Garrett Gomez is looking forward to Monday’s Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita and being reunited with Beholder.
Gomez has ridden the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner, who is expected to be named champion of her division for 2012 at Saturday’s Eclipse Awards dinner in Florida, in all five of her races, in addition to her two most recent workouts. He will be back aboard the daughter of Henny Hughes in Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday feature at Santa Anita.
“Her confidence has improved since her first race,” Gomez said, referring to a maiden allowance test at Betfair Hollywood Park last Jan. 28. Beholder won next out at Del Mar, prior to losing by a nose to then-unbeaten Executiveprivilege in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante. Then came an allowance win at Santa Anita.
Trained by Richard Mandella for owner B. Wayne Hughes, Beholder capped her 2-year-old campaign by avenging her loss to Executiveprivilege with a one-length victory in the Juvenile Fillies.
“She’s progressed all the time,” Gomez said. “She’s never really done anything wrong, although she might have been a little bit speed-crazy. We’ve been working with her and Richard’s been doing a great job with her. We’ll see how she acts when she runs Monday. I worked her twice (six furlongs in 1:13 on Jan. 11 and a bullet 58 4/5 for five furlongs on Jan. 4). We worked her off horses both times and she handled it well.
“Hopefully, it carries over to the race and she’s able to do certain things we need her to do and she keeps putting up those fast numbers.”
Beholder had an unrecorded workout on Santa Anita’s fast main track Thursday morning before Mandella departed for the Eclipse Awards. “I let her breeze a very slow half-mile this morning just to let her do a little something,” Mandella said. “She couldn’t be better.”