Got Koko, a grade I winner and three-time Texas champion, has been retired from racing because of recurring ankle problems.
Favored Rhythm Mad won a grueling stretch duel with the old-timer Continental Red in Saturday's $350,000 Jim Murray Handicap on the Hollywood Park turf course.
Yankee Million got the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s March select juvenile auction off to a record-setting start Tuesday, bringing $575,000 to become the most expensive 2-year-old filly ever sold by the Florida-based auction firm.
Champion sprinter Kona Gold is all set to begin his new career on Monday when he's being shipped to a Southern California farm where he'll train as a rodeo horse and prepare for his future duties as a stable pony, trainer Bruce Headley said.
The rising mercury in Southern California was the hot topic of conversation at a Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships news conference held Thursday following training hours at the Arcadia, California racetrack.
Eliciting a "beautiful" from trainer Craig Dollase, J. Paul Reddam's Elloluv turned in a three-furlong work in :36 3/5 before sunrise Tuesday at Santa Anita, completing her serious work toward Saturday's Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) contender Got Koko worked five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 Thursday at Santa Anita.
Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) hopefuls Bluesthestandard, Captain Squire, and Yankee Gentleman all had their final workouts for Sunday's main event over Santa Anita's fast main track Monday morning.
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.
Azeri's 11-race winning streak came to a surprising halt Sunday – 27 days before the Breeders' Cup – when Got Koko rallied past the reigning Horse of the Year and went on to a half-length win in the $300,000 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita.
Keeneland's September Yearling Sale reached the halfway point Sunday with substantial increases in gross sales, average and median.
Champion sprinter Kona Gold, who was retired after a fifth-place finish in the July 26 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar, will not be sent to the Kentucky Horse Park to join the Hall of Champions there, trainer Bruce Headley said.
The prospect of racing against Horse of the Year Azeri in the $300,000 Clement Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) on Aug. 10 does not create a problem for trainer Bruce Headley, who is known to have a high threshold of awe when it comes to other horses.
Discussions are underway to send champion Kona Gold to the Kentucky Horse Park's Hall of Champions. The 9-year-old gelding was retired following a fifth-place finish in the July 26 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar.
Champion sprinter Kona Gold has been retired, co-owner and trainer Bruce Headley said Sunday, one day after the 9-year-old gelding finished fifth in the Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar.
Trainer Bruce Headley said Sunday that he is considering retiring his 9-year-old warrior Kona Gold, winner of the 2000 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and the Eclipse Award as America's finest sprinter that year.
Horse of the Year Azeri continues to train sharply toward her next start, believed to be the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) on Aug. 10.
Headley, Molasky and Molasky's Kona Gold, 2000's Eclipse Award-winning sprinter, worked Tuesday for the first time since getting a brief vacation and logged three furlongs in :36 1/5 handily over Santa Anita's fast main track.
Kona Gold emerged from his third-place finish in Saturday's Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita in good order, but will be given a brief freshening at trainer Bruce Headley's nearby farm.
Corey Nakatani takes over the reigns on 9-year-old Kona Gold in Saturday's $200,000 Portrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at 6 1 /2 furlongs at Santa Anita.
Sightseek is the lone speed in Sunday's $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I), which drew a small but stellar cast of six older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita.
Affluent and Got Koko, prepping for the March 9 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles, worked on Santa Anita's fast main track Friday.
Trainer Bruce Headly declared champion Kona Gold from consideration for Sunday's San Carlos Handicap (gr. I) after the 9-year-old gelding was assigned top weight of 121 pounds for the seven-furlong test.
The weight woes affecting the Southern California handicaps continued Tuesday when trainer Bruce Headly declared champion Kona Gold from consideration for Sunday's San Carlos Handicap (gr. I) after the 9-year-old gelding was assigned top weight of 121 pounds for the seven-furlong test.
Trainer Bruce Headley recently made his case for assigning less weight to his champion sprinter Kona Gold, who finished sixth and last in the Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) in his last start Jan. 26.
Benefiting from blinkers and the scratch of speedster Hombre Rapido, Argentine-bred Avanzado led from start to finish to win the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park by more than four lengths on Sunday, covering six furlongs on a fast track in 1:07.85.
