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Always B Miki edges Wiggle It Jiggleit in Breeders Crown

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Always B Miki beat Wiggle It Jiggleit at the end of a thrilling stretch battle in the $421,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace on Friday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Their rivalry has been the highlight of the harness racing season with each posting three wins in their previous seven showdowns.

With the Crown victory, Always B Miki likely clinched Horse of the Year honors by edging the defending champion.

The race unfolded with Wiggle It Jiggleit taking the lead on the first turn while Always B Miki dropped in behind him.

They raced in that order until midway on the final turn when driver David Miller sent Always B Miki after the leader.

Turning for home, it appeared Wiggle It Jiggleit would prevail until Always B Miki surged in the final strides to win by three-quarters of a length.

“I couldn’t be happier with him,” Miller said. “He’s a tough horse. He shows up, and he was determined to get his head in front there.”

He paid $3.20 to win. It was the 28th Crown win for trainer Jimmy Takter, the career leader in the series.

It was a satisfying victory for Takter who nursed the horse through multiple serious injuries.

“I am speechless,” Hall of Famer Takter said. “The people here saw two great, great horses fighting side by side down the stretch. For me, it was maybe the best race I ever had a horse participate in.”

The Meadowlands presented the four Crowns for older horses on Friday. The eight events for 2 and 3-year-olds take place Saturday.

In other results, driver Yannick Gingras won a pair of $250,000 Crowns with Hannelore Hanover in the Filly & Mare Open Trot and Lady Shadow in the Filly & Mare Open Pace.

Hannelore Hanover, the 3/5 favorite, beat Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, by two lengths.

It was her 16th win in 19 starts this season for trainer Ron Burke.

The time was 1:53 3/5 for the mile. She paid $3.40 to win.

Lady Shadow, the 1/5 choice, beat Sassa Hanover by 2 1/4 lengths for her 11th win in 19 starts this year.

She paid $2.40 to win.

In the only upset, 4-1 shot Flanagan Memory beat Resolve, the 1/5 favorite, by a length in the $500,000 Open Trot.

Brian Sears was at the lines for trainer Rene Dion as the 6-year-old paid $10.60 to win.

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.”