There's a ton of talk this year about American Pharoah at the Breeders' Cup. The three-year old champion and Triple Crown winner is set to retire once Halloween comes and goes, and the fact that this is his one and only shot to prove that he is the best thoroughbred of our generation is drawing gobs of attention.
However, there's a super filly who might be in his way. American Pharoah might have the Triple Crown, but the argument could be made that the best horse on the planet at the moment is actually Beholder.
You don't hear a lot about Beholder due to the fact that she isn't run all that often. For a five-year old, only having 20 races under her belt is a bit light.
That said, trainer Richard Mandella knows what he's doing, and he's made the most out of his prized mare. Beholder already has over $4 million in career earnings, and if she wins during the Breeders' Cup, she'll become the richest filly or mare in the history of horse racing.
There's not much more Beholder can do in the filly and mare division. She won the Breeders' Cup Distaff last year by 4 1/4 lengths, and she has claimed the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes three years in a row.
She's raced five times this year with success in each, and the last time she was beaten was back in June 2014 at the Oscar Phipps Handicap.
Normally, the ladies don't run up against the boys. Zenyatta was an exception to the rule. So too was Rachel Alexandra. Both now have major stakes races named after them. Beholder surely will follow.
Zenyatta was able to win the Breeders' Cup Classic in one of her two runs. She failed by a head the second time around in her quest to become the first mare to win the richest prize in American horse racing twice.
Rachel Alexandra never tried her hand at the Breeders' Cup, but she did win the Preakness Stakes.
And alas, that brings us to Beholder. The decision still hasn't been made whether the super-mare will be run up against the boys in the Breeders' Cup Classic or the girls in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, but we all know what we're rooting for. To see her match wits with American Pharoah would be a can't-miss spectacle for horse racing fans.
Beholder has already run up against the boys once, that coming just two months ago at the Pacific Classic. Never had a filly or mare won that race before. But it's possible that never before has there been a horse quite like Beholder either. Not only did Beholder win the Pacific Classic, but she won it by 8 1/4 lengths, the biggest victory in her career.
In fairness, the field wasn't fantastic that day at the Pacific Classic in spite of the fact that this was a Grade 1 race, but the fact that she came back and stormed to yet another Zenyatta Stakes victory a few weeks later is proof enough to us.
Last year, Beholder dominated at the Breeders' Cup Distaff. It's her time to run up against the boys and see whether she can match wits with what are supposed to be the best of the best.
Beholder could even end up being the favorite in the Breeders' Cup Classic beyond American Pharoah. She's tabbed as a possible 4 to 1 opener in the Breeders' Cup Classic if she runs, which would put her just in the rear of American Pharoah.
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