Off the wire
Posted: August 3, 2014 at 2:28 a.m.
Moreno wins $1.5M Whitney
A narrow loser in the $1 million Travers last summer, Moreno returned to Saratoga Race Course to earn an even more lucrative prize Saturday. The gelded 4-year-old son of Ghostzapper led from start to finish to beat 2013 Travers winner Will Take Charge and heavily favored Palace Malice in the Grade 1 $1.5 million Whitney, the richest race in Saratoga's 146-year history. As a "Win and You're In" Breeders' Cup Challenge race, Moreno earned an automatic berth in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. Trained by Eric Guillot for owner Southern Equine Stables and ridden by Junior Alvarado, Moreno beat Itsmyluckyday by 1 1/4 lengths, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.05 and paying $22, $9 and $6.60. Itsmyluckyday returned $7.90 and $4.60, finishing three lengths ahead of late-running Will Take Charge, a nose winner over Moreno in the 2013 Travers who paid $4.60 to show. Palace Malice, the 3-5 favorite in a field of nine older horses, wound up sixth. On the undercard, Filimbi won the $100,000 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose, Palace took the Grade 1 $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Sweet Reason captured the Grade 1 $500,000 Longines Test, and Big Blue Kitten won the $100,000 Lure.
• Tapiture, the 9-5 second choice, rallied through the stretch to nip 8-5 favorite Candy Boy at the wire in winning Saturday's 45th running of the $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park in Chester, W.Va. Louisiana Derby winner Vicar's in Trouble set the pace in the 1 1/8-mile stakes for eight 3-year-olds. Tapiture, trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, settled off the pace along with Candy Boy. Tapiture and Candy Boy hit the wire together with just a nose separating the pair. Vicar's in Trouble held on for third. The time for the West Virginia Derby was 1:50.66 on a fast track. Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Tapiture posted his second consecutive stakes victory and fourth overall. The chestnut colt added $456,750 to his earnings which now total just over $1 million. All his victories have come in stakes during his 10-race career. Tapiture returned $5.60, $2.60 and $2.20. Candy Boy paid $2.60 and $2.20, and Vicar's in Trouble paid $2.80 to show.
• Bern Identity took the lead near the stretch and drew off to win the $60,000 My Frenchman Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday, beating Heaven's Runway by 4 1/4 lengths. Trained by Kelly John Breen and ridden by Chuck C. Lopez, the 4-year-old colt ran 5 1/2 furlongs over a sloppy track in 1:03 1/5 and returned $7.40, $4.40 and $2.80. The race originally was scheduled for the turf but was moved to the main track due to rains that fell during the morning, leaving a field of just five horses. Heaven's Runway paid $5.60 and $3.40, while Last Heartbreaker was 1 3/4 lengths back in third. The victory was the fourth in eight career starts for Bern Identity, who has now earned $670,000.
Subban agrees to deal
The Canadiens have agreed to terms with defenseman P.K. Subban on an eight-year deal. A day after an arbitration hearing that would have led to a one-year contract, the team and Subban reached accord Saturday on a long-term arrangement. Subban, who already has a Norris Trophy and an Olympic gold medal, would be under contract through age 33. He had 10 goals and 43 assists last season, and has 42 goals and 125 assists in his NHL career.
• The Anaheim Ducks have signed Patrick Maroon to a three-year contract extension after the left wing's breakout season. The Ducks also signed first-round pick Nick Ritchie on Saturday. The 26-year-old Maroon scored 29 points in 62 games with the Ducks last season, his first full NHL season. His new deal is worth a reported $6 million and runs through 2018, rewarding the tough forward for years of perseverance in the minors.
• The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed goaltender Ben Bishop to a two-year contract extension. Bishop, a Vezina Trophy finalist last season, went 37-14-7 with a 2.23 goals-against-average in 63 games. He set team records for single-season victories and goals-against-average. Bishop has played in 108 games with the Lightning, Ottawa and St. Louis, going 55-31-11 with eight shutouts.
Serena in Stanford finals
Serena Williams reached her fourth final of the season by taking the last eight games to beat Andrea Petkovic 7-5, 6-0 on Saturday in the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif. The top-seeded and top-ranked Williams is 3-0 in finals so far in 2014, winning titles at Brisbane, Miami and Rome. Against the ninth-ranked Petkovic, Williams wasted four break points in the final game of the first set before eventually converting her fifth. In today's final at the hard-court tournament, Williams will face Angelique Kerber or Varvara Lepchenko. Petkovic was trying to become the ninth player -- and first since 2010 -- to beat both Venus and Serena Williams in the same tournament. Petkovic eliminated Venus in the quarterfinals Friday.
• Powered by serves that reached 143 mph, second-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada reached his first final of the season by beating Donald Young of the United States 6-4, 7-5 at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. Raonic will face sixth-seeded Richard Gasquet of France or 13th-seeded Vasek Pospisil of Canada in today's final at the hard-court tuneup for the U.S. Open. Against Young, a left-hander from Atlanta ranked 73rd, Raonic served impeccably, hitting 15 aces, winning 34 of 37 first-serve points, and never facing a break point. Raonic broke Young's serve twice -- in the last game of each set. Young, 25, was in the semifinals of an ATP tournament for the first time since 2011. He's still seeking his first tour title.
Sports on 08/03/2014