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2019 French Derby winner Sottsass triumphant in the Arc; Enable is sixth

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Oct. 4 (UPI) — Last year’s French Derby winner, Sottsass, rallied through the final 100 meters to win Sunday’s Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, putting an end to a devastating string of setbacks for Europe’s premier race.

Two-time winner Enable, bidding for the second straight year to land an historic third victory, could do no better than sixth as age and very soft turf took their toll.

The Arc suffered blow after blow this year, starting with the badly scrambled summer schedule due to a COVID-19 racing shutdown which forced cancellation of some key prep races.

Then, as race day neared, heavy rains beset Paris, saturating the turf at Longchamp and forcing Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien to withdraw the favorite, 3-year-old filly Love.

And then, things went totally south with the announcement mid-week that some batches of feed supplied to many British and Irish trainers inadvertently had been contaminated with a prohibited substance.

French labs found Saturday that urine samples taken from O’Brien’s horses showed traces of the substance and three more, including Investec Derby winner Serpentine, were ruled out of the race. O’Brien’s sons Donnacha and Joseph Patrick also withdrew entries from the Arc program.

Even Sottsass’s victory actually didn’t quite end the string of misfortune and uncertainty that plagued the Arc in the star-crossed year of 2020.

After he crossed the line first, a neck in front of In Swoop with the early leader, Persian King, holding third, the stewards hoisted the inquiry sign. They then indicated the finish position of four runners, including Sottsass, was under review as a result of a traffic jam about 300 meters from the finish.

Among other issues, a slow-motion replay appeared to show early contender Chachnak attempting to bite Enable as she made a mild move.

Eventually, the result was allowed to stand and trainer Jean-Claude Rouget was able to celebrate his first victory in the Arc.

“It has been difficult managing the races,” Rouget said of Sottsass’ schedule. The colt won the Group 1 Prix Ganay at Chantilly in June but then was second in a Group 3 event at Deauville and fourth in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown before the Arc run.

“He took the lead in the last furlong and had no problem to finish,” the trainer said.

It was a bitter end for Enable’s rider Frankie Dettori, who has made no secret of his love for the mare.

“She hated the ground,” Dettori said of the saturated turf. “I knew my fate at the 400 [meters]. She’s the queen of my heart, anyway.”

The Arc generally was presumed to be Enable’s last race and her owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah, was given full marks for keeping her in training at age 6. Before the race, racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe called out that assumption, saying, “Whether it’s her last race, that’s up to Prince Khalid to decide. We don’t know.”

In 2018, Enable went from her second Arc victory to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs, where she won a classic confrontation with the O’Brien-trained filly Magical. Sunday’s renewal was a “Win and You’re In” for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland Nov. 7.

Sunday’s race also could have been the swan song for Stradivarius, Europe’s pre-eminent stayer over three seasons.

The 6-year-old son of Sea the Stars was shortened up from marathon distances this year specifically to tackle the Arc and had every chance in the stretch, racing alongside Enable. But he could not find the needed turn of foot and finished seventh.

Japan’s faint hope to win an Arc, Deirdre, was away slowly and finished eighth.

Also on the Arc program:

Tarnawa rallied steadily outside the leaders through the final 100 meters of the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera Longines for fillies and mares and was just along to win by a short neck from the favorite, Alpine Star.

Audarya was another 3/4 length back in third. The non-runners in this due to the feed debacle included Fancy Blue, a 3-year-old filly by the late Japanese sire Deep Impact.

Fancy Blue, trained by Donnacha O’Brien, earlier landed the Group 1 Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly and the Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

The late changes benefitted Tarnawa, an Aga Khan homebred daughter of Shamardal. The 4-year-old filly improved to 3-for-3 on the season, backing up her win in the Group 1 Qatar Prix Vermille a month earlier. She earned a “Win and You’re In” entry to the Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf.

Wooded won a spirited stretch battle with the favorite Glass Slippers in the 5-furlongs Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines, prevailing by a neck with Liberty Beach along for third.

Wooded, a 3-year-old filly by Wootton Bassett, came to the race on the back of a second-place finish in the Group 3 Qatar Prix Petit Couvert and won for just the third time in nine starts.

Battaash was ruled out of the race early in the week because of the heavy ground. The race was a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

One Master got by the favorite, Earthlight, well within the final 100 meters of the 7-furlongs Group 1 Qatar Prix de la Foret, winning by a neck over that rival. Safe Voyage was third.

It was the third straight Foret win for One Master, a 6-year-old mare by Fastnet Rock. She went on from the 2018 win to finish fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs and followed the 2019 win with a second in the Group 1 Qipco British Champion Sprint.

Lope y Fernandez and Speak in Colours were late withdrawals from the Foret.

Sealiway dashed away late in the Group 1 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere for 2-year-olds, winning by 8 lengths over the favorite, Nando Parrado. Laws of Indices was third in the race, which missed intended Irish starter St Mark’s Basilica.

Sealiway, a Galiway colt trained by Frederick Rossi, produced his fourth win from six starts. He reported second in a Group 3 prep for Sunday’s race. The victory earned a “Win and You’re In” spot for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Nov. 6 at Keeneland.

In the Group 1 Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac for 2-year-old fillies, Jessica Marcialis became the first female jockey to ride a Group 1 winner in France as she guided Tiger Tanaka to a 3/4-lengths win over Tasmania.

Tiger Tanaka, a Clodovil filly, broke well and raced patiently behind the leading quartet. Marcialis produced her down the center of the course through the final 200 meters and she finished strongly enough to show promise at distances longer than this 1 mile.

