Midnight Storm scores upset in Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Beholder beat Stellar Wind to win the Grade 1 Vanity Mile by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday at Santa Anita, extending her winning streak to eight races.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Gary Stevens, Beholder ran a mile in 1:35.97 and paid $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10 as the overwhelming 1-5 favorite.
The race was shortened from 1 1/8 miles to a mile, but it was no matter for Beholder, the three-time Eclipse Award-winning mare. She sat an easy second to pacesetter Lost Bus until putting a head in front entering the second turn and inching away into the stretch. Stevens didn't need to use his whip through the stretch.
''Just another great effort,'' trainer Richard Mandella said. ''She continues to amaze us.''
In the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile, Midnight Storm scored a half-length upset win to earn an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup this fall.
In the Vanity, Stellar Wind returned $2.20 and $2.10 in her first start since a runner-up finish in the BC Distaff last fall at Keeneland.
Finest City paid $2.40 to show. Lost Bus finished fourth and Divinia Comedia was last. All Star Bub and Taris were scratched.
In the Vanity, Midnight Storm under Rafael Bejarano ran a mile on turf in 1:33.55 and paid $11.20, $5.80 and $3.60 at 9-2 odds on an unseasonable hot day when the temperatures climbed to 93 degrees.
''My horse is tough to control and I don't want to fight with him, so I let him run a little bit into the first turn,'' Bejarano said. ''After that I tried to get set up, tried to get him relaxed and I had a lot of horse. He just took off.''
A year ago, Midnight Storm finished second by a half-length.
''It's vindication because I thought he should have won it last year,'' trainer Phil D'Amato said. ''Onward to the Breeders' Cup.''
Midnight Storm earned an automatic berth in the BC Mile at the same track in November. The 5-year-old horse's entry fees will be waived.
Tourist returned $5 and $2.80, while Twentytwentyvision was another 4 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $3 to show in the $400,345 race for 3-year-olds and up.
Heart to Heart, the 4-5 favorite, finished fourth in the six-horse field.
''He settled nicely for me and he just didn't have any kick left at the end, that's it,'' said Julien Leparoux, who rode Heart to Heart.
Midnight Storm turned the tables on Tourist, having finished seventh to him in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the Kentucky Derby undercard May 7. Bejarano took over Saturday from Victor Espinoza, who rode Midnight Storm in his previous two losses.