Princess Legion Breaks Through In Beholder

Beholder Mile (Grade 1)- $400.000 Purse
SA- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile on the Dirt
June 3, 2017

Princess Legion has been a successful filly, but prior to the Beholder, had been lacking that true signature victory that she could proudly boast on her resume. She had won a graded stake before, but the $150.000 Grade 3 ONT Matron is simply a conversation starter, and not the closing argument pitch. She’s run well in big races, but not getting a win may have prompted the $150.000 sale of her from Aml Racing to John Henry. With her new trainer, Princess Legion had three second place graded finishes to speak of in three races. That’s a good debut, but she still lacked that signature win. Saturday, in the Grade 1 Beholder Mile, Princess Legion has finally achieved that. There may be more to come, but right now, she has shown that she can win one of the biggest races. John Henry is the winning trainer, his first win in the Beholder, and somewhat surprisingly the same holds true for her jockey, R Bejarano. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 1:35.24, the quicker of the two editions with the same conditions. Here is a look at it!

1/4 Mile (:23.48)- Last year’s winner, Brawl Dead End from Mb Stables, is the only one showing a real interest in moving quickly early on as she jumps out to about a two length lead. House Danger (Jive Inc) is second, and she would have a little more then a length lead on the third place Saint Sophia (Blushing Meadows). At the back, Retaliator (Mb Stables) lets her stablemate do the work early, while Princess Legion (John Henry) sees that as a good idea, and the occasional front runner herself runs in the back with her.

½ Mile (:46.95)- It’s still Brawl Dead End leading our small field of five the field marches down the backstretch. The second quarter is run in nearly exact same time as the first quarter was, so we do not see much change in her lead over the second place House Danger. The Jive Inc filly does not put pressure on the leader, and is content to run along in the second position. Towards the end of the backstetch, I Ortiz Jr, having just won the Shoemaker Mile in the previous race, looks to complete the double and moves Retaliator forward, and within a length of second. Saint Sophia is not showing much here, perhaps showing the signs now that she was outclassed, while Princess Legion trails the field. The eventual winner is still within five lengths, but the time was coming for her to have to make a move, especially since she could not let the post-time favorite, Retaliator, get away from here.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- As we make our way around the turn, Brawl Dead End shows that she knows what it takes to win this race, and you had to start to wonder somewhat if they field let her get away. She is running well and still leads by a length. Retaliator is closing in, and Mb Stables had to like the looks of it here. House Danger was still third, but did not show the signs of moving forward, and this was all too much for Saint Sophia. As for Princess Legion, at this point, I did not really see her as a horse that was about to win the race. It seemed as though she had waited to long to move, but as we hit the top of the stretch, she started to do that, and moved to the outside of Retaliator. You knew that she was going to run well, but would it be too late, especially since she still had to make up a length on that one in the stretch?

Finish (1:35.24)- In a thrilling finish, Princess Legion gets a head up in time to top Retaliator. She had to work for it, because Retaliator did not give in. Running to the outside of her stablemate, Retaliator eventually cleared Brawl Dead End with a little under a furlong to go. Once she did, it almost seemed as though she thought her work was done, and did not notice Princess Legion storming by to her outside. As that pass was made, Princess Legion pulled even. Retaliator tried to respond and hang with her, but in the end Princess Legion prevails in the photo to get the big win for her career. Retaliator is second, with Brawl Dead End hanging on for third barely over House Danger. Saint Sophia rounded out the field.

About the Winner: Princess Legion, trained by John Henry and ridden by R Bejarano, is a four year old filly be Legion, and out of Thats Daunting. She was bred in California by Aml Racing as a fourth quarter two year old, and acquired by John Henry via private sales this past November for $150.000. Congratulations to the connections! She has won five times in fourteen career starts. Two of those wins are of the graded variety, and this was her first Grade 1. Her career earnings now sit at $637.080.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Princess Legion John Henry Bejarano R 16.85   1hd 1:35.24 xx
  Retaliator Mb Stables Ortiz I Jr 0.10   21 1:35.28 xx
  Brawl Dead End Mb Stables Albarado R J 3.85   3no 1:35.59 xx
  House Danger Jive Inc. Prat F 71.85   43 1:35.60 xx
  Saint Sophia Blushing Meadows Velazquez J R 104.40   5 1:36.20 xx

Track: Fast

Time: :232  :464  1:102  1:351

$2 Mutuel Prices:

1 – Princess Legion 35.70 2.80 2.10
4 – Retaliator   2.10 2.10
5 – Brawl Dead End     2.10

$1 Exacta: 1 – 4 Paid 6.80

$1 Trifecta: 1 – 4 – 5 Paid 4.60

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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