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Rain keeps Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in barn

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Triple Crown winner American Pharoah remained in the barn Wednesday morning as heavy rain disrupted training for the Breeders’ Cup this weekend at Keeneland.

It was cold and soggy when American Pharoah arrived Tuesday from his home base in Southern California.

The $5 million Classic on Saturday will be American Pharoah’s final race before retirement to a new career as a stallion at a nearby breeding farm.

Trainer Bob Baffert had planned to send American Pharoah to the track for light exercise the morning after the cross-country flight. The 6-to-5 favorite in the Classic is expected to be on the track Thursday when the weather improves.

There is no rain predicted for Friday, the start of the two-day Breeders’ Cup, and only a 20 percent chance of showers on Saturday.

Heat prompts NYRA to cancel racing Saturday at Saratoga

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — The New York Racing Association has canceled Saturday’s card of racing at Saratoga Race Course due to excessive heat forecast for eastern New York.

The National Weather Service is predicting a heat index as high as 110 degrees. Training will be permitted Saturday on both the main track and Oklahoma training track in the normally cooler temperatures in the morning.

The last time an entire racing card was canceled at Saratoga because of extreme heat was Aug. 2, 2006, when temperatures rose to the upper 90s and the heat index measured as high as 110 degrees.

NYRA president Dave O’Rourke calls the move “of the utmost importance” to NYRA and its industry partners.

The sport has come under increased scrutiny with the deaths of 30 horses during the recent racing season at Santa Anita in Southern California.

Two horses killed at Del Mar in training collision

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DEL MAR, Calif. — Two horses have been killed in a collision at Del Mar during training on the second day of its 2019 season.

The track says the accident occurred Thursday morning when the horse Charge A Bunch threw rider Geovanni Franco, turned sharply and collided with Carson Valley.

Carson Valley’s rider, jockey Assael Espinoza, was taken to a hospital for evaluation but Franco was not injured.

Carson Valley’s trainer, Bob Baffert, says it was a freak accident beyond anyone’s control.

The Del Mar deaths follow 30 horse fatalities at the just-ended Santa Anita meet. Those deaths led to an array of new procedures intended to increase safety.