11/07/2008 12:00AM

Cocoa Beach to supplement to Matriarch on turf


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Cocoa Beach, second in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at Santa Anita on Oct. 24, has remained in California and is a likely starter in the $500,000 Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 30.

Rick Mettee, assistant trainer to Saeed bin Suroor, said that Cocoa Beach will be supplemented to the Matriarch Stakes later this month. The one-mile race is the final Grade 1 for fillies and mares on grass this year.

The Matriarch will be Cocoa Beach's second start on turf. She beat maidens going five furlongs on turf in Chile in her career debut in January 2007 before she was acquired by her current owners, Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Racing.

"She's never run back" on turf, Mettee said. "It's an opportunity to see how she'll do and give us a chance where to place her next year. They're leaning toward keeping her in training next year."

A winner of 8 of 11 starts and $1,351,141, Cocoa Beach has won six stakes in her career, including the Grade 1 Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park in her second start in the United States. She has already raced on three continents, having won three Group 3 races in Chile in 2007 and two stakes in Dubai in February - the United Arab Emirates 1000 Guineas and the UAE Oaks.

In the BC Ladies' Classic, Cocoa Beach finished 1 1/2 lengths behind the undefeated Zenyatta, overcoming trouble on the turn but never threatening the winner.

In the Matriarch, Cocoa Beach will face a tough field expected to include defending champion Precious Kitten, who was fourth in the BC Mile against males on Oct. 25. Other possible starters are Magical Fantasy, the winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in August; Wait a While and Visit, third and fourth in the BC Filly and Mare Turf on Oct. 24; and Rosinka and Lemon Chiffon, second and third in the Las Palmas Handicap at Santa Anita on Oct. 24.

Indian Blessing to La Brea next

Indian Blessing, the four-time Grade 1 winner who finished second to Ventura in the BC Filly and Mare Sprint on Oct. 24, will make her next start in the $250,000 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita late next month.

But trainer Bob Baffert has international goals for the 3-year-old filly in 2009. He is considering sending her to Dubai for the $2 million Golden Shaheen at six furlongs against males in late March.

Owned by breeders Hal and Patti Earnhardt, Indian Blessing has won 8 of 11 starts and $2,287,200.

The seven-furlong La Brea Stakes is annually the final Grade 1 race of the year.

Indian Blessing has never started against males. The Golden Shaheen, run over a straightaway course, has attracted strong American participation in recent years. This year, the Group 1 race was won by the now-retired Benny the Bull, who was based on the East Coast.

Turf suits Miguel's Mascot

He is only a 2-year-old colt, but the direction of Miguel's Mascot's career was starting to concern trainer Eric Kruljac before Thursday's program at Hollywood Park.

Miguel's Mascot beat maidens in his second career start, on opening day at Del Mar back in July, but had been badly beaten in three subsequent stakes, including a troubled ninth in the California Cup Juvenile on Oct. 5. When he won a one-mile optional claimer on turf on Thursday, Kruljac breathed a sigh of relief.

"I was hoping he'd take to the grass," Kruljac said. "He hated dirt in his face. He had a rough trip in the California Cup. This was the last straw."

Ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr. for owner Rancho San Miguel, Miguel's Mascot closed from sixth in a field of 10 to finish a head behind 6-5 favorite Bourbon Bay and the filly Atka. Miguel's Mascot was timed in 1:35.93.

"He's bred for" grass, Kruljac said. "By stretching him out, we thought he'd run big. We got lucky."

The win left Kruljac considering the $100,000 Generous Stakes for 2-year-olds at a mile on turf on Nov. 29.

Delgadillo still riding - and winning

It turns out that jockey Agapito Delgadillo did not retire in September, at the end of the Fairplex Park meet. Delgadillo did take off the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting, but has resumed riding at Hollywood Park this fall.

On Thursday, Delgadillo, 42, had his first winner of the meeting when Crimson Star ($12) won the sixth race for $14,000 to $16,000 claimers.

In September, Delgadillo's agent, Rolando Hevia Jr., said Delgadillo was retiring and "wanted to take some time off," but would stay involved in the sport in some capacity. Through October, Delgadillo was working horses at Santa Anita.

On Sunday at Hollywood Park, Delgadillo has three mounts on the nine-race program.

Two from Machowsky barn to watch

Kelly Leak, disqualified from first to fourth in the Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar in August, has resumed training at Santa Anita and is likely to start at the current Hollywood Park meeting, trainer Mike Machowsky said.

On Friday at Santa Anita, Kelly Leak worked five furlongs in 1:01.40. He has not started since finishing 10th in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 3.

Another promising Machowsky-trained 2-year-old, Majormotionpicture, worked a half-mile in 46.60 seconds on Friday. "He galloped out really well," Machowsky said.

Machowsky said he hopes to start both 2-year-olds in allowance races at Hollywood Park.