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Gun Runner headlines $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on Sat., Jan. 27, at 4:30 PM ET on NBC

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STAMFORD, Conn. – January 24, 2018 – 2017 Horse of the Year contender Gun Runner, the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, headlines a star-studded field in the $16 Million Pegasus World Cup Invitational, the world’s richest horse race, from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., this Saturday, Jan. 27, live at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Gun Runner has six victories in his last seven starts. He faces competition from 2017 Travers Stakes winner West Coast, Gunnevera, Collected, and War Story.

Laffit Pincay, III hosts the show, alongside Hall-of-Fame jockey and analyst Jerry Bailey; analyst Randy Moss; and reporters Nick Luck and Britney Eurton.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs – will stream coverage of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational. The NBC Sports app will stream coverage via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to their subscription service, and making high-quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. Powered by Playmaker Media, the NBC Sports app is available on Apple iOS, Android and select Samsung devices, as well as on Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Win10, and Xbox.

The innovative Pegasus World Cup Invitational, contested at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt, is restricted to 12 horses. Twelve owners have reserved a spot in the starting gate, who can race, lease, share a starter, or sell their place in the gate.  The stakeholders will share equally in the net income from betting, media rights and sponsorships.

NBC SPORTS GROUP AND HORSE RACING: In addition to the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown, Breeders’ Cup, and The Royal Ascot. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001, and the Belmont Stakes since 2011, when the NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown.

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.