

"I don't do it often, but I don't often get one as good as Beholder. I think she deserves a chance to step up.

"It has been pretty easy for her for a year and she's not over-raced, so I think there's nothing wrong in trying and I'm pretty confident in her. She's pretty good."

Beholder has 13 wins in 18 career starts and has won eight of her last nine races. She won Eclipse Awards as the top 2-year-old filly of 2012 and top 3-year-old filly of 2013.

The Pacific Classic will be the first time Beholder has run against males. The 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic is one-eighth of a mile farther than Beholder has run before.

"She's a sweetheart in the stall, but when she steps on the track, she becomes a man," said Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, who will be riding Beholder for her 10th consecutive race.

"I go along for the ride. She puts me where I want to be and when I push the button, she responds."

Beholder will become the fifth female to race in the 25-year history of the Pacific Classic. Paseana was the first, finishing fifth in 1992, still the best result for a female runner. Beholder will carry 119 pounds, five pounds less than each of the other entrants.

The Pacific Classic will be the ninth race on an 11-race card with an approximate post time of 6:10 p.m. The race will be televised by TVG.

The winner will be guaranteed free entry into the nation's richest race, the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, which will be run Oct. 31 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky on Oct. 31.

Mandella has been pointing Beholder to the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff, which will be run Oct. 30 at Keeneland Race Course. Beholder won free entry into the Breeders' Cup Distaff with her victory in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes.

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