Small but Select Field in Beholder Stakes
By: Michael Mills, ThoroFan Member
While a small field of 6 will contest Saturday's Grade I, $400,000 Beholder Mile at Santa Anita Park the field collectively has 13 graded stakes victories among them.
1 Munny Spunt — Supplemented entry into the race for $8,000. Has raced in just 3 graded races in her career. 14 of her 15 starts have been sprinting. Her lone start around 2 turns was a sharp second place finish in the one-mile Grade 3 Torrey Pines Stakes last August at Del Mar. Looks a couple of steps below the rest of the competition.
2 Mopotism — Raced just 8 days ago in the Grade One Gamely at 1 1/8 miles on the turf and didn’t do much running. Four starts at the one-mile distance on the dirt with three wins and a second. Last win was at this mile distance on the dirt in the grade two LaCanada back in January. She may be worth a flier if she is anywhere around her morning line odds of 15-1.
3 La Force — Hard knocking honest as they come filly is lacking in graded wins. Would be a surprise if she won this, but I won’t be surprised to see her hit the board.
4 Paradise Woods — Winner of last year’s Grade I Santa Anita Oaks. Ran sixth as the 1-5 favorite in the Grade III Torrey Pines Stakes (see Munny Spunt), Won the Grade I, 1 1/16-mile Zenyatta Stakes back in September. Ran a good second, beaten by Unique Bella in the Grade I, seven furlong La Brea Stakes two starts back in December. Second start off the layoff and working well.
5 Vale Dori — Six-year-old mare had a great 2017 campaign with three wins and two seconds including. Finished second in this race last year beaten a neck by Stellar Wind. Money Mike Smith stick with Unique Bella, Rafael Bejarano returns having guided her to four wins from seven tries previously, including Grade I 2017 Santa Margarita Stakes. Bring speed and should make a better account of herself this being second off the layoff.
6 Unique Bella — Six wins and a second at Santa Anita. Didn’t seem to care much for the off going in the Apple Blossom in April finishing second at 1-5. Straight to the chase, looking for a much-improved effort from this gray filly today.
Wager: $100 Win 6
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