February 26, 2024

Songbird works three-eighths, possible for Beholder Mile

Songbird and Mike Smith win the Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3) on Saturday, March 5, 2016, at Santa Anita Park ©Benoit Photo

Dual champion Songbird worked three furlongs in :36.60 over Santa Anita Park’s fast main track on Saturday in just her second move this year. The Medaglia d’Oro filly galloped out a half-mile in in :49 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

Songbird, who returned the worktab on April 9 with a three-eighths move in :35.80, could make her four-year-old debut against Stellar Wind in the Beholder Mile (G1) on June 3.

“If all works out, she could be ready for that, if everything’s going the way it’s going right now,” assistant trainer Dan Ward said.

The Beholder Mile, previously called the Vanity Mile, was renamed in honor of four-time champion and three-time Breeders’ Cup heroine Beholder. Songbird suffered her first career loss when Beholder stuck her nose in front on the wire of the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) to conclude her five seasons of competition.

Stellar Wind was another rival of Beholder’s, finishing second to her in the Vanity Mile before beating her in both the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) and Zenyatta Stakes (G1). The Curlin mare, who was honored as the 2015 champion three-year-old filly, closed out 2016 with a fourth-place run in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff behind Beholder.

Stellar Wind made her five-year-old bow on Friday in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park, scoring by 1 1/4 lengths for trainer John Sadler.

“The Beholder is a logical spot, it’s a Grade 1 at her home track and that’s our goal,” assistant trainer Larry Benavidez said Saturday morning. “It’s a no-brainer.”

Also under consideration for the Beholder Mile are Finest City and Vale Dori.

Finest City was honored with an Eclipse Award as the 2016 champion female sprinter after taking the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) last season. She romped by 3 3/4 lengths in her five-year-old bow, the January 21 Santa Monica Stakes (G2), but finished second to Vale Dori in the Santa Margarita Stakes (G1).

Vale Dori is three-for-three on the year after taking the La Canada Stakes (G2) and Santa Maria Stakes (G2) prior to the Santa Margarita on March 18.