Bolt takes final curtain call as Felix, Semenya add more gold

first_imgSemenya hinted that it would now be time to tackle the world record of 1:53.28 set by Jarmila Kratochvilova back in 1983.“We need to clear 1:55 first and it will require a lot of hard training. I have Olympic, world and Commonwealth titles now so maybe it is time to target the world record,” said Semenya, whose last defeat in the event dates back to 2015.“It’s the next thing on the list. I know it will be difficult but I will have to attempt soon, maybe.”– ‘Proud moment’ –Kenya enjoyed a successful final blast with Hellen Obiri comprehensively denying Alamaz Ayana a double gold as the 27-year-old Kenyan burnt the 10,000m champion for pace down the back straight of the final lap to ease to the 5,000m title.Her compatriot Elijah Manangoi led home a 1-2 in the 1500m to turn his silver from 2015 into gold this time round but Asbel Kiprop never looked at the races for a fourth successive title and finished down the field in ninth.“It was just such a good race and I’m so pleased to be a world champion. I had a difficult race as Timothy (Cheruiyot who is also his training partner) raced very well but I had that extra strength,” said 24-year-old Manangoi.“We have had very good champions in the event over the years so it is a proud moment for me to win this title for my country.”The Americans may have dominated the 10-day competition but there was to be no final flourish as Trinidad and Tobago’s men’s 4x400m relay team ran superbly to take the gold and bring the curtain down on a championships that never failed to surprise.Share on: WhatsApp Allyson (middle) celebrates 16th medalLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Athletics greats Allyson Felix and Caster Semenya lit up the track to bring the curtain down on the world championships in great style on Sunday.However, not for the first time, but certainly the last as an athlete, Usain Bolt stole the show.Retiring superstar Bolt put on one last appearance, the 100m and 200m world record-holder accorded a lap of honour in front of the 60,000 spectators who stayed on after the finals were over.“It’s been a rough couple of days, and this is a very emotional moment for me,” said the 30-year-old Jamaican referring to his dramatic collapsing to the track with cramp in the anchor leg of the 4x100m relay final 24 hours earlier.“I always tried my best and gave 100 percent all the time and above all put on a good show.”Bolt then went on a lap of honour to the tune of “Reggae Nights” raising his arms and applauding the crowd, embracing his parents on the track and then finishing with a final flourish of his trademark ‘lightning bolt’ stance not once but twice. On the track, Felix ran a stunning leg in 48.7seconds in the women’s 4×400 metres relay to set the United States up for an easy victory and take her record world medals tally to 16, two ahead of retired Jamaican duo Merlene Ottey and Bolt.“It does mean so much to me every time,” Felix said when asked whether medals motivated her.“I love this sport. I’m grateful to run with these amazing girls. They work so hard and deserve all their success.“It’s an honour to run in the relay for Team USA and I will always treasure these moments.”South African star Semenya, who seems to block out all the debate about whether she should be running or not, added a third 800m crown to her tally to put her alongside another African great Maria Mutola as the only women to have won the title three times.last_img read more

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – SUNDAY, NOV. 6, 2016

first_imgNorberto Arroyo, Jr.9818141418%47%$763,758 Tyler Baze9718101319%42%$745,155 ESPINOZA PONDERS WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEENVictor Espinoza was back on the beat at Santa Anita Sunday morning after having the chance to sleep on California Chrome’s harrowing half-length defeat by Arrogate in the Classic. Immediately after the race, while still astride California Chrome, he told an on-track interviewer that perhaps he should have moved sooner on America’s Horse.Sunday morning, he had second thoughts.“When you lose, you think too much, going over in your mind what you might have done differently,” he said. “I could have done that, I could have done this, but at the end of the day, if I moved early, I still might have lost. Then I’m thinking, no, maybe I should have waited longer.