Knicks Go wins horse racing

DEL MAR, California (AP) – The Knicks Go set the early pace and kicked off to a 2 3/4-length victory in the $ 6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday in Del Mar.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, 5-year-old Knicks Go battled a trio of top 3-year-olds – the controversial Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit, the Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality and the hometown hero Hot Rod Charlie.

The Knicks Go were sent out at odds of 3-1 and paid $ 8.40 to win to coach Brad Cox. He also saddled 9-5 favorite Essential Quality, which finished in third place.

Medina Spirit finished in second place for tough coach Bob Baffert. Høllet failed in a drug test after the race after the Derby and Kentucky Horse Racing Commission have not yet made a final decision based on the investigation.

Hot Rod Charlie finished fourth. Fans shouted “Let’s go Chuck!” before the race.

The Classic field was reduced to eight when the Express Train was scratched in the morning with swelling in the right buttock, equivalent to an ankle.

In other races:

– Japan got a 0-to-13 slip in the Breeders’ Cup, with a stunning 45-1 upset in the $ 2 million Distaff and a win in the $ 2 million Filly and Mare Turf.

Marche Lorraine edged Dunbar Road with a nose after a photo finish in Distaff. The 5-year-old mare ran 1 1/8 miles in 1: 47.67 and paid $ 101.80 to win under Irish jockey Oisín Murphy.

Letruska, 8-5 favorite with ties to Mexico, finished 10th among 11 horses.

Yoshito Yahagi coached both Japanese champions. Loves Only You won the Filly & Mare Turf by half a length under Yuga Kawada. She covered 1 3/8 miles in 2: 13.87 and paid $ 10.60 to win.

“I want to say thank you to my horse. She did an amazing job,” Yahagi said through a translator. “It’s a dream come true for the Japanese horse racing industry. I would love to come back to the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland next year and do the same. “

Yahagi did not have to wait that long. Three races later he saddled Marche Lorraine in Distaff.

War Like Goddess, the 2-1 favorite in Filly & Mare Turf, finished third. Defending champion Audarya finished fifth.

UK-bred Yibir won the $ 4 million Turf by half length, giving coach Charlie Appleby, jockey William Buick and owner Godolphin Stables their third win of the weekend. Godolphin is the racing suit of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. Yibir ran 1 1/2 miles at 2: 25.90 and paid $ 19 to win at 8-1 odds. The 3-year-old gelding got a horse blow to return home before setting up on the outside and spoiling Broome in, who finished second. Tarnawa, the 2-1 favorite, finished 11th.

The trio previously teamed up to win the $ 2 million Mile with 2-1 favorite Space Blues and $ 1 million Juvenile Turf on Friday with Modern Games.

In the Mile, the Irish breeder won the Space Blues by half a length. He ran the distance on the turf in 1: 34.01 and paid $ 6.20 to win as a 2-1 favorite in his last race before retiring. Appleby’s second horse, Master of the Seas, was scratched at the starting gate after trading up the No. 1 spot. Neither the horse nor the jockey James Doyle was injured. It was similar to what happened on Friday when the Modern Games were mistakenly scratched by vets before being reinserted to run only in the Juvenile Turf for wallet. Modern games won. “I’m getting used to that kind of speech now,” Appleby joked.

– Aloha West scored a upset to win the $ 2 million Sprint with a nose. The 4-year-old colt, who began his racing career this year, was sixth at the top of the stretch and edged Dr. Schivel by the thread under Jose Ortiz, who won his second Cup race this weekend. Trained by Wayne Catalano, Aloha West ran six furlongs in 1: 08.49 and paid $ 24.60 to win. Jackie’s Warrior, the 1-2 favorite, finished sixth.

– Ce Ce won the $ 1 million Filly & Mare Sprint by 2 1/2 lengths in a showdown. The 6-1 shot paid $ 14.40 to win. Defending champion Gamine, the favorite 2-5 coached by Bob Baffert, finished in third place and finished her winning streak in five races. Victor Espinoza, 49, rode the winner. She ran seven furlongs in 1:21.

– Life Is Good won to a 5 3/4-length victory in the $ 1 million Dirt Mile, giving jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. his third Cup win this weekend. The 3-year-old colt ran the distance in 1: 34.12 and paid $ 3.40 to win as a 3-5 favorite. Todd Pletcher coaches Life Is Good and got his 12th Cup victory. Ortiz has 14 career Cup wins.

– Golden Pal rose to the front in the $ 1 million Turf Sprint and won by 1 1/4 length under Irad Ortiz Jr. The 5-2 favorite ran 1 1/4 miles in 54.75 seconds and paid $ 7 to win. Ortiz and coach Wesley Ward joined forces to take on Juvenile Turf on Friday with Twilight Gleaming.

Jockey ET Baird was fined $ 5,000 by Del Mar stewards for violating California’s whipping rules in the Juvenile Turf Sprint last Friday. He was quoted as having used the whip more than six times during a race. His mount, One Timer, finished in ninth place.

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AP freelance writer Mike Farrell contributed to this report.

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