Breeders’ Cup Diaries: A Marvel to Behold

Events / Travel
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Steven aboard Beholder in the paddock before the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park on Friday. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

There are certain moments that, even as they’re happening, you know will stick with you for a lifetime, and Friday’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park was one of those times for me.

It was a race that had serious buzz surrounding it in the months leading up to the event; but even so, the Distaff far exceeded my expectations. The race would be the final one for Beholder, the mare who had dominated the California circuit and who already had two Breeders’ Cup wins under her belt. In the Distaff, Beholder was facing the undefeated 3-year-old filly Songbird; she was facing her three-time rival Stellar Wind; and she was facing I’m a Chatterbox, who won her last two races in breathtaking fashion. The Distaff may have been Beholder’s last race, but it was by no means going to be an easy task for the 6-year-old mare in her finale.

In the slideshow below, I’ll share my photos and thoughts about this year’s amazing Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff. It was a truly unforgettable race, and one that put a beautiful bookend on Beholder’s spectacular career.

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