Pletcher, Dominguez leading trainer, jockey for 2011
Todd Pletcher was the nation's leading trainer in North American earnings for the second year in a row, and Ramon Dominguez topped the jockey's list with more than $20 million in earnings, according to Equibase.
Pletcher saddled 254 winners from 1,016 starts for earnings of nearly $17.2 million in 2011. He also was the leading trainer from 2004-2007. Steve Asmussen was second with more than $16.2 million.
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Dominguez rode 348 winners from 1,424 mounts. John Velazquez was second with 248 winners from 1,223 mounts and earnings of more than $18.6 million.
Also, Breeders' Cup Classic winner Drosselmeyer took honors as the leading Thoroughbred earner at $2.9 million, and Midwest Thoroughbreds was the leading owner with $6.3 million in earnings.
Gomez celebrates with two stakes wins
Jockey Garrett Gomez won the $150,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes and the $79,500 Kalookan Queen Handicap on his 40th birthday at Santa Anita on Sunday.
He rode Bauble Queen to a half-length victory over Turning Top in the Frankel for fillies and mares after guiding Rumor to a 2¼-length win in the Kalookan.
Bauble Queen ran 11⁄8 miles on the turf in 1:48.22. It was Bauble Queen's first stakes victory and she earned $90,000, increasing her career winnings to $218,257, with three wins in eight starts.
In the Kalookan, Rumor ran 61/2 furlongs in 1:14.95.
C C's Pal, Nicole H win at Aqueduct
C C's Pal and Nicole H posted wins on Sunday in $75,000 stakes for fillies and mares at Aqueduct.
C C's Pal rolled to a 2¾-length win over Bahama Bound in the Ladies Handicap at 11⁄8 miles. The 5-year-old mare, trained by Rick Dutrow, earned a second-straight stakes win at Aqueduct following the Garland of Roses last month. Junior Alvarado was aboard as she won for the seventh time in 25 starts.
Nicole H posted a repeat victory in the 6-furlong Interborough. A decisive 2½ -length winner last year, Nicole H prevailed this time by only a neck in 1:10.99 over Winning Image, with Ramon Dominguez in the saddle for trainer Mike Hushion.
Trainer wins her debut at Turfway
Trainer April Thorpe earned her first career win Friday at Turfway Park when she saddled her first starter, a 3-year-old who also was making his career debut. With Tom Pompell aboard, Cup of Joy set the pace in Turfway's sixth race that day, a maiden special, and held off a late bid by Lead Player to win by three-quarters of a length.
Thorpe, 50, got her first experience with horses at age five when her father, who owned a country grocery store in Carroll County, accepted a quarter horse in payment of a bill.
"Dad let the farmers buy on credit and then they'd pay when their crops came in," Thorpe said. "When this one farmer couldn't pay, he gave us the horse instead. He was a toy for us. All the cousins would come over and we'd ride him all over the place."
Winter Classic pushed back to 3 p.m.
The Winter Classic scheduled for Monday was pushed back by the NHL to 3 p.m. The game between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers will be played at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The NHL said Sunday the move was made because of a revised weather forecast that should offer optimal game conditions for players and fans.
While fans hoped for winter wonderland conditions, the two-hour shift will at least mean chilly temperatures and less sun.
"It's going to feel different to be out there," Rangers center Brad Richards said. "It'll be, look around for a little bit, but you don't want to get clocked, so you can't look too much."
Bonds' deadline for appeal is March 21
Barry Bonds has until March 21 to file written arguments in his appeal to overturn his obstruction of justice conviction.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in setting a briefing schedule, said federal prosecutors will have until April 20 to respond. After that, Bonds' lawyers will have another 14 days to file a reply brief if they choose to do so. Bonds' appeal will be randomly assigned to a three-judge panel that will hear oral arguments this year. A decision is not likely until 2013.
The home run king was sentenced Dec. 16 by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston for his April conviction of a charge of giving an evasive answer to a federal grand jury in 2003 that was investigating steroids distribution. The jury failed to reach a unanimous agreement on three counts accusing Bonds of making false statements when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs and said he allowed only doctors to inject him. Those charges were dropped in August.
Frasor headed back to Blue Jays
Reliever Jason Frasor was traded back to the Toronto Blue Jays by the Chicago White Sox for minor-league pitchers Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb. Frasor, a right-hander, was 3-3 with a 3.60 ERA in 64 relief appearances with Chicago and Toronto last season. Chicago acquired him and pitcher Zach Stewart from the Blue Jays for pitcher Edwin Jackson and infielder/outfielder Mark Teahen in July.
The last word
Kansas City Chiefs interim coach Romeo Crennel isn't the politicking type. He doesn't grandstand or make lofty promises. But there was a hint Sunday evening that a message was being sent to the men who'll decide his future — as well as that of the Chiefs. Crennel said after Sunday's 7-3 win over the Denver Broncos:
"What, I'm 2-1 in the three games we've played? From a percentage standpoint, that's not terrible. ... "When I got this job, I told you that I was going to do the best I can and then let the chips fall where they may. And I think that's still the case."