CRAWFORD | Second-choice Beholder out of the Breeders' Cup Class - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Second-choice Beholder out of the Breeders' Cup Classic

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Beholder wins the Clement Hirsch Stakes in August. (Benoit Photo via AP) Beholder wins the Clement Hirsch Stakes in August. (Benoit Photo via AP)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The 3-1 second choice and two-time Eclipse Award-winner Beholder will not run in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, her trainer, Richard Mandella, announced Thursday.

Beholder, a 5-year old mare who has won 15 of her 20 career starts, bled after a gallop Thursday morning. She was bidding to become the first horse ever to win three different Breeders’ Cup races, after winning the Distaff in 2013 and the Juvenile Fillies in 2012.

She crushed the field of nine males — including 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern — in the 2015 Pacific Classic, winning by 8 1/4 lengths, even with jockey Gary Stevens wrapping up on her in the late stretch.

“After she galloped this morning we scoped her and found her to have bled,” Mandella said. This was obviously due to the fever she had when she arrived. Knowing this, we feel it is too great a risk to start her in the Classic. There’s obviously some irritated lung tissue there. She will be fine, but if I put her under the pressure of a race situation, it could cause some real damage.”

The only thing she hasn’t done brilliantly is travel. Only two of her races have come outside the state of California, and she lost both of them. She developed a fever when she shipped to Keeneland on Oct. 19, but it had dropped two days later.

“You could say we just haven’t had any luck shipping,” Mandella said. “But it’s been something different every time. She’s an aggressive mare and just got herself worked up shipping and made herself sick. It’s sad. It’s exciting to take on a challenge like this. It’s still a great race. I just wish I was part of it.”

Her absence means one less challenge for Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who is looking to come back after his first loss since ending the 37-year Triple Crown drought. He is a 6-5 favorite in the Classic. Keen Ice, the Dale Romans-trained horse that beat him, is 12-1.

Beholder drew the outside post, so her departure will cause no change in gate positioning.

Breeders' Cup Classic post positions, odds

1. Tonalist (6-1)

2. Keen Ice (12-1)

3. Frosted (15-1)

4. American Pharoah (6-5)

5. Gleneagles (20-1)

6. Effinex (30-1)

7. Smooth Roller (15-1)

8. Hard Aces (50-1)

9. Honor Code (6-1)

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