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Horse racing

Wise Dan is voted 2013 Horse of the Year

Wise Dan was honored as the 2013 North American Horse of the Year on Saturday at the Eclipse Awards dinner in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

It was a repeat performance, as he was also the 2012 Horse of the Year.

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Wise Dan won six of his seven starts as a 6-year-old gelding in 2013, including the Breeders’ Cup Mile on turf. He is one of six to win Horse of the Year in at least two consecutive seasons since 1971, joining Secretariat, Forego, Affirmed, Cigar and Curlin.

Wise Dan also repeated as the winner in the older male and male turf horse divisions; he is the first horse to win three Eclipse Awards in consecutive years.

Trainer Todd Pletcher won his record sixth Eclipse and jockey Javier Castellano earned his first.

The North American champion 2-year-olds of 2013 have local connections. Filly She’s a Tiger’s owners include Mark Dedomenico of Redmond. The owners of gelding Shared Belief include George Todaro of Seattle.


Gay protester detained

A gay Russian protester was detained for unfurling a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay as it passed through his hometown of Voronezh, 560 miles north of Sochi, where the Games will begin Feb. 7.

Photos uploaded by friends show Pavel Lebedev pulling out the flag and being detained by Olympic security personnel, who wrestle him to the snow as they wait for police to arrive.

“Hosting the Games here contradicts the basic principles of the Olympics, which is to cultivate tolerance,” said Lebedev, citing growing homophobia in Russia as the main reason for his protest.

A ban on so-called propaganda of “nontraditional sexual relations” that was signed by President Vladimir Putin into law in June has provoked international outrage from critics who believe the legislation discriminates against gays.

Russian authorities have put limits on the right to protest during the Sochi Olympics, which will run until Feb. 23. A presidential decree initially banned all rallies in Sochi from Jan. 7 to March 21, but Putin later rescinded the ban to allow demonstrations at venues determined by the Interior Ministry.


Arsenal, Man City win

Arsenal and Manchester City showed no sign of slowing up in the race for the English Premier League title by posting home victories.

Santi Cazorla scored second-half goals in a five-minute span for Arsenal in a 2-0 victory over Fulham that keeps the Gunners in the lead by a point over Manchester City.

“We have played 22 games and have 51 points. If you compare that to any other season you will see that it is one of the best, if not the best, ever,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said after his team’s fifth straight league win.

Manchester City put on another attacking clinic to breeze past Cardiff 4-2 and pass the 100-goal mark this season in all competitions — after 34 matches.

“It’s not easy to score 103 goals by the middle of the season,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini said.


Air is out of Metrodome

The Minnesota Vikings’ Metrodome has deflated for the last time.

Officials from the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority opened the stadium’s relief vents to begin the deflation in downtown Minneapolis. Fans providing the air that supports the roof were turned off. The 10 acres of Teflon-coated fabric were done deflating in 35 minutes.

Bill McCarthy, vice chairman of the authority, called it “a sad and exciting day at the same time.” The deflation and the demolition of the Dome beginning next week will make way for construction of a new $1 billion Vikings stadium.

The muffin-shaped dome opened in 1982 and was once a focal point of Minnesota professional sports. In addition to being the home field for the Vikings and the Twins — who won two World Series there — the Timberwolves played their first NBA season in the Metrodome in 1989. The Twins left in 2009 for Target Field in Minneapolis.


• The Jamaican bobsled team might be headed to another Olympics.

The catch: It needs a lot of money, and it needs it fast.

Olympic organizers said Jamaica has qualified for the two-man competition at the Sochi Games, though it remains unclear if the squad will get a chance to race.

Sled driver Winston Watts said he is trying to raise as much as $80,000 in the next couple of weeks to cover travel and equipment costs.

“Right now,” Watts said, “we’re at zero.”

Jamaica first competed in Olympic bobsledding in 1988 at the Calgary Games, a story that inspired the film “Cool Runnings.”

Keri Herman and Gus Kenworthy clinched U.S. Olympic berths in ski slopestyle qualifying in Park City, Utah. Angeli VanLaanen won a ski-halfpipe berth.

• In snowboarding, Sage Kotsenburg wrapped up a spot on the U.S. Olympic slopestyle team — joining Shaun White, who clinched his spot Thursday.

Seattle Times news services

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