Keen Ice retires, will miss Breeders’ Cup Classic

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Keen Ice will be retired after wrenching his right ankle while galloping and won’t run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 4, which was scheduled to be his career finale.

Jerry Crawford, president of Donegal Racing, says the injury isn’t severe, but it was enough for the owners to decide to end the 5-year-old’s career. Keen Ice will be retired to Calumet Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, and begin stallion duties next year.

Keen Ice finished third in last year’s BC Classic and fourth in the 2015 edition. He was third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont in his last start on Oct. 7.

The horse had career earnings of $3,407,245, with three wins in 24 career starts. Keen Ice was trained by Dale Romans early in his career and most recently by Todd Pletcher.

Keen Ice is perhaps best known for upsetting Triple Crown champion American Pharoah to win the 2015 Travers Stakes at Saratoga. He finished seventh in the 2015 Kentucky Derby and third in the Belmont Stakes.

Crawford says Donegal Racing will be first in line to buy any progeny of Keen Ice.

3 jockeys, 3 trainers and 4 thoroughbreds finalists for HOF

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) Jockeys Robby Albarado, Corey Nakataki and Craig Perret are among 10 finalists on the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame ballot.

Also on the ballot released Thursday were thoroughbreds Blind Luck, Gio Ponti, Havre de Grace and Heavenly Prize, and trainers Mark Casse, John Shirreffs and David Whiteley.

Votes from two-thirds of the nominating committee were necessary to qualify as finalists and the rule capping the number of inductees at four has been eliminated.

Hall of Fame ballots will be mailed to the voting panel on March 1. Results of the voting on the contemporary candidates will be announced April 16. Those who receive a majority of the votes will be elected.

The induction ceremony will be held at the Fasig-Tipton Sales pavilion in Saratoga Springs on Aug. 3.

Texts reveal extent of doping scandal in Aussie horse racing

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MELBOURNE, Australia — A newspaper has revealed text messages between a leading trainer and stable staff involved in a doping scandal that resulted in eight persons being charged and may have included the 2015 Melbourne Cup, Australia’s richest and most prestigious horse race.

The Herald Sun in Melbourne said Wednesday the texts, uncovered by integrity investigators, detailed conversations over the alleged administration of illegal doses of performance-enhancing sodium bicarbonate in a practice known as “tubing” just before a race.

The newspaper said the most explosive text came on the eve of the 2015 Melbourne Cup where a trainer and stable hand discussed using “top-ups,” allegedly a reference to a mix of prohibited substances often administered within minutes of competition.

The stable hand responds that he’ll need a “wheelbarrow” to carry them all after the trainer requests the top-up. He then adds: “I’ll be walking funny, got two Cup horses as well.”

The eight persons charged last month face 271 offenses since 2010.

“The Integrity Services Department and our stewards have worked swiftly to fully investigate these matters resulting in the laying of charges,” Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson said when the charges were announced in January.