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Breeders' joy for Untapable, pregnant jockey (Reuters)
By Mark Lamport-Stokes ARCADIA California (Reuters) - The 2014 Breeders' Cup opened its $26 million programme on Friday with a superb win by Untapable, a disappointing run by the well backed Close Hatches and a stunning pregnant pause by jockey Rosie Napravnik. Favourite Untapable, expertly piloted by Napravnik, took the honours in the feature race, the $2 million Distaff, with a commanding performance down the stretch but Close Hatches, a 3-1 choice, faded badly to finish last in a field of 11. ...
Trainer Wesley Ward has big Cup day in absentia (The Associated Press)
Trainer Wesley Ward had one of the biggest days of his career Friday at the Breeders' Cup and wasn't there to enjoy it. Ward watched the Breeders' Cup from the barn area at Gulfstream Park. He finished 1-2 in the $1 million Juvenile Turf with Hootenanny beating Luck of the Kitten by three-quarters of a length. Two races later, Ward's Sunset Glow finished second to Lady Eli in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf, completing a lucrative haul for a trainer thousands of miles away.
Untapable wins Breeders' Cup Distaff (The Associated Press)
Rosie Napravnik was riding with a secret, and she couldn't keep it any longer once Untapable won the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff. Napravnik stunned a crowd of 37,205 at Santa Anita and a national television audience by announcing she will retire Sunday. ''I don't know if I had won on another horse if I would have said anything,'' Napravnik said. ''This filly has just been very special to me, and it's a very special way to go out, so I just couldn't resist because they asked me how much it meant to me.'' Napravnik became the first female jockey to win the Distaff in the race's 31-year history.
Untapable gives mother-to-be a Distaff win (Reuters)
By Mark Lamport-Stokes ARCADIA California (Reuters) - Untapable justified her billing as the overwhelming favorite with a superb finish down the stretch to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park on Friday. Expertly ridden by Rosie Napravnik, who said after the race she was pregnant and would be retiring, the three-year-old filly surged past Iotapa from the outside on the final turn to win by one and one-quarter lengths and improve to eight wins in 11 starts. ...
Goldencents wins 2nd straight BC Dirt Mile (The Associated Press)
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) -- Goldencents defended his title in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, winning by 1¼ lengths despite tiring in the stretch.
Misconnect wins Aqueduct feature (The Associated Press)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Misconnect edged Stan Abhaile by a neck on Friday in the $67,620 allowance feature at Aqueduct.
Hootenanny wins Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (The Associated Press)
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) -- Hootenanny won the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf by three-quarters of a length, snapping trainer Wesley Ward's 0 for 16 skid.
Jim Rome co-owns Breeders' Cup Classic favorite (The Associated Press)
Jim Rome is a softie as a horse owner. ''I've been lucky,'' Rome said in a phone interview this week. Plus, he was simply ''pushing buttons,'' a specialty for a guy who still may be most famous for a decades-old confrontation with former NFL quarterback Jim Everett. After Rome repeatedly called him ''Chris'' - in reference to women's tennis star Chris Evert - on a live broadcast in 1994, Everett flipped over a table and knocked Rome out of his seat.
Regally Ready wins Big Bear Stakes at Santa Anita (The Associated Press)
Regally Ready won the $75,000 Big Bear Stakes for 3-year-olds by a half-length on Thursday at Santa Anita. Ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Regally Ready ran a mile in 1:35.65 and paid $5.60, $3.60 and $3 as the 9-5 favorite. ''This is such a cool horse,'' said Napravnik, who has won all five times she's ridden Regally Ready. He is owned by Santa Anita president Tom Ludt, who races as Vinery Stables.
Untapable, Napravnik team up for Breeders' Cup (The Associated Press)
Untapable and jockey Rosie Napravnik can close out a stellar year with a victory in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff. ''We're expecting a big race out of her,'' said trainer Steve Asmussen, whose best finish in the Distaff was second with My Miss Aurelia two years ago. Untapable and Napravnik have been together for all but two of the 3-year-old filly's 10 career starts. ''This is as good as she's been and I feel really good because she's run some strong races this year.'' Napravnik has just one Breeders' Cup victory in her career, winning the Juvenile two years ago with Shanghai Bobby.
Jockey Gary Stevens returns with new knee (The Associated Press)
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens launches a second comeback in as many years on Friday aboard Sivoliere in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Stevens says he is now pain free, following right knee replacement surgery three months ago. ''I didn't make the decision, it was made for me'' Stevens said Thursday. ''The knee was completely shot.'' The 51-year-old last rode on July 25, ending a remarkable return last season that produced a Preakness win aboard Oxbow, and a pair of Breeders' Cup triumphs with Mucho Macho Man in the Classic and Beholder in the Distaff.
Making Havoc wins Aqueduct feature (The Associated Press)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Making Havoc held on for a 13-1 upset on Thursday in the $69,000 allowance feature for fillies and mares at Aqueduct.
Breeders' Cup and NBC announce 10-year extension (Reuters)
(Reuters) - The Breeders’ Cup and the NBC Sports Group announced on Thursday a 10-year extension that will keep the two-day thoroughbred racing extravaganza on NBC and its cable channel NBCSN through 2025. As part of the deal, NBC and NBC Sports Network will combine to present at least eight hours of live coverage of the 13-race, $26 million Breeders' Cup. The extension includes live primetime coverage of the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2016 from Santa Anita Park near Los Angeles, and in 2017 from Del Mar north of San Diego. The Breeders' Cup, which began in 1984 and is billed as the World Thoroughbred Championship, will be held this year at Santa Anita beginning Friday.
Pimpernel holds off stablemate Hoppertunity (The Associated Press)
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) -- Bob Baffert-trained Pimpernel held off heavily favored stablemate Hoppertunity by a half-length Wednesday in the $60,000 feature race at Santa Anita.
Jockey Julien Leparoux rides 2,000th winner (The Associated Press)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Jockey Julien Leparoux rode In My Time to a one-length win in Wednesday's ninth race at Churchill Downs to earn his 2,000th career victory.
Magician scratches from Breeders' Cup Turf (The Associated Press)
Magician was scratched from the Breeders' Cup on Wednesday, denying the colt a chance to defend his title in the $3 million Turf. Magician is the second major defection in as many days. Magician, trained in Ireland by Aidan O'Brien, was slated to make a second straight U.S. He is headed to stallion duty at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky.
Doubledown Again wins Aqueduct feature (The Associated Press)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Doubledown Again powered to a 6 1/2-length victory on Wednesday in the $69,000 opening-day allowance feature at Aqueduct.
Breeders Crown sites announced through 2017 (The Associated Press)
The organization that owns and services the harness racing's Breeders Crown year-end series has awarded the 12 annual championship events for the next three years to Woodbine Entertainment Group in Canada, The Meadowlands in New Jersey and to Hoosier Park in Anderson, Ind. for the first time. The Hambletonian Society announced the plans on Wednesday. The Breeders Crown will return to Canada in 2015 after a two-year hiatus. The Meadowlands, the site for this year's Breeders Crown Festival on Nov. 21- 22, will be the host in 2016.
Churchill plans suites for owners of Derby horses (The Associated Press)
Churchill Downs says it will develop new trackside suites for the owners of horses running in the Kentucky Derby. The Louisville track said Wednesday the $4.2 million project will include 20 private, open-air Winner's Circle Suites. Churchill says it will also triple the number of complimentary tickets for all participating owners in the Derby and Kentucky Oaks.
Shared Belief completes final Breeders' Cup tuneup (The Associated Press)
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) -- Shared Belief, the morning-line favorite for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, polished off his final major training on Tuesday.