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.So he'll send Got Koko out to battle Azeri, who has won 10 straight graded races, in the 1 1/8-mile Hirsch with his usual confidence. Last spring, Got Koko became the first 4-year-old filly to sweep Santa Anita's La Canada series since Mitterand did it in 1985. The series is made up of the El Encino, the La Brea and La Canada handicaps.Headley has been very happy with the way the filly has been working toward the Hirsch, with a couple of mile workouts and a seven-furlong drill in 1:26 on Monday at Del Mar. She will have a five-furlong work on Tuesday, Headley said, to finish to her preparations.
After her series sweep, Got Koko lost to Starrer in the Santa Margarita Handicap, also at Santa Anita, and then was given time off to prepare for the Del Mar meet.