On to Breeders' Cup for Got Koko, Halfbridled

On to Breeders' Cup for Got Koko, Halfbridled
Photo: Benoit
Got Koko, earned a chance at the Breeders' Cup Distaff.
Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) winner Got Koko was in good shape Monday morning, trainer Bruce Headley reported, and is probable to run next in the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Santa Anita. The 4-year-old Texas-bred daughter of Signal Tap upset reigning Horse of the Year Azeri in Sunday's 1 1/16-mile event, handing her a first loss in 12 starts dating back to February of 2002.

"We're all on cloud nine here," Headley said. "I always knew she was capable and she proved me right yesterday."

According to Headley, Got Koko will walk for the next several days before returning to the track and begin preparations for the Breeders' Cup later this week.

"She's perfect today," Headley said. "So we're in good shape there. As long as she stays that way, the Breeders' Cup is her next step."

Got Koko is owned in partnership by Headley's wife, Aase, and Paul Leung.

Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) winner Halfbridled was also in fine form Monday, one day after scoring her second consecutive grade 1 victory, trainer Richard Mandella said. The daughter of Unbridled will now go on to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) as the probable favorite.

"She's good today," Mandella said. "She ran great and came back great so I am pleased. Now she'll go on to the Breeders' Cup."

Halfbridled won the Oak Leaf by 4 ½ lengths over Tarlow in what was her first start around two turns. She remains undefeated after breaking her maiden by 4 1/2 lengths in late July and winning the Del Mar Debutante on Aug. 30 by five.

Robert and Beverly Lewis' homebred Renaissance Lady, who was eased in the Oak Leaf, was in good shape according to Greg Falk, trainer D. Wayne Lukas' assistant.

"She got her tongue over the bit and that was all she wrote," Falk said. "She was making a big move and I thought, 'Here we go!' But she got her tongue over the bit and went to the outside rail and it was all (jockey Gary Stevens) could do to pull her up."

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