A 3-year-old colt co-owned by the wife of embattled trainer Bob Baffert ran under the name of another Hall of Fame trainer on Saturday, when it finished fourth in the $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational at Belmont Park, where Baffert has been suspended and is suing to regain access.
Du Jour ran in the name of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott for the 1 1/4-mile turf race. The colt is co-owned by Jill Baffert and Debbie Lanni, a friend of the Bafferts. The fourth-place finish was worth $65,000.
Baffert was the trainer of record for Du Jour’s last start, a victory in the $500,000 American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 1. It was the same day Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby, giving Baffert his record seventh win in the race. A week later, Baffert announced that Medina Spirit had tested positive for the corticosteroid betamethasone, which is not permitted at any level on race day. Split-sample testing later confirmed the initial result.
On May 17, the New York Racing Association temporarily suspended the California-based trainer from entering races or having stall space at Belmont Park, Saratoga and Aqueduct.
“During the temporary suspension, NYRA will not accept entries or provide stall space to any individual employed by Bob Baffert Racing Stables,” NYRA said at the time.
Last month, Baffert sued NYRA in court in New York for improperly suspending him allegedly without legal authority an without any notice or chance to be heard before action was taken. Baffert is seeking an injunction that prohibits NYRA from denying him and his horses entry to the three tracks and blocking him from entering races at any of them.
When it suspended Baffert, NYRA said a final determination regarding the length and terms of the suspension would be based on information found during an ongoing investigation in Kentucky. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission needs to conduct a stewards’ hearing before it takes any official action.
Tough lessons of the Stanley Cup playoffs: Inside the Canes’ collapse, plus the next ‘copycat’ trend
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are, if nothing else, about teachable moments. What a team learns one season can impact the next. If players, coaches and executives take the wrong lessons from the most pressure-filled time of the year, they could be doomed to fail next year’s final exam.
Some lessons are small. Like, for example, saying “I would’ve liked to not fall on him and use my stick as the landing point” will not get one out of a suspension for cross-checking. Duly noted.
Some lessons are larger and more nuanced. Here are seven hard lessons from the playoffs so far, both on the ice and off the ice. Enjoy!
Canada rallies for record 28th hockey world title
TAMPERE, Finland — Samuel Blais scored two goals to rally Canada to a 5-2 victory over Germany in the final of the ice hockey world championship on Sunday.
It’s a record 28th world title for Canada, and its second in three years. Russia has 27 while Germany has never won the trophy.
Blais netted with a backhand 4:51 into the final period for a 3-2 lead for Canada, which was playing in its fourth straight final.
Lawson Crouse, Tylor Toffoli and Scott Laughton also scored for Canada, Peyton Krebs had two assists and goaltender Samuel Montembeault stopped 21 shots.
Toffoli stretched the lead to 4-2 from the left circle with 8:09 remaining and Laughton made it 5-2 with an empty net goal.
Canada had to come back twice in the final.
John Peterka wristed a shot past Montembeault from the left circle 7:44 into the game. It was the sixth goal for the Buffalo Sabres forward at the tournament.
Blais was fed by Krebs to beat goaltender Mathias Niederberger and tie it 1-1 at 10:47.
Daniel Fischbuch put the Germans ahead again with a one-timer with 6:13 to go in the middle period.
Crouse equalized on a power play with 2:32 remaining in the frame.
It was the first medal for Germany since 1953 when it was second behind Sweden.
The two previously met just once in the final with Canada winning 6-1 in 1930.
U.S. falls to Latvia in OT, fails to medal at worlds
TAMPERE, Finland — Defenseman Kristian Rubins scored his second goal 1:22 into overtime to lead Latvia to a 4-3 victory over the United States and earn a bronze medal at the ice hockey world championship Sunday.
It’s the first top-three finish for Latvia at the tournament. Its previous best was a seventh place it managed three times.
The U.S. lost in the bronze-medal game for the second straight year. The U.S. team was cruising through the tournament with eight straight wins until it lost 4-3 to Germany in the semifinal in overtime.
Rubins rallied Latvia with his first with 5:39 to go in the final period to tie the game at 3 to force overtime.
Roberts Bukarts and Janis Jaks also scored for Latvia.
Rocco Grimaldi scored twice for the U.S. in the opening period to negate Latvia’s 1-0 and 2-1 leads.
Matt Coronato had put the U.S. 3-2 ahead 6:19 into the final period.
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