Edited press release from Santa Anita

A three-time Eclipse Award winner, the great Beholder, idle since winning Santa Anita’s Zenyatta S. (G1) on September 26, towers over five rivals as she makes her 6-year-old debut in Sunday’s $100,000 Adoration S. (G3) at 1 1/16 miles.

Following the Zenyatta, Beholder was shipped to Kentucky to face Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and other top males in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), but the highly anticipated showdown never materialized, as Beholder spiked a fever and was forced to the sidelines.

Owned by B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm and trained by Richard Mandella, Beholder is an amazing 11 for 12 at Santa Anita and she has a long series of steady drills for her return to action on Sunday.

“She’s had her serious works,” said Mandella following a three furlong blowout on Wednesday morning in :37.60. “We’re excited to have her back.”

A winner of her last six starts, dating back to the 2014 Zenyatta, the Kentucky-bred mare by Henny Hughes will be ridden for the sixth consecutive time by Gary Stevens, who has won nine out of the 10 times he’s been aboard the legendary mare. With an overall mark of 20-15-3-0, Beholder has earnings of $4,436,600.

Trainer Phil D’Amato’s California-bred Sheer Pleasure could be the second choice in the race as she comes off a solid half length win here versus state-breds in the Dream of Summer S. on March 27. A three-time stakes winner, the 4-year-old Birdonthewire filly seeks her first graded win or placing in the Adoration.

Owned by Little Red Feather Racing and RM Racing, Sheer Pleasure is 11-4-2-0 with earnings of $383,030. She’ll be ridden back by Martin Garcia.

Photo courtesy of Benoit.