Cocoa Beach and Music Note have been here before. In 2008, at the end of long campaigns, they were still able to finish second and third, respectively, to Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita.
This year, with Zenyatta likely headed for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) and Cocoa Beach and Music Note having been freshened during the first part of the year, the Godolphin Racing duo should be particularly dangerous.
“Cocoa Beach has done well since Saratoga,” said Rick Mettee, assistant to Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor. “I think she’s come on a bit since the Lady’s Secret (gr. I). She trained well here last year over this track (at Santa Anita). Not surprisingly, she’s trained well here again.”
Mettee is overseeing Godolphin’s Breeders’ Cup horses while bin Suroor is in Australia to saddle Crime Scene in the Nov. 3 Melbourne Cup (Aus-I). Bin Suroor will then fly to California for final Breeders’ Cup preparations.
Bin Suroor was at Santa Anita when Cocoa Beach finished third to Zenyatta and Lethal Heat in the Oct. 10 Lady’s Secret. The 5-year-old Chilean-bred daughter of Doneraile Court–Visionera, by Edgy Diplomat, also won the De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga on the turf. In 2008, she captured the Matriarch (gr. IT) on the turf at Hollywood Park and the Beldame (gr. I) in the slop at Belmont Park.
“She’s done a lot of things,” said Mettee. “That’s kind of gone into how we’ve managed her this year. We’ve had Seventh Street and Music Note in some spots that Cocoa Beach probably could have won.”
Cocoa Beach’s versatility might have positioned her for one of the Breeders’ Cup turf events. But Mettee said given her performance in last year’s Ladies’ Classic, her best chance of a victory will likely be there.
To win, however, Cocoa Beach will not only have to defeat such challengers as 3-year-old sensation Careless Jewel, but also her own stablemate, Music Note. After her freshening earlier this year, Music Note returned with a fifth in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont followed by two spectacular wins in the Ballerina (gr. I) at Saratoga and the Beldame at Belmont. She is a 4-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy–Note Musicale, by Sadler's Wells.
Music Note has started only once on a synthetic surface, when she finished third in last year’s Ladies’ Classic. While at Saratoga, however, she was able to work on the Polytrack surface at Godolphin’s Greentree Training Center.
“Before the Ballerina, Music Note breezed over the Greentree Polytrack,” Mettee said. “After the Beldame, she shipped out here (to Santa Anita) and has worked twice over the track.”
While Cocoa Beach and Music Note will likely be retired and bred next year, they may start one more time after the Breeders’ Cup. Mettee noted that both are nominated to Hollywood Park’s Matriarch.