“It’s one of those things; Chrome ran a big race. You can’t think too much about the fact that he got beat.“The crowd was awesome, all the Chromies were here to see him and support him. The most important thing is he came out of the race safe and sound and we’ll go for the next one.”Noted 84-year-old Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally on Espinoza’s post-race interview: “It was the only time I ever saw Victor not smiling.”All in all, however, Espinoza took it in stride, and perhaps channeled his “inner Yogi Berra,” saying, “When you lose, you can’t win.” Joseph Talamo60910315%37%$394,075 Jerry Hollendorfer535769%34%$681,500 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Gary Stevens3756914%54%$1,587,990 Rafael Bejarano11221261319%54%$1,449,008 Mark Glatt35761020%66%$325,261 Eddie Truman1441329%57%$107,675 Peter Eurton2342317%39%$251,049 William Spawr1553133%60%$134,358 MEMORABLE BREEDERS’ CUP AT SANTA ANITAAnd so it came to pass that in the 77th year of racing at the storied venue known as Santa Anita Park, on the occasion of the 33rd Breeders’ Cup World Championships occurring for an unprecedented ninth time at The Great Race Place, there was a Race for the Ages, not once, but twice.Friday, Nov. 4, 4:42 p.m.: Beholder and Songbird, together champions four times over, waged a stretch-long battle that at the end of nine furlongs was separated by a scant nose, the photo finish picture making it appear even slimmer than it did live, with the six-year-old and three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder under 53-year-old Gary Stevens handing the two-year-old female champion of 2015 Songbird her first defeat after 11 straight dominating victories under 51-year-old Mike Smith.Saturday, Nov. 5, 5:45 p.m.: the reigning alpha male, California Chrome, and Arrogate, the “Now Horse,” in a deep-stretch dogfight won by Arrogate, who was a half-length in front after a mile and a quarter in the $6 million Classic. (Arrogate earned a Beyer Speed figure of 120, while Chrome got a career-high 119).Arrogate and Songbird have their futures ahead of them. They will race again next year. For Beholder and Chrome, their future is their past. The breeding farm awaits both.This was racing. This was the Breeders’ Cup. This was Santa Anita. This was the Sport of Kings. This was Doc Strub, Shoemaker, Longden, Arcaro and George Woolf. It was Whittingham, McAnally, Lukas, Frankel and Farrell Jones.It was Seabiscuit, Round Table, Affirmed and Spectacular Bid. It was John Henry, Best Pal, Winning Colors and Swaps.It was the joy of victory for Arrogate’s trainer Bob Baffert after the Classic, and the agony of defeat for Chrome’s trainer Art Sherman.Baffert, winning his third straight Breeders’ Cup Classic, was magnanimous in victory, crediting Chrome and his multitude of fanatics for attracting a crowd of 72,811 to Santa Anita on Saturday, the highest single-day attendance for a Breeders’ Cup since the event switched to a two-day format.He was right, of course. Chrome was the magnet, the headliner, the marquee performer, the horse that packed the house.But it was the Distaff and the Classic that lived up to pre-race billing and beyond. For Beholder in victory and California Chrome in defeat, their stature will only grow.As Tolkien wrote in Lord of the Rings, “History became legend. Legend became myth.” JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Martin Pedroza78105313%23%$327,384 Kent Desormeaux761981425%54%$833,135 Peter Miller691611623%48%$571,300 Tiago Pereira7189111%25%$348,505 (Current Through Friday, Nov. 4) Carla Gaines1741224%41%$235,770center_img Mike Smith2756419%56%$1,346,205 Robert Hess, Jr.2042420%50%$141,755 BREEDERS’ CUP NO. 33 IS ONE FOR THE AGESESPINOZA PONDERS WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEENCONGRATULATIONS TO PAPA JOE TALAMO TrainerMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Fernando Perez561131020%43%$315,800 Mario Gutierrez5156910%39%$488,055 Jeff Mullins1540327%47%$126,290 Flavien Prat10016171516%48%$1,359,148 Gary Sherlock1752129%47%$142,590 Mike Puype2741115%22%$135,960 BREEDERS’ CUPLETS:Richard Mandella said