Beholder will miss the Classic on Saturday after she bled Thursday following her morning gallop at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. Beholder was the early 3-1 second choice behind American Pharoah, who is running for the last time.
Her absence reduces the field to nine and removes the horse expected to press the Triple Crown champion early in the $5 million race. Trainer Richard Mandella attributed the bleeding to a fever the 5-year-old mare developed when she arrived in Kentucky last week.
Her withdrawal leaves Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, an Idaho native, without a mount in the Classic, a race he won two years ago with Mucho Macho Man.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.