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Experience, personality rule the day

ARCADIA, Calif. — It was a day for the aged and odd at the Breeders' Cup.

After a record 19th Cup victory Friday from 77-year-old trainer D. Wayne Lukas, with Hightail in the Juvenile Sprint, 17-1 shot Calidoscopio became the oldest horse to win a Breeders' Cup race at age 9, beating Grassy by 4¼ lengths to take the Marathon, longest of the races.

Calidoscopio was unmistakable in the two weeks he trained at Santa Anita after shipping in from Argentina. He was galloped bareback in his daily workouts, and he wore a white "bonnet" of sorts wrapped around his head. The lack of saddle is a tradition in Argentina, and the horse is "too old to change his routine," trainer Guillermo Frankel said.

And the bonnet? To prevent "head colds," Frankel, said.

The quirks extend to race day, too. Calidoscopio wears a blindfold that covers his face down to his chest to help ease him into the starting gate. And after his victory, his connections celebrated with soccer-style singing, chanting and flag-waving, shocking the usually staid winner's circle.

ROYAL DELTA DODGES SANDY: Luck was on trainer Bill Mott's side before he even arrived and won his second straight Ladies' Classic with Tampa Bay Downs graduate Royal Delta. Mott's four Cup starters flew out of Newburgh, N.Y., on Monday morning, just beating Hurricane Sandy's arrival. The only problem: Royal Delta gashing her right hip during loading and needing stitches. "I can tell you I feel a whole lot better right now," he said.

Around the track: Worth Repeating, whose owners include Saints QB Drew Brees, and South Floyd, co-owned by Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, were scratched before their races for health concerns. … A single ticket claimed the entire prize of $773,865 in Friday's Pick Six. It was bought through online account wagering company Xpress Bet for $288. Its owner was unknown. … The wagering total was $47,586,765, a 5 percent decline from Friday last year. "Considering the effects of Hurricane Sandy," that was considered a success, said Ken Kirchner, senior wagering consultant.

Experience, personality rule the day 11/02/12 [Last modified: Saturday, November 3, 2012 12:54am]

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