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Beholder returns in Santa Ynez
It looks like the field against presumptive two-year-old filly champion Beholder in Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday feature at Santa Anita -- the Grade 2, $150,000 Santa Ynez -- doesn't hold much challenge, but, as the old saying goes, "They still have to run around the track."
That could be one reason why trainer Patrick Biancone has entered Switch to the Lead in the 6 1/2-furlong race in which Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies victress Beholder is set to make her three-year-old debut.
Switch to the Lead, a bay daughter of Songandaprayer, was second last November 3 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly Sprint Preview at Santa Anita. She was bumped at the start, as she was in her previous race, the Grade 1 Chandelier on September 29.
"The bump in the Chandelier was bad," Biancone said. "The other one was just a little one. She ran a good race that day and we got a chance to give her a break. She's had some time and she's coming back.
"I know the Santa Ynez is a tough race, but we'll take a chance."
Based on her prior starts, Beholder was actually expected to run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint but her connections opted for the Juvenile Fillies and the bay miss got the job done while going 1 1/16 miles for the first time.
She brought an 11-length allowance score going six furlongs into the Breeders' Cup and also just missed by a nose in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante at seven furlongs, so the Santa Ynez cutback to 6 1/2 furlongs should hold no surprises for the sophomore daughter of Henny Hughes.
Beholder has been working up a storm at Santa Anita since her championship run, getting a bullet five furlongs in :58 4/5 on January 4 and most recently touring three-quarters in 1:13 on January 11.
Trainer Bob Baffert probably summed it up the best when he said," You can't avoid Beholder forever," while speaking of his Santa Ynez entrant, Lady Rosamond.
The Keyed Entry lass was second in her debut at Santa Anita on October 21 before gutting out a nose decision to break her maiden at Hollywood Park on November 17. The bay filly closed out her juvenile campaign with a nose second in an allowance on New Year's Eve and, like many in this field, will be making her stakes bow in the Santa Ynez.
Lady Rosamond will see some familiar faces in the Santa Ynezand. Imwiththeblonde beat Lady Rosamond by 4 1/2 lengths to break her maiden while Dawn's Charm was four lengths behind in fifth when Lady Rosamond captured her initial start.
Imwiththeblonde, who worked a half-mile at Santa Anita in :48 1/5 on Friday, came back to be second in a December 7 allowance at Hollywood. Dawn's Charm, on the other hand, earned her first triumph on December 14 in a runaway 10 3/4-length romp.
Small Moves and Blushing Angel are also maiden winners trying a stakes for the first time while dual stakes-placed Renee's Titan completes the Santa Ynez field.