Kona Gold had his final breeze over the Santa Anita main track Friday morning for Sunday's $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) for older horses at six furlongs.
Got Koko, upset winner of the La Brea (gr. I) in her last start, proved she's no fluke in Sunday's $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II), delivering a 1 1/2-length triumph over favored Bella Bellucci at Santa Anita.
Kafwain, second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) last Oct. 26, worked six furlongs Friday in a bullet 1:10 flat, fastest of 29 workouts at the distance.
Texas-bred Got Koko heads a field of nine 4-year-old fillies set to match strides Sunday in the $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Nine-year-old Kona Gold has raced only 27 times in a brilliant career that has seen him win 14 times, including the 2000 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and a subsequent Eclipse Award as best sprinter.
Champion sprinter Kona Gold celebrated turning 9 Wednesday by winning the $100,000 El Conejo Handicap (gr. III) by a neck over Radiata at Santa Anita Wednesday.
Kona Gold will try to become the fifth 9-year-old to win a stakes race at Santa Anita when he takes on eight other sprinters in the $100,000 El Conejo Handicap (gr. III), Wednesday's New Year's Day feature.
Got Koko mounted a furious late rally and cruised to victory in the $200,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
Preparing Kona Gold for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) is old hat for Bruce Headley, who is preparing the 8-year-old for his fifth run at the Sprint.
Yellow Ribbon winner Golden Apples worked four furlongs on the turf Sunday morning at Santa Anita in :50 2/5, according to her trainer, Ben Cecil.
Got Koko, a consistent 3-year-old daughter of Signal Tap who is making her presence felt in the Bruce Headley barn, heads the first division of the $75,000 Harold C. Ramser Sr. Handicap on Santa Anita turf on Monday.
Kalookan Queen will be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Arlington Park on Oct. 26, along with stablemate Kona Gold, according to Aase Headley, wife of Kalookan Queen's trainer, Bruce Headley.
Trainer Bruce Headley left his big gun, Kona Gold, in the barn for Saturday's $200,000 Ancient Title Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita, but it didn't keep him out of the winner's circle.
The queen of the sprint division, Xtra Heat, did nothing to hurt her chances for a return crack at the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) with a devastating five-length score in the $150,000 Endine Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park Sept. 7.
With his regular rider Alex Solis in the saddle, the Bruce Headley-trained son of Java Gold stepped 5 furlongs in a snappy 57.40 workout that helped raise the early morning fog off the track Wednesday.
Without a race since July 6 and the date of Oak Tree's Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap considered a disadvantage by trainer Bruce Headley, the die has been cast for Kona Gold. He'll try to get to the Breeders' Cup Sprint Oct. 26 off workouts.
Luis A. Asistio's Kalookan Queen, the 3-5 favorite while packing high weight of 123 pounds, made it two in a row by powerfully taking the $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III), a 6 ½-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares at Del Mar Sunday .
Kalookan Queen, owned by Louis Asistio and trained by Bruce Headley, will try to repeat her winning 2001 effort in Sunday's 31st Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares going 6 1/2 furlongs on the Del Mar main track.
Only three foes showed up to challenge Kona Gold in last year's running of the Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar, but on Saturday 10 rivals line up to face the defending champion.
Affluent faces a small but quality-laden field Saturday as she seeks to become just the third filly to sweep Santa Anita's La Canada series of three stakes races for 4-year-old fillies. The daughter of Affirmed has already notched wins in the grade I La Brea Stakes and the grade II El Encino. Only Taisez Vous, in 1978, and Mitterand, in 1985, have accomplished the sweep.
While waiting to hear if she's won the Eclipse Award as 2001's top distaffer, Spain goes postward in Saturday's $200,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) over seven furlongs, her first start of the new year.
Headley & Molasky's Kona Gold heads a field of seven in the $300,000 grade I Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park on Saturday. Eclipse Award honors in the sprint division hinge on the outcome.
Saturday will mark the fourth consecutive appearance for 7-year-old defending champion Kona Gold in the $200,000 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap as the Java Gold gelding gets his final test in advance of the Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park Oct. 27.
Several races with Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) implications were run last weekend. But the race featuring the marquee name in sprinting is still out there on the horizon.
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