There are no statues depicting Richard Mandella’s likeness on the Santa Anita Park grounds.
But whenever the Breeders’ Cup World Championships roll into the Arcadia track, it often serves as a reminder of just who’s house everyone is stepping into.
After falling a nose short of Executiveprivilege in the Del Mar Debutante two months ago, Mandella-trainee Beholder turned the tables on her previously unbeaten rival and gave her Hall of Fame conditioner his seventh career Breeders’ Cup win with a gate-to-wire, one length victory in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies.
All of Mandella’s seven Breeders’ Cup wins have come when the event was held at Santa Anita, including his remarkable four win-day in 2003.
Spendthrift Farm’s Beholder was pre-entered with first preference in the Juvenile Sprint but the decision to stretch her out now puts her in the discussion for a year-end championship. The daughter of Henny Hughes turned back early pressure from Kauai Katie while cutting fractions of :22.62 and :46.47 and jockey Garrett Gomez found he had plenty of horse left in the lane.
“She ran her heart out,” Mandella said. “It was a big effort and being at her home track sure helps. I guess Santa Anita still has the magic.”
Favored Executiveprivilege, unbeaten in five starts coming in, made her run but drifting out badly in the stretch, ultimately falling one length short.