Three horses die in first two days at Belmont Park fall meet

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NEW YORK — Three horses died during the first two days of Belmont Park’s fall season, mirroring the start and end of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course.

According to the New York State Gaming Commission’s equine database, two horses died last Friday, opening day. Royal Inheritance collapsed and died during training, and Passporttovictory was euthanized after being removed from a race. Both were trained by Jeremiah Englehart.

Mo Moxie was put down Saturday by a veterinarian after the horse flipped while jogging and fractured a leg on the Belmont training track. So far this year, 25 horses have died at Belmont and four at nearby Aqueduct.

In the 40-day meet at Saratoga, 11 horses died during training or non-racing activities and four died during races.

The New York Racing Association said it is “working closely” with state regulators to review the circumstances of each death. NYRA operates Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga.

The sport has come under intense scrutiny since 30 horses died at Santa Anita in Southern California during its recent season.

The first horse to die at Saratoga while racing was Fight Night, who was euthanized on the track July 12. Two days later, Total Fidelity was put down after fracturing sesamoids during training. Saratoga’s final week had four thoroughbred deaths, two race related.

Arabian Knight off Kentucky Derby trail; will return later

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Arabian Knight is off the Kentucky Derby trail.

Wagering has been suspended on the 3-year-old colt for the Derby’s future wager after owner Amr Zedan announced the decision. Arabian Knight was the second choice on the morning line behind favorite Forte for the May 6 race.

“Trainer Tim Yakteen wasn’t happy with his last work & we feel it’s in Arabian Knight’s best interest not to rush & allow him more time to develop,” Zedan tweeted. “We know he’s a superior talent & our plan is to point him toward a summer and fall campaign.”

Purchased for $2.3 million as a 2-year-old, Arabian Knight won his debut by 7 1/4 lengths at Keeneland last November. He made his 3-year-old debut in the Southwest at Oaklawn in January and won by 5 1/2 lengths.

Arabian Knight had his third workout at Santa Anita.

Tapit Trice wins Tampa Bay Derby, earns Kentucky Derby points

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TAMPA, Fla. — Tapit Trice rallied from last to win the $360,000 Tampa Bay Derby by two lengths and earn qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.

Ridden by Luis Saez, Tapit Trice ran 1 1/16 miles 1:43.37. The 1-2 favorite in the field of 12 paid $3 to win. The 3-year-old colt earned 50 qualifying points, which places him in the 20-horse field for the Kentucky Derby on May 6.

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher extended his record for most wins in the Grade 3 race to six. He already has the early Kentucky Derby favorite in Forte, who won the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream last weekend.

Classic Car Wash was second and Classic Legacy was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

Tapit Trice was making his stakes debut after winning two of three starts.

“Once he got clear down the lane, he really extended himself,” Pletcher said. ”I loved the way he finished up. He relished the two turns, and the longer he goes, the better he’ll get.”