Monday, December 22, 2008


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 21, 2008) — Cocoa Beach, impressive come-from-behind winner of The Matriarch on closing day of the Turf Festival, was a unanimous choice by media as Horse of the Meet as Hollywood Park’s 40-day Autumn Meet closed Sunday.

Cocoa Beach, owned by Godolphin Racing and trained by Saeed bin Suroor, had not run on turf since winning her career debut in Chile in January of 2007. She rallied in the stretch under Ramon Dominguez to win the Grade I event by three-quarters of a length over defending champion and pacesetter Precious Kitten.

The Chilean-bred was a unanimous choice as older female and female turf horse.

Pioneerof the Nile, winner of Saturday’s $750,000 CashCall Futurity for owner/breeder Ahmed Zayat and trainer Bob Baffert, was a unanimous choice as 2-year-old and 2-year-old male. He prevailed by a nose over I Want Revenge under jockey Garrett Gomez.

Other unanimous winners were Laragh, 2-year-old filly; Court Vision, 3-year-old; Doug O’Neill, trainer, and Rafael Bejarano, jockey.

The closest voting came as Vernon O. Underwood winner Johnny Eves edged Hollywood Turf Express winner California Flag by one vote (5-4) as outstanding sprinter.

Other winners follow:

Court Vision, 3-year-old male; Briecat, 3-year-old filly; Slew’s Tizzy, older male; Hyperbaric, turf horse; Soupy, claiming horse, and Pedro Arambula, apprentice jockey.

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