Midnight Storm wins $250,000 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar

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DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) Midnight Storm fought off multiple challenges in the stretch to win the $250,000 Eddie Read Stakes on Sunday at Del Mar.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano and carrying high weight of 124 pounds, Midnight Storm ran nine furlongs on the turf in 1:47.88 and paid $5.40, $3.40 and $2.60 as the 8-5 favorite in the Grade 2 race.

Ashleyluvssugar returned $5.60 and $3.40, while Flamboyant was another neck back in third and paid $3.40 to show.

Trained by Phil D’Amato, Midnight Storm took command from the gate and battled back when threatened through the stretch. Si Sage was another head back in fourth in the blanket finish.

The victory, worth $150,000, increased Midnight Storm’s career earnings to $981,110, with seven wins in 17 starts. It was his fourth win in five starts at the seaside oval.

In the $85,425 Sandy Blue Handicap for 3-year-old fillies, Barleysugar won by 2 3/4 lengths under Hall of Famer Gary Stevens. The Ireland-bred filly paid $22.20, $6.80 and $5.60 at 10-1 odds in her U.S. debut.

Barleysugar ran nine furlongs on the turf in 1:48.70.

Cheekaboo, the 3-2 favorite, finished second. Mrs. Norris was third.

Stradivarius, 3-time Ascot Gold Cup winner, retired to stud

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LONDON – Stradivarius, one of the most famous racehorses in Britain and Ireland after winning the Gold Cup at Ascot three times, has been retired to stud.

Bjorn Nielsen, the owner of Stradivarius, said he felt it would be unfair to make the horse come back next season as a 9-year-old after time away with a bruised foot.

“It has been a fairytale from start to finish,” Nielsen told British newspaper The Racing Post.

Stradivarius, bred in Ireland and the son of Sea The Stars, won 20 of his 35 races – including seven Group One races – and earned almost 3.5 million pounds (now $3.8 million) in prize money.

Stradivarius won four Goodwood Cups, three Yorkshire Cups and two Doncaster Cups.

Taiba wins $1 million Pennsylvania Derby for Baffert

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BENSALEM, Pa. – Taiba won the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby by three lengths for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Taiba ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.67 and paid $4.80, $3 and $2.60.

It was Baffert’s fourth win in the Grade 1 event at Parx Racing. He also won in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Smith won the race for the third time, all aboard Baffert horses.

Zandon returned $3.80 and $2.60. Cyberknife was another 3 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $3 to show.

Taiba was coming off a second-place finish in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth in July. The colt was 12th in the Kentucky Derby under Tim Yakteen, who took over training him while Baffert was serving a 90-day suspension.

“He had a little bit of a rough trip in the Haskell, but we had some time to get him ready for this one,” Baffert said from his base in California. “He proved today he is a good horse. He is getting better and better.”

Baffert Taiba will be pointed toward the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. The colt has three wins in five starts this year.