Point of Honor fulfills favorite role, wins Black-Eyed Susan

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BALTIMORE — Point of Honor took charge with a burst from the outside and held off Ulele to win the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes on Friday.

Fulfilling her role as the favorite, Point of Honor rallied marvelously for jockey Javier Castellano and prevailed in a duel to the wire by a half-length.

Point of Honor paid $7.80, $4.60 and $3.20 in this Grade 2 race for 3-year-old fillies. It was her third win in four career races.

With jockey Irad Ortiz aboard, Cookie Dough bolted from the gate and led for much of the race before falling behind the fast-closing Point of Honor and Ulele.

Earlier, the death of a horse on the track marred the second-biggest day of racing at Pimlico Race Course. In the eighth race, Congrats Gal collapsed following the conclusion of the Miss Preakness Stakes and was pronounced dead after being treated on the scene.

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.