Beholder vs. Songbird in the Breeders' Cup was the 2016 horse race of the year

It’s been 56 days since Beholder and Songbird staged that dramatic stretch duel we’ll never soon forget. Go back and watch it. If it doesn’t give you chills, you might not have a pulse. Two champion female race horses laying it all on the line and never giving an inch.

Beholder won by a nose, but both horses won a racing nation’s heart that afternoon because of how they competed. Songbird looked like she was beaten a number of times down the stretch, but wouldn’t quit. Beholder, the 6-year-old mare who many had given up on only a few weeks earlier, determinedly found the wire first.

It was a gut-wrenching loss for Songbird’s owner, Rick Porter, but he’s come to appreciate the effort by both horses in the weeks that have followed.

“It’s just a shame that (Songbird) didn’t have the right stride to get her nose in front,” he said. “Wayne (Beholder’s owner B. Wayne Hughes) and I have talked about it and we just feel like we both won. (Songbird) ran a great race. She proved she’s the real deal in that one more than ever.

“They weren’t more than a couple noses apart the whole length of the stretch. It’s a hard one to not get the win, but still happy with the outcome. It was a great outcome and it speaks a lot for how (Songbird’s) going to be next year, hopefully.”

Because of the magnitude of the race and how it turned out, we’ve selected the Breeders’ Cup Distaff as the best race of 2016.

“Quite frankly, I’ve never seen two horses,…

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California News
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