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8-1 shot Lombo wins Robert Lewis, earns Ky Derby points

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ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Lombo scored a two-length victory in the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, giving trainer Mike Pender a Kentucky Derby contender.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, Lombo ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.41 and paid $19.40, $10.40 and $7.20 at 8-1 odds in the field of nine 3-year-olds.

Lombo earned 10 qualifying points on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, which determines the 20-horse field for the May 5 race.

Ayacara returned $6 and $4.40 and earned four qualifying points. Dark Vader was another 3 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $13.60 to show, earning two qualifying points. Regulate received one point for finishing fourth.

Peace, the 2-1 favorite, was seventh.

Lombo earned his first career victory by 3 1/2 lengths on Jan. 20 at Santa Anita. Prat picked up the mount for the colt’s fourth career start when Kent Desormeaux opted to ride Ayacara.

“He ran a big race,” Prat said. “They put a little pressure on him down the backside, but he was nice and relaxed. I worked him last week and he’s got a lot of speed. I was concerned he might want to go, but he was relaxed. That was my main concern.”

Lombo was purchased for $75,000 by owner Michael V. Lombardi at a 2-year-old in training sale in Ocala, Florida, last March. The colt has two wins in four starts and earnings of $129,225.

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.