Del Mar cancels Thanksgiving racing with rain in forecast

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DEL MAR, Calif. — With the forecast calling for substantial rain in Southern California next week, Del Mar has canceled Thanksgiving Day racing.

Track officials said Saturday that they would shift several of the races from Thursday’s card, including the $100,000 Red Carpet Stakes, to expanded 10-race cards next Saturday and Sunday. There will be seven graded turf races over the two days.

Also, the track plans to race Friday as scheduled but will race only on its main dirt track that day. Friday’s feature, the $200,000 Hollywood Turf Cup, will be run next Sunday.

Tom Robbins, Del Mar’s executive vice president for racing, says safety comes first with horses and jockeys.

Del Mar worked with the Thoroughbred Owners of California and the California Horse Racing Board to make the changes.

It’s the second time Del Mar has canceled racing ahead of scheduled rain during its current fall meet. It didn’t race last Thursday when the season’s first rain fell.

Although the track north of San Diego won’t race on Thanksgiving, it will be open for holiday brunch.

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.

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

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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.