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pharoah voted horse of the year

HALLANDALE BEACH — American Pharoah is the horse of the year, and the vote was unanimous.

The Triple Crown winner and Breeders' Cup Classic champion received all 261 votes for top honors at the Eclipse Awards, handed out Saturday night at Gulfstream Park.

American Pharoah was also the unanimous winner of 3-year-old male honors. He's the first horse to get every vote in both divisions under the current balloting system, which has been in place since 2003.

In all, American Pharoah and his connections combined to take five Eclipse Awards. Zayat Stables won as top owner and top breeder, the first time it prevailed in those categories. Trainer Bob Baffert got his fourth Eclipse, his first since 1999.

It wasn't a sweep for American Pharoah's team. Victor Espinoza finished a distant second to Javier Castellano in the race for top jockey. Castellano prevailed for the third straight year.


Police examine Stewart-fan scrap

Police in Tulsa, Okla., were investigating after an off-duty officer heckled NASCAR star Tony Stewart and was confronted by the driver.

The confrontation happened Friday night at the weeklong Chili Bowl dirt-track event at the Tulsa Expo Center. The heckler was Cpl. Kyle Hess with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. The investigation likely would finish after the weekend and a statement would be released then, Sheriff's Deputy Justin Green said.

Cellphone videos from fans posted online showed Stewart and Hess locking hands and engaging in heated conversation. The videos showed Stewart going into the stands. Hess fell backward after a security guard stepped between the two. Stewart continued to talk to a seated Hess. After looking at the video, Green said, he doubted charges would be filed against either.

Stewart works on track preparation during the event, which he won as a driver in 2002 and 2007. The three-time NASCAR Cup champion, who will retire from NASCAR after this season, couldn't be reached for comment.

In 2014, Stewart struck and killed a racer, Kevin Ward Jr., who had left his car during a sprint car race in New York. Stewart wasn't charged, but he faces a civil suit from Ward's family.


Soccer: A dreary opening 45 minutes in the Chelsea-Everton match made way for a thrilling second half that started with John Terry's own goal and ended with the captain scoring in the right net in the eighth minute of stoppage time to clinch a 3-3 draw in the English Premier League. Leicester tied 1-1 with bottom-place Aston Villa and kept the lead by a point. Second-place Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 4-0.

Weightlifting: Leonid Zhabotinsky, a record-breaking Ukrainian-born Soviet weightlifter who picked up Olympic gold medals in 1964 and 1968 and was Arnold Schwarzenegger's teenage idol, died Thursday in Zaporozhye, Ukraine. He was 77. His son Ruslan did not specify a cause, the International Weightlifting Federation said.

Times wires

Sports in brief 01/16/16 [Last modified: Saturday, January 16, 2016 11:38pm]
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