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Nyquist's stablemate beaten badly in Black-Eyed Susan

Nyquist's stablemate beaten badly in Black-Eyed Susan

BALTIMORE—If Nyquist fans were looking for a positive omen in Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, they were disappointed. 

Land Over Sea, owned by Reddam Racing, trained by Doug O’Neill and ridden by Mario Gutierrez, the same team as that of the undefeated favorite in Saturday’s Preakness, finished sixth in the featured race. 

Instead, Go Maggie Go, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Oaks, the same race, Land Over came in second, won the Black-Eyed Susan by 2 ½ lengths over Ma Can Do It. 

Go Maggie Go is trained by Dale Romans, who has Cherry Wine in the Preakness, and ridden by Luis Saez. Romans also trains Ma Can Do It. 

Land over Sea raced from behind, and never was a factor. 

“Just a rough trip,” O’Neill said. “She didn’t break real good. They kind of went slow early, and she was a victim of a rough trip. Thank God she came back good and Mario came back good. We’ll live to fight another day. We’re just fired up about tomorrow.” 

Gutierrez was upset about the race.

“Unbelievable. We never had a chance to run,” Gutierrez said. 

On the day before the Preakness, the fun story of the day was the locally popular Maryland-bred 10-year-old, Ben’s Cat. The ancient gelding won the Jim McKay Turf Sprint for the fourth straight time, and fifth time in six years.

Trailing by nearly seven lengths with a quarter mile to go in the five furlong race, Ben’s Cat took the lead with less than a 1/16th mile remaining and won by a neck over Spring to the Sky in 56.1 seconds.

Ben’s Cat has won 32 times, and captured his 26th stakes win, more than any other active horse. 
Trevor McCarthy rode him for the second straight time. 

“He’s an unbelievable horse, by far the best horse I’ve ever been on. I’ve just never seen a horse like that,” McCarthy said.

His trainer acknowledged some nervous moments.

“I was worried,” King Leatherbury said. “He fired right at the end, like he always does. That’s his running style. He’s a great horse, that’s all.” 

The 83-year-old has an affinity for older horses. 

“Good horses, all the time they come up, but they don’t last. Fans have a favorite horse and a year or two later, they’re gone. Here, he just goes and goes and goes, and that’s what makes him so popular. He’s still around after all this time.” 

In other featured stakes races, Noble Bird romped to an 11 ¼ length win in the Sagamore Spirit Pimlico Special and Ahh Chocolate won the Allaire DuPont Distaff by a half-length. 

U.S. men's hockey pulls out win after entering 3rd period tied

U.S. men's hockey pulls out win after entering 3rd period tied

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Ryan Donato scored two power-play goals and Troy Terry dominated with his speed as college players led the United States to an important 2-1 victory over Slovakia on Friday at the Olympics.

Donato, who plays for his father Ted at Harvard, delivered the kind of offense USA Hockey wanted when it picked four NCAA players for its no-NHL Olympic roster. Donato, Terry and American Hockey League scoring star Chris Bourque were all additions to the U.S. after the pre-Olympic Deutschland Cup in November, during which the U.S. struggled to score, particularly against Slovakia goaltender Jan Laco.

Laco was on top of his game, stopping 29 of the 31 shots he faced. Only this time, the Americans' young skill that coach Tony Granato hoped would bring energy and spark the team came through.

Goalie Ryan Zapolski made 21 saves for his first Olympic victory, which is crucial considering only the top four of 12 teams avoid the qualification round Monday. With the regulation win, the U.S. vaults to the top of Group B with four points. Slovakia was second with three, followed by Slovenia and Russia.

The U.S. faces Russia in each team's final preliminary-round game Saturday night.

The Americans didn't have a shot on net until six-plus minutes into the game when defenseman Noah Welch finally got the puck to Laco.

All it took to get the U.S. offense going was a Slovakia penalty that gave Terry and Donato some room to operate. Terry sped through the offensive zone and took two Slovakia defenders with him, dropping the puck to a wide-open Donato for his first power-play goal of the game to put the U.S. up 1-0 at 7:10.

Just 25 seconds later, Andrej Kudrna scored on a tip of a Tomas Surovy shot that slipped under Zapolski's right arm for a tying goal the 31-year-old goalie probably wants back.

Bobby Butler had a semi-breakaway late in the first and Laco got his blocker on it. A couple of second-period power plays yielded offensive-zone time but not a goal, and a borderline goalie interference penalty on Boston University's Jordan Greenway made penalty killers work hard to keep it tied.

After a too many men on the ice call on Slovakia, Bourque, another son of a former NHL player, fed Donato, who spun around in front and went five-hole on Laco to score the game-winning goal with 17:09 left.

Team USA Women outshoot but can't outscore Team Canada in first meeting at 2018 Olympics

USA Today

Team USA Women outshoot but can't outscore Team Canada in first meeting at 2018 Olympics

GANGNEUNG, South Korea  -- Meghan Agosta and Sara Nurse each scored in the second period and defending Olympic champion Canada clinched the top spot in pool play by edging the United States 2-1 on Thursday in an early showdown between the dominant powers in women's hockey.

Genevieve Lacasse made 44 saves, including stopping Hilary Knight at the post inside the final 90 seconds. Brianne Decker hit two posts, the second time coming in the final seconds, before the two rivals ended up in a scrum. Officials reviewed the final play and ruled no goal. The Canadians also had two goals disallowed.

Kendall Coyne scored the lone goal for the Americans.

Canada and the United States are the only countries to ever win gold at the Olympics. The Americans won gold in 1998 when women's hockey joined the Olympics, while Canada is here looking for a fifth straight gold medal for the country that created the sport.

They played eight times last fall through a pre-Olympic exhibition tour and the Four Nations Cup. The United States won two of the first three, but Canada now has won five straight against their biggest -- and only -- rival in the sport.

The United States certainly had plenty of chances, including Knight being stopped on a breakaway.

After missing on a penalty shot and hitting a post late in the second, the Americans got on the board when Coyne raced through four Canadians and scored 23 seconds into the third period.

Canada thought briefly it had the first goal of the game with 3:15 left in the first period, but Melodie Daoust and captain Marie-Philip Poulin were in the crease with the play blown dead. The official immediately signaled no goal.

Agosta put Canada up 1-0 at 7:18 of the second on the power play. With Megan Keller in the box for interfering with Poulin, Natalie Spooner in her 100th international game spun and hit Agosta in the slot with a backhanded pass. Agosta's shot went off Rooney's glove and in for the goal.

Nurse scored at 14:56 with a shot from the left circle that went off Rooney's elbow. Laura Stacey appeared to be offside as Canada brought the puck into the zone, but the United States did not challenge.

Officials awarded Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson a penalty shot at 16:08 of the second after Canadian forward Haley Irwin placed a glove on top of the puck in the crease amid a pile of bodies in the crease. Lamoureux-Davidson, who scored the fastest back-to-back goals in Olympic history in the U.S. win over Russia, went too slow and got the puck caught near her right foot before a backhand Lacasse easily deflected.

U.S. coach Robb Stauber started Maddie Rooney, his youngest goalie with all three of the U.S. wins against Canada.