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Beholder beats Songbird to win Breeders' Distaff

Nov 4, 2016; Santa Anita, CA, USA; Gary Stevens aboard Beholder , left, races alongside Mike Smith aboard Songbird in race nine during the 2016 Breeders Cup Championships at Santa Anita Park. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 4, 2016; Santa Anita, CA, USA; Gary Stevens aboard Beholder , left, races alongside Mike Smith aboard Songbird in race nine during the 2016 Breeders Cup Championships at Santa Anita Park. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

ARCADIA, California (Reuters) - Beholder, expertly ridden by Gary Stevens, inflicted the first ever defeat on Songbird in a thrilling photo finish to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff by a nose at Santa Anita Park on Friday.

Songbird, previously unbeaten in 11 lifetime starts, had led the 1 1/8 mile race almost the entire way but was pipped at the post after a breathtaking charge home by Beholder, who won the same event in 2013 as a 3-year-old filly.

Forever Unbridled, with Joel Rosario on board, finished a length and a quarter behind in third.

The Distaff, which highlighted the opening day's four-race card at the Breeders' Cup, was previously known as the Ladies' Classic.

(Editing by Andrew Both)

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