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Dolphus Morrison, breeder of Rachel Alexandra, dies at 82

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Dolphus Morrison, a longtime horseman and the breeder of the great filly Rachel Alexandra, has died. He was 82.

He died Wednesday at a nursing home and had Alzheimer’s, his wife, Ellen, said.

Morrison was involved in thoroughbred racing for more than three decades when he and trainer Hal Wiggins struck gold with Rachel Alexandra in 2009. The champion filly, named after a granddaughter of Morrison’s, won the Preakness that year and became the face of his breeding program.

“He was kind, he was smart, he was generous,” breeder and longtime friend Dede McGehee of Heaven Trees Farm told The Blood-Horse, a thoroughbred racing trade publication. “He was a little unorthodox at times, but he was a father figure to me. He was kind to everyone who worked on the farm, he was kind to everyone who worked on the track. He treated everybody with respect.”

After Wiggins decided to switch jockeys to Calvin Borel, Rachel Alexandra took off on a nine-race winning streak. Rachel Alexandra soared to victory in the Kentucky Oaks by a record 20 1/4 lengths and became the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Other victories in 2009 included the Haskell and Woodward, and she was honored as Horse of the Year. This past August she was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.

Morrison nearly sold Rachel Alexandra when she didn’t display early signs of the champion she would become. She finished sixth in her 2-year-old debut in May 2008 at Churchill Downs and won only two of her first five starts. He and partner Mike Lauffer finally sold her to Stonestreet Stables before the Preakness.

Morrison ended his breeding operation in 2012.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children and two grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Jockey dies after injury at northeastern Oklahoma racetrack

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CLAREMORE, Okla. (AP) Officials say a jockey who was injured during a race at a northeastern Oklahoma track has died.

The Cherokee Nation says jockey Mario Chavez was injured Saturday at Will Rogers Downs after his horse crashed into the inside rail, throwing him to the ground. Gunnar Enlow, whose family owns the farm where the 42-year-old Chavez worked, says Chavez was pronounced dead at the hospital on Sunday.

Chavez bred and raced horses for 26 years in northeastern Oklahoma. He won the Tulsa State Fair stakes in July.

The Cherokee Nation owns and operates the racetrack in Claremore, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Tulsa.

Dettori wins record fifth Arc as Enable caps brilliant season

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CHANTILLY, France — Frankie Dettori won an unprecedented fifth Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday as Enable capped a memorable season.

Enable, the 10-11 favorite, led for most of Europe’s richest horse race to claim her fifth consecutive victory after wins in the Epsom Oaks, the Irish Oaks, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks.

The John Gosden-trained filly won by 2 1/2 lengths over Cloth Of Stars, ridden by jockey Mickael Barzalona and trained by Andre Fabre.

The Michael Stoute-trained Ulysses, ridden by Jim Crowley, was another length and a quarter back in third.

“I said to John last week she is the best she has ever been. To keep this filly at 100 percent all year is fantastic,” Dettori said. “I had position `A’, I knew I had no weight and she stays, so I kicked and she gave me four lengths and the race was over.

“She’s amazing and is an absolute freak. I love her. John is a genius.”

It was Dettori and Gosden’s second Arc win in three years, after the popular Italian won on Golden Horn.

Dettori’s victory comes 22 years after his first triumph in the 1 +-mile race.

The 3-year-old Enable made a fast start from stall two and Dettori always had her well positioned behind Aidan O’Brien’s pair of Idaho and Order Of St George, before pulling away inside the final two furlongs

“She showed an impressive turn of foot and acceleration to kill the field. She has amazing ability,” Gosden said. “Frankie got her in a great position. He’s pretty good for an old jock!”

The race will return to its usual home at Longchamp in 2018 after a two-year absence due to renovations, and Gosden hopes Enable will be there.

“She has only raced for 10 months of her life. She had one little run last November, but really she’s only had one season of racing,” Gosden said. “There would be every reason to keep her in training next year as a 4-year-old, particularly with the new Longchamp opening.

“That would be exciting – to try to win the Arc on two different tracks.”