Exaggerator wins Preakness Stakes, upsets Nyquist

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BALTIMORE — Finally, Exaggerator has beaten Nyquist, and it came in the Preakness on Saturday to end any chance of another Triple Crown.

Seizing the lead at the top of the stretch, Exaggerator splashed past a tiring Nyquist and went on for a 3 1/2-length victory over Cherry Wine on a rain-drenched Pimlico Race Course.

Exaggerator’s elusive victory over his nemesis came after four tough losses, including a runner-up finish to Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby.

Nyquist was sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the 11-horse field, and dueled with Uncle Lino for the lead through the first mile of the 1 3/16th-mile second leg of the Triple Crown.

And then it was all Exaggerator – no kidding.

The 3-year-old colt kept gaining ground along the rail. Jockey Kent Desormeaux saw an opening around the final turn, angled outside and Exaggerator took over.

Nyquist, with Mario Gutierrez aboard finished third, followed by Stradivari, Lani, Laoban, Uncle Lino, Fellowship, Awesome Speed, Collected and Abiding Star.

Winning time for the race was 1:58.31.

Trained by Kent’s younger brother, Keith, Exaggerator showed his talent in the slop once again. He won the Santa Anita Derby over a sloppy track, and did the same in the Preakness. It was the first Preakness winner for the trainer who began his career in Maryland, and third for the Hall of Fame rider.

The crowd was estimated at a record 134,000.

Alpinista overcomes heavy ground to win l’Arc de Triomphe

Qatar Prix de Arc de Triomphe
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PARIS – Alpinista made light work of the rain and heavy ground to narrowly win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday.

Jockey Luke Morris attacked heading into the last furlong and the 5-year-old mare just held off a late charge from Belgian jockey Christophe Soumillon on Vadeni and last year’s 80-1 winner Torquator Tasso, ridden by veteran Italian jockey Frankie Dettori.

“I had a beautiful draw in stall six and after being perfectly placed, there was a second when I thought we were getting drawn into it too early,” Morris said. “But once she had taken charge, I was able to sit on her from 100 meters out.”

Morris felt the conditions would have made it harder for Alpinista to attack the way she did.

“I was concerned when all that rain came but the race went very smoothly,” he said. “I couldn’t believe how it could have in a 20-runner Arc. It was incredible.”

Alpinista was among the pre-race favorites.

“If it hadn’t been my horse, I would have thought it was going to win every inch of the way, but when it’s your own of course it’s a nightmare,” Alpinista trainer Mark Prescott said. “I didn’t think all that rain would help, but she’s never traveled better and has come on with each race.”

It was not yet clear if Alpinista will next race at the Breeders’ Cup or the Japan Cup next month.

Royal silks return as King Charles III’s horse finishes 2nd

Ascot Races
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SALISBURY, England – The famous royal silks returned to British horse racing with the first runner under the ownership of King Charles III finishing a distant second at Salisbury.

Educator was the first horse to wear the purple, red and gold silks since the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8.

Her oldest son and heir, Charles, has taken on the royal stable and Educator was sent off as the 11-10 favorite under jockey Tom Marquand for the Radcliffe & Co Handicap.

Okeechobee won by 4 \ lengths in the four-horse race.

The queen’s last runner was Improvise, who was beaten narrowly at Epsom on the day the monarch died at her Balmoral estate in Scotland.