Now a Group 1 winner with six wins from seven starts and a “Win and You’re In” ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, she started her career in the claiming ranks. Tiger Tanaka was the fictional head of the Japanese Secret Service in the James Bond novel You Only Live Twice.



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Parkour organizers ask Olympic committee to reject sport for 2024 Summer Games

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Dec. 1 (UPI) — Parkour Earth, a governing body for the sport, on Tuesday asked the International Olympic Committee to reject International Gymnastics Federation proposals to include the discipline in the 2024 Summer Games.

“Unfortunately, [the International Gymnastics Federation’s] encroachment and misappropriation of our sport continues,” Parkour Earth, the international federation for the obstacle-course-style training discipline, said in a letter to the committee.

Parkour is not currently part of the Olympic program for Paris 2024. The International Gymnastics Federation is expected to request Parkour’s inclusion on Monday when the International Olympic Committee’s executive board meets to finalize programs for the 2024 Summer Games.

Parkour was developed in Paris in the 1990s. The sport features a free-running competitor, who climbs, swings, rolls and jumps from one point to another within a complex environment, without the assistance of equipment.

The International Gymnastics Federation in 2018 recognized parkour as gymnastics’ newest discipline. Parkour Earth has often fought with the International Gymnastics Federation for control of the sport.

Sport climbing is one of the new sports included in the 2021 Tokyo program. Break dancing will be an Olympic sport in Paris.



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Fantasy football: Booker, Fitzpatrick among best Week 13 add-drops

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Dec. 1 (UPI) — We’ve finally reached the last week of the fantasy football regular season. That also means it’s the last week to improve your team on the waiver wire and through free agency.

This week’s waiver wire features several players who can help you win your final matchup of the regular season and help put your team in position for a playoff run.

You also could need to fill in empty spots on your roster, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers have Week 13 byes. Even if you don’t have any players on a bye week, you can play defense by adding players that your opponent might need.

It’s also a good idea to add backup running backs to your bench to capitalize on future injuries or illnesses for starters at the position. If a star running back gets hurt or goes on the reserve/COVID-19 list over the next few weeks, you could find yourself with an RB1 or RB2, if you use that strategy.

Las Vegas Raiders running back Devontae Booker and Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick are among my favorite waiver wire targets for Week 13.

I have added more of my favorite players to target on this week’s waiver wire and separated them by priority and position. The players I have listed ahead of this week’s waiver period have low ownership percentages in standard size leagues.

Here are my top players to add and top players to drop for Week 13:

ALL-ADD TEAM

QB | Ryan Fitzpatrick; RB | Devontae Booker, Cam Akers; WR | Denzel Mims, Hunter Renfrow, Gabriel Davis; TE | Kyle Rudolph; D/ST | Seahawks; K | Tyler Bass

HONORABLE MENTIONS

QB | Mike Glennon, Jalen Hurts; RB | Frank Gore, Alexander Mattison, D’Onta Foreman; WR | T.Y. Hilton, Michael Gallup; TE | Dalton Schultz; D/ST | Packers

TOP DROPS

QB | Tua Tagovailoa; RB | Phillip Lindsay, Salvon Ahmed; WR | Marquise Brown, John Brown; TE | Jared Cook, Noah Fant

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Fitzpatrick has been forced into action for the Miami Dolphins after rookie Tua Tagovailoa sustained a thumb injury. The veteran quarterback has thrown at least two touchdown passes in five of his seven starts this season and should produce again in Week 13 when the Dolphins host the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fitzpatrick is worth a streaming start on Sunday if your normal starter has a bye week or you are desperate at the position. Make sure to monitor Tagovailoa’s practice activity throughout the week before you put Fitzpatrick in as your starter, as the Dolphins could make a last-minute swap atop their depth chart.

RUNNING BACK

Las Vegas Raiders running back Devontae Booker is my top waiver wire addition for Week 13. Raiders starter Josh Jacobs sustained an ankle sprain in Week 12. Booker would be first in line to get carries if Jacobs misses time.

The Raiders face the New York Jets on Sunday, which is a great matchup, Booker will land in RB2/flex territory in my weekly rankings if Jacobs is ruled out.

The Los Angeles Rams finally gave some work to rookie running back Cam Akers on Sunday and he did not disappoint. Akers had 84 yards and a score on nine carries in the Rams’ Week 12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He should continue to receive a healthy workload moving forward.

Akers is a risky weekly start, but could prove to be a great streamer down the stretch, especially if you have a wide-receiver-heavy team and are in a league with at least 14 teams.

WIDE RECEIVER

New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims is another rookie who has gotten more opportunities as of late. Mims has received eight targets in each of his last three games. He also has at least 42 receiving yards in every game he has played in 2020.

I believe Mims’ best games are ahead. He should provide great bench value at wide receiver, especially as COVID-19 continues to impact player availability around the league.

TIGHT END

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph hasn’t been much of a touchdown threat this season, but is on pace to have one of his best seasons in terms of receiving yards. Rudolph had his best game of the season in Week 12, with seven catches for 68 yards in a win over the Carolina Panthers.

I expect Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins to spread the ball out a lot down the stretch as he eyes playmakers Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson at wide receiver and Rudolph on shorter routes. Rudolph should provide TE1 value in leagues with at least 14 teams that require starting tight ends.

This week in the National Football League

Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Monday, where the Seahawks defeated the Eagles 23-17. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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Ravens record no new positives, remove four players from COVID-19 list

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Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Monday, where the Seahawks defeated the Eagles 23-17. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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