Beholder came out of Friday’s memorable Distaff triumph fine, “she’ll have a few days to settle down, then we’ll send her to the farm (of owner B. Wayne Hughes) in Kentucky.”Asked if he had a time agenda, Mandella, hoping to savor every last minute with his thrice champion mare, said, “I’ll take all the time I can. I’ll be like the guy in prison waiting for the Governor to call with a reprieve.”Jerry Hollendorfer reported that Songbird, who suffered her first defeat by an excruciating nose to Beholder in the Distaff, “will get a little break now. She’ll go to Kentucky at WinStar for 30 to 45 days, then come back and get ready for next year.”David Hofmans, back on the beat Sunday morning with assistant and nephew Brent Fabbri and son Grant Hofmans, visiting from Kentucky, said Melatonin came out of his fifth-place finish in the Classic “good, but very tired,” after his first race in more than four months. “He had a good mile in him and that was about it.“He ran hard, tried, but couldn’t catch those monsters (Arrogate and California Chrome, who were 10 ¾ lengths in front of third-place Keen Ice in the mile and a quarter Classic). Now I have two horses to duck. Melatonin will have a little teeny breather but we’ll stay here and run at Santa Anita for the Winter Meet.”Addressing the blockbuster Breeders’ Cup spectacular which attracted 118,574 fans on track over the two days, Hofmans said, “I thought it was terrific, great days, great venue, Santa Anita did a really good job. I thought the fans were terrific. The whole thing was great.”Martin Garcia and his agent, Tony Matos, endured a frustratingly disappointing meet with only one win from 46 rides through 22 days, thanks in large part to a separation mandate meted out for several months by Bob Baffert.The drought ended with a bang Saturday when Garcia guided Baffert trainee Drefong to a 1 ¼-length victory over favored Masochistic in the $1.5 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Garcia’s other win this meet also was for Baffert, aboard Air Pocket, who was dropping from a maiden allowance race into a $25,000 claimer on Oct.20, returning $4.20 as the favorite.“We’re very grateful to Bob for letting us back in his barn,” an appreciative Matos said. “Hopefully, it will last forever.”Gary Stevens was not a happy camper after being fined $500 by California Horse Racing Board stewards for not honoring his 10th race commitment Friday on Mr. Roary. The Hall of Fame rider was fulfilling a prior obligation, that of holding a Breeders’ Cup media conference following his Distaff victory on Beholder in the previous race.In the nine Breeders’ Cup races run yesterday, only one American-born jockey won, Mike Smith aboard Finest City in the Filly & Mare Sprint and on Arrogate in the Classic.Smith extended his lead for all-time Breeders’ Cup victories to 25 with three wins over the weekend. His mounts earned $5,345,345 elevating his record total to $34,280,605, more than $11 million over his closest pursuer, John Velazquez.Smith also won his third Bill Shoemaker Award presented to the most outstanding jockey in the Breeders’ Cup Championships. He previously won in 2012 and 2013, also at Santa Anita.There were six winning Pick 6 tickets Saturday, each worth $292,423.20, thanks to a two-day carryover of $511,261 and an influx of $4,053,425 in fresh money on Saturday. Philip D’Amato5392517%30%$499,355 Jamie Theriot615258%20%$223,869 Victor Espinoza4168415%44%$887,895 FINISH LINES: Joe Talamo took off his scheduled mounts today to spend time at Huntington Memorial Hospital with his wife, Elizabeth, who gave birth to a son, Vincent James, at 10:20 Sunday morning. The bouncing baby boy weighed in at seven pounds, seven ounces and was 20 inches long . . . Today’s fourth race is named the Happy Trails Junior Hungerford in honor of Hungerford retiring after 42 years on the starting gate crew . . . Rafael Bejarano has been suspended three racing days (Nov. 13, 17 and 18) for causing interference on Kona Dream in the first race on Oct. 30 . . . Former trainer Paco Gonzalez was a visitor during Breeders’ Cup weekend.PHOTO COURTESY OF BREEDERS’ CUP / ECLIPSE SPORTSWIRE  Doug O’Neill9015121717%49%$830,581 Richard Baltas671212718%46%$673,165 Bob Baffert38128432%63%$1,038,880last_img read more