(AP) Beholder won the $2 million Distaff by 4 1/4 lengths Friday at Santa Anita, spoiling Royal Delta's bid for a third straight victory at the Breeders' Cup, with veteran jockeys Gary Stevens and Mike Smith dominating on opening day.
Stevens, who at 50 began a comeback in January that included winning the Preakness Stakes, earned his ninth career Cup win and first since 2000.
Smith won two of the five Cup races at Santa Anita, and will be aboard early favorite Game On Dude in the $5 million Classic on Saturday. He and Royal Delta finished fourth as the 7-5 favorite in the Distaff.
Beholder ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.77 on her home track, where she is trained by Richard Mandella. This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of Mandella winning a record four Cup races in a single day at the 2003 